It's a White Pongal

(Tamil: பொங்கல்) is a Hindu festival to give thanks for the harvest. Pongal in Tamil means 'boiling over'. Traditionally celebrated at harvest time, it is a celebration of the prosperity associated with the event. (Taken from Wikipedia.) I got my 'Happy Pongal' phonecall the other day from my dear m-in-law, along with the prerequisite recipes that I was to prepare for celebrating Pongal in Michigan. Pongal is a three day festival, but I only did two days of it minus any religious pooja's. The first day required making two kinds of pongal; sakkarai pongal and venpongal. To go along with that I made a green pepper sambar, and also another important element - the vadai. Deep fried lentil goodness. Recipes to follow, first here are the pictures.


Moong daal, patna rice, water, ginger, whole peppercorns, slt, turmeric, asafoetida, jeera, cashewnuts, ghee.

1:2, Paasi parupu: Arisi rice
1: 1.5, Paasi : Water
1: 2, Arisi : Water
1. Roast the Paasi parupu.
2. Place the paasi and arisi into a cooker along with the water, 2 tbsp crushed ginger, 1 tbsp ground pepper, salt, 1 tsp turmeric, and a dash of asafoetida. Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles. An alternative is to cook it in a rice cooker. You may need to add water and keep cooking the venpongal until the paasi is fully cooked and can be incorporated into the rice.
3. Splutter 1 tbsp jeeragam, 1 tsp whole peppercorns, and cashewnuts in ghee, add to the rice mixture.

The combination for venpongal is traditionally gotsu (recipe to follow later), but since I did not have an egglplant I simply made sambar which is also ok. Check out the sambar recipe on my bro-in-law's website.

Sakkarai Pongal
Written by my Mother in Law!! This is authentic.

Raw rice , moong dhal (paasi paruppu), vellam/Gud (jaggery), cardamom, cashews, raisins, saffron-1 pinch, ghee, pacha kalpooram (edible camphor)

(Rice 1 cup, dhal 1/8 cup)
1. Take a skillet & on med heat dry roast the dhal to light brown.
2. Roast the rice till the rice turns solid white!
3. Take a dish which can hold up to 6 cups of liquid. Place the rice& dhal into that & add 2 1/2 cups of milk & 1 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook it say 4 whistles or after the weight starts spinning (in the presto cookers) keep the cooker for 5mts on med heat heat!
4. After the pressure subsides...remove the pot & mix the cooked rice well
5. Add 1 1/8 cup jaggery& put it on low to med heat let the jaggery melt completely. Add the saffron now
6. Let it boil for some time [let the whole thing come to idly maavu consistency]
7. Take a shallow skillet add 2 tbsp of ghee& put it on med heat. Add the cashews(break them in to half) when it starts to roast add the raisins also. Let the cashews become golden brown & the raisins turn in to balls! Pour the whole thing in to the pongal. Add the powdered cardamom & just very little [like a vendayam (fenugreek) size] of the pacha kalpooram. If you put too much the pongal can become bitter, so be care full adding this stuff.

1:1:1/2:1/4, green split peas: channa dal: toor daal: urad daal
dried red chillis, asafoetida, salt, curry leaves

1. Soak the daals in quite a bit of water for at least 1 hour, then drain.
2. Grind the daals coarsely with very little water, dried red chillis, salt, and asafoetida.
3. Add a few ripped curry leaves.
4. Deep fry balls of these in hot oil. There is a method to this, you should flatten little balls of this dough in your palm and slide it into the oil.
5. Brown them nicely.
I didn't know how to do this so I used the two spoon method, where you scoop the dough out of one spoon with the other until it forms a little roll and slide it into the oil. The trick is to make sure the dough doesn't have too much water, because excess water will splash and splutter out of the oil and CAN BURN YOU BADLY. Be careful when deep frying!!!

See the final product! I am proud to say I got an A+ on this meal from my husband. I think he was just very hungry, but I'll take it whenever I get it!!! See our glorious feast below. (Ok glorious for two newlyweds!)


Anonymous said...

The link to your brother-in-law's link has a bad pointer. Should read :

Has 2 http://...

Great site. Your family sounds like my family right down to feeding birds with rices balls. - ( in Singpore ) We are in Alabama now for a looong time. Love to meet up with you guys..


Anonymous said...

Nice pictures. The recipe looks absolutely yummy.

I have posted my version of the Sakkarai pongal in my blog.

Do visit my blog when u find time. Your comments are highly appreciated :-)