Happy Pongal 2020: Five Traditional Dishes Served on the Festival
Just like Makar Sankranti and Lohri, Pongal is also a harvest festival, which is celebrated with enthusiasm in southern India, particularly in Tamil Nadu.
Representative Image: Devotees prepare rice dishes to offer to the Sun God as they attend Pongal celebrations early morning on 4th January 2017. (File image: Reuters)
Just like Makar Sankranti and Lohri, Pongal is also a harvest festival, which is celebrated with enthusiasm in southern India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. Thai Pongal, the four day festival, also marks the starting of six month Uttarayan period, during which sun’s transition is towards north. It is known as Thai Pongal as it is celebrated in the tenth month of Tamil calendar. This year, Pongal is falling on January 15.
Pongal is observed to thank God and the sun for a good harvest. People, on the first day of Pongal, offer prayer to God Indra and prepare traditional dishes, mostly made up of rice, milk and jaggery. The second day is dedicated to the sun. On the third day, people decorate their cattle and offer prayers and the day ends with Jallikattu, an event in which bulls are unleashed into the crowd of people. People, on the fourth day, organise a get-together and exchange sweets and gifts.
However, just like any other Indian festival, Pongal is also famous for its dishes having south Indian flavour.
Payasam is a kind of pudding, which is prepared using rice, milk and jaggery. Some dry fruits are added to get more flavours. It is cooked by putting rice and sugar in boiling milk.
One of the must-try dishes on the festival, Sakkarai Pongal is a sweet dish cooked using jaggery, rice and moong dal, ghee, sugar, cardamoms and nuts. It is offered to God Indra as part of the tradition.
Not only savoured on the occasion of Pongal, but Medu Veda is also a popular snack, usually, taken in breakfast or as an evening snack. It is enjoyed with Sambhar and coconut chutney.
One of the most popular south Indian dishes, Idli or rice cake is also generally served in breakfast. It is also savoured with Sambhar and coconut chutney. It is prepared by steaming a batter consisting of fermented rice and black lentils.
Khara Pongal is also a popular breakfast in south India. It is cooking mainly using moong dal and rice, ghee, cashew nuts, raisins and mild spices. It is also served with Sambhar and coconut chutney. It can be prepared in two flavours – sweet and spicy.
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