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  5. Ven Pongal to Lemon Rice: 5 traditional recipes for Pongal

Ven Pongal to Lemon Rice: 5 traditional recipes for Pongal

Immerse yourself in the flavours of Pongal! Discover traditional recipes for Ven Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal and more. Experience the warmth and culture of South India through its festive cuisine.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: January 14, 2024 9:00 IST
Pongal recipes
Image Source : GOOGLE 5 traditional recipes for Pongal

Pongal, the harvest festival celebrated across South India, is a time for joy, gratitude, and of course, delicious food! In Tamil Nadu, the heart of the festivities, homes reverberate with the clinking of pots and the fragrant aroma of traditional Pongal dishes, each bite brimming with history and cultural significance. So, let's dive into the culinary tapestry of Pongal and explore some iconic recipes that have been passed down through generations.

Ven Pongal (Savoury Pongal): 

The quintessential Pongal offering, Ven Pongal tantalizes the taste buds with its simplicity and warmth. Moong dal and rice, cooked together with ghee, cumin, ginger, and curry leaves, create a creamy, comforting dish that embodies the harvest's bounty. Variations abound, with some adding cashews, raisins, or grated coconut for an extra layer of texture and flavour. Ven Pongal pairs beautifully with sambar, coconut chutney, and papads, making it a complete and satisfying meal.

Sakkarai Pongal (sweet pongal): 

For those with a sweet tooth, Sakkarai Pongal is a revelation. Rice and moong dal cooked with melted jaggery, cashews, raisins, and cardamom transform into a delectable pudding. The rich, caramelised notes of the jaggery harmonise with the subtle nuttiness of the cashews, creating a dessert that's both festive and elegant. This sweet Pongal is a staple offering at temples and a special treat enjoyed throughout the festival.

Pongal payasam:

Pongal Payasam is a creamy, heartwarming rice pudding that's sure to warm your soul. Rice simmered in milk with ghee, cashews, raisins, and cardamom creates a comforting base, while the addition of grated coconut and jaggery infuses it with a touch of sweetness and tropical flair. This payasam is often enjoyed as a finale to a Pongal feast, leaving a lasting impression of festivity and sweetness. 

Ellu kozhukattai: 

These bite-sized delights are another Pongal favourite. Steamed rice flour dumplings are filled with a sweet and nutty concoction of sesame seeds, jaggery, and coconut. The contrasting textures – the soft dough and the crunchy sesame filling – create a delightful textural symphony in every bite. Ellu Kozhukkattai are often offered as prasad in temples and enjoyed as a festive treat throughout the Pongal week.

Lemon rice: 

No Pongal feast is complete without a touch of citrusy delight! Lemon rice, known as Chitranna in Tamil, adds a refreshingly tangy contrast to the richer Pongal dishes. Basmati rice cooked with turmeric, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice creates a vibrant, flavorful dish that's perfect for a warm Pongal afternoon. 

ALSO READ: Chakunder Ki Galouti to Flaming Kukkad: 10 dishes you must try in Delhi-NCR during Lohri and Makar Sankranti


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