Pongal is prepared in new big earthen pots called 'Pongal Panai' in the open and allowed to boil over signifying prosperity and bountifulness of crops. Sweet rice is cooked in a new earthenware pot in the same place where the puja is to be performed. Fresh turmeric is tied round the pot.
Later the family sits down to a ritual meal. The ingredients of this preparation have some symbolic meaning attached to each. Rice and milk are signs of prosperity, sugarcane for happiness, while turmeric augurs the good things to come.
Ingredients (Serves 5)
Cook moong dal and cleaned rice, till half done.
Drain the excess water and keep them aside. Now, dissolve jaggery in water and heat it separately.Pour the jaggery to cooked mixture.
Roast cashew nuts, raisins, and grated coconut in ghee. Add this to the mixture and stir well. Also, add some extra ghee while serving.
Fry cashew nuts and raisins in ghee and keep aside. In a cooking pan, heat 100 ml of water and the grated or broken jaggery.
Allow the jaggery to melt and form thick syrup and be mixed with the water properly. Add the rice, moong dal and grated coconut into the syrup and stir well to mix them up.
Add honey, raisins and roasted cashew nuts and the remaining ghee. Cook the entire content for 10 minutes. Remove from flame and sprinkle powdered cardamom. Serve hot.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
Fry cashew nuts and raisin in ghee until golden brown. Then fry the vermicelli in a pan till it changes color. Boil the milk and separate the cream from it.
Now add little water, sugar and cook the semiya in it. After a while add cardamom and few drops of vanilla essence in the mixture.
Keep on stirring the mixture to prevent the formation of lumps. Garnish the preparation with cashew nuts and raisins.
Boil milk in a bowl and add the vermicelli to it while stirring well. Cook for about 10-15 minutes over a medium flame. Add sugar and stir well to mix the sugar with the content.
Continue it until the sugar gets dissolved completely. Add cardamom and fried cashew nuts to it. Add the few drops of vanilla essence for an added flavor.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
Boil milk in a pan. Add the Aval or rice flakes into the boiling milk. Stir constantly until the quantity reduces to one-half.
Add sugar and the powdered cardamom into the consistency and stir well. Add the cashew nuts (preferably roasted) and the raisins and serve it hot.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
Cook moong dal and gram dal in plain water in a pressure cooker.
Mix jaggery in a little water and bring to boil. Add the cooked dal mixture and let it cook for a while so that the entire ingredients mix well. Then take it out from flame and add cardamom powder.
Garnish the cooked dal payasam with cashew nuts (preferably roasted in ghee) and serve hot or cold.
Ingredients (Serves as snack)
Wash and clean the rice. Allow it to dry. When it gets dried completely, grind to make it powdery.
Fry the gram. Grind it in the same way and keep it aside.
Mix the powdered rice, powdered gram, white sesame seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida powder, butter and salt together. Take a little of this mixture and add water to make a dough-like consistency.
Now twist and roll this dough to make Jalebi-like circular shapes of the Murukku (chakkli). Heat the oil in a pan.
Test how hot it is by dropping a pinch of dough into it. If the drop springs to the top with bubbles all around it, then the oil is just ready to fry the Murukku. Deep-fry the Murukku gently into the hot oil and fry golden brown.
Take out from the pan when it is done and drain it in a newspaper to discard the excess oil in it. When it becomes a little cold but still crisp, store them in an airtight container and savour it with hot tea or coffee.