It is a festival which celebrates the harvest of crops, the cattle that help in farming and of course, the farmers who work tirelessly to give us our daily bread. Pongal, particularly in South India is celebrated with much pomp and joy. A tradition followed for centuries sees farmers walking through town with the first harvest to the temple, to show their gratitude to the Lord for having been kind to them.No celebration in India is complete without food. The ubiquitous Chakkara Pongal (rice cooked with jaggery/sugar , lentils, ghee and dry fruits) is the star of the show and is made on the day of Pongal. A South Indian meal is incomplete without sambhar, rasam, kaikari (vegetables or poriyal) and yoghurt and the Pongal feast invariably incorporates these elements as well. Here are some off-beat recipes we worked on to usher in the Pongal celebrations this year.
- Kethandapatti Karamani Kuzhambu: Lobia beans cooked in a spicy tangy gravy, eaten with steaming rice topped with ghee/clarified butter.
- Watermelon Rasam: A fabulous twist to the humble rasam taught to us by the Legendary Mountbatten Mani Iyer.
- Urulai Madras Kaara Kari: A spicy version of potatoes tossed in a secret spice mix, normally what one eats at a south indian wedding.
- Vegetable Payasam: Carrots, beans, potatoes and cauliflower cooked in almond puree and milk and slow cooked with saffron.
உங்கள் அனைவருக்கும் எங்கள் இனிய பொங்கல் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் thats how we would say ‘Here’s wishing you guys a Happy Pongal’ in our mother tongue!