Pongal-O-Pongal!

The name of this recipe and the festival go hand-in-hand! The festival ‘Pongal’ signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine. To symbolize a bountiful harvest, rice is cooked in new pots until they boil over. Pongal (as known in Tamil Nadu), is celebrated all over India on the same day, but has different names in each region.

However, being a harvest festival, bonfires and feasts are the main thing common to all the celebrations of this festival. Well today the pongal on my platter did not necessarily call for a harvest festival date, just that urge to have soft cooked rice coat my palate, drove me to prepare ‘pongal’ for breakfast! Though pongal is mostly prepared as a sweet dish, at times a touch of spice is also added to it.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Rice
  • 1/4 cup Moong dal
  • /2- 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2-1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powdered fresh
  • A few Cashew nuts broken
  • 1/2 cup dessicated Coconut
  • A few curry leaves
  • A pinch of Turmeric powder
  • Ghee

Method:

  • Wash the dal and rice separately.
  • Fry the Moong dal a little till you get a light flavour. Mix the dal with the rice, add 2 -3 cups of water (the rice should cook very very soft).
  • Add turmeric powder, coconut, a few peppercorns and a 1-2 tsp of ghee to the rice and pressure cook till done.
  • When done, take a kadai/pan add sufficient ghee to it, more the ghee better it tastes, add cumin seeds, pepper corns, curry leaves and cashew nuts. Fry till the cashews emanate that tempting flavour. (here ensure not to burn the curry leaves, the cashews can be fried separately also)
  • Add the cooked rice mixture, add pepper powder (only if more spice is preferred), salt and mix well with the ghee and cumin seeds/cashew nuts.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2-3

Yummm! The pongal is ready!!! I added an extra dollop of ghee to the steaming hot pongal; just before serving it…Enjoy the pongal with Coconut Chutney.

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