Wishing all my dear readers a Happy Pongal a.k.a. Makara Sakranti wishesTomorrow starts a new season, the first day of the harvest season and its beaming festivity everywhere. Back home, preparations start a day before for us. Appa gets the karumbu (sugarcane), fresh turmeric and ginger plants which we keep at the time of pooja. Unlike other festivals, for Pongal vegetables mainly root veggies are kept during pooja since it is a harvest festival. We pray to the Sun god for a good harvest and that is what the whole festival is about.
We always keep Pongal in large brass pots in our porch ~ the traditional way and it is Appa who makes the fire in a three-stone stove. So the day before the festival, the big pots are brought down from the attic, cleaned and wiped dry. Amma then puts manjal-kungumam to the pots. The night before, we put a very big kolam with color kola podi in front of our house. We wake up early morning and by early morning it is 4 o'clock for us, amma is so strict in this. A freezing cold water bath, new dresses, pongal celebrations before 6 o'clock (its tradition that the pongal should flow before or by the sun rised), a steaming plate of pongal with some hot crisp vadas is how we celebrate the day. Lunch is the traditional steamed rice, sambar, aviyal, koorka poriyal,vada and payasam in a banana leaf.
This is baby munchkins' first Pongal and hence it is the traditional pongal celebrations for us. Shopping is done, pots cleaned and wiped, kolam design finalised and everything is set to go.
Raw Rice / Paccharisi - 1/2 cup
Sugar Candy/Kalkandu - 1/2 cup or 50 gms
Water - 2 cups
Ghee - 2 tbsps or more
Broken Cashews - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Elaichi - 1/4 tsp
How I made it:
Powder the kalkandu and keep aside. This step is purely optional. The heat itself melts the kalkandu. Wash rice and soak for half an hour. Drain rice from water and in a pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water along with the rice and cook for 4-5 whistles. Let pressure release by self. After done, mash it. If the water has drained fully, then add 1/4 water and cook over low heat. Add the sugar candy and allow to melt.
** You could use 1/2 cup milk also
** You can add 2 tbsp of roasted moongdhal when pressure cooking the rice.
** Increase quantity of sugar candy and ghee if needed.
So thats it Folks...