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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Pongal

Wish you all a Happy Pongal

Today is our festival called Pongal.
It is like thanksgiving - a harvest festival. when winter moves on to spring people celebrate making a special dish called pongal . Now pongal can be both a sweet dish and a salty dish both made from rice and lentil (moong dhal). The sweet dish in addition has jaggery and milk.  So during this time - a particular auspicious time (checked from the calender called the panchangam) a decorated pot or vessel(decorated with turmeric, kunkum, and sugar cane and turneric root tied with yellow thread) is kept with milk and boiled. "Ponga" means boil and overflow. When the milk boiled over people in the house shout pongal and add sound/noise effect by banging metal plates and spoon. My son loves this part  of it. Then the boiled rice and lentil mixture is added along with jaggery and then lastly ghee (clarified butter which we use in almost all sweets). We also make a regular version of pongal without milk and jaggery but add salt and ground black pepper and cumin seeds and ghee. Then as with all festivals an added fried dish is vadai - ( ground urad dhal & a couple of green chillies and salt.)
You can read more about pongal here -
Once again "Wish you all a Happy Pongal"

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