Pongal is the most important festival of Hindu. It is celebrated in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu. It is a harvest festival celebrated to mark sun’s transition towards North, known as Uttarayan. It is celebrated in the 10th month of Tamil Calendar which is believed to bring prosperity and good luck. People wake up early in the morning and worship the Sun. They start their traditional Tamil rituals like cooking milk and rice in an earthen vessel. Tamilian families make ‘Kolams’ in their homes using colored powders. They are made to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, a symbol of happiness, prosperity, and wealth. Like any other festival, Pongal too is incomplete without its traditional delicacies. These recipes are dominated by flavours of curry leaves, tamarind, and kokum powder.
Here are 20 popular delicacies prepared during Pongal:
1. Ven Pongal
Don’t get confused by the word Pongal. In Tamil Nadu, Pongal means festival as well as a food item. Ven Pongal is a spicier version of Pongal. It is considered a healthy breakfast dish. It is made with broken rice, moong dal, ghee and pepper pods served with sambar or coconut chutney. It is also considered as one of the best Pongal dishes to prepare and also to consume.
2. Puran Poli
Puran Poli is a traditional sweet dish for Pongal. Also known as sweet flatbread, Puran Poli is prepared with coconut and Bengal gram dal with ghee. It is enjoyed in the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra, and other regions of West and South India.
3. Sweet Pongal
Sweet Pongal is the most important dish prepared in Pongal. It is made out of harvested rice and offered to the Sun God on the first day of Pongal festival. It is a tasty dish prepared using jaggery, ghee, and dry fruits.
4. Sooji Pongal
Pongal is usually prepared with rice but making with Sooji is a quick recipe. It is an alternative to rice. The method of making this dish is different to the conventional Ven Pongal. You need to cook the dal and then cook rawa with cooked dal. Garnish with pepper, cashews, cumin, and ghee.
5. Akkara Adisil
Akkara Adisil, also known as Akkaravadisal is an authentic Iyengar recipe. It is the main prasadam in Srirangam Temple. It is also served as a prasadam in temples which has a unique taste. The procedure to make this dish is similar to Sakarai Pongal, but what differentiates this dish is the variation in the richness of milk and ghee. The rice and dal are cooked in the milk and cooked again with sugar and jaggery. Garnish the dish with ghee when it is ready for serving.
No festival is complete without kheer. It is a tradition for Punjabis to prepare Kheer during festivals. Kheer has many variants throughout the country like payasam in Kerala and Payesh in West Bengal. No matter by which name it is called, the signature dish remains the same.
7. Til Barfi
Til Barfi is a famous dish prepared during Makar Sankranti. These sweets are prepared with sesame seeds called til, ghee, khoya, and sugar. They are delicious and healthy at the same time and also provide nutrition to the body.
8. Pongal Kootu
Pongal Kootu is basically a sambar including seven seasonal vegetables. Since Pongal is a festival of the harvest to show gratitude to the Mother Nature. Pongal Kootu includes natural vegetables harvested like broad beans, pumpkin, ash gourd, potato, raw banana, sweet potato, and lima beans.
9. Sakkarai Pongal
There are a number of Pongal dishes prepared during this festival. Each of which has a different flavor and taste. It is made of green gram, jaggery, and rice. You must try out this wholesome dessert.
Vadai is a hit among all the food lovers of South India. Though it served with sambhar or chutney. It is easy to prepare and delightful at the same time.
11. Paal Payasam
Payasam and festival of Pongal go hand in hand. The ingredients are easy to find, and the method is easier too.
Murruku is a part of Pongal feasts made with urad dal. It is a coiled shape along with crunchiness makes it a delicious winter snacks.
Unipayyam is sweet fritters made with banana, rice, coconut, and spices. They are snacks also served as a prasadam in many temples.
14. Mysore Pak
As the name suggests, they are a popular sweet from Mysore. They are made with just three ingredients-ghee, besan, and sugar. They melt in the mouth within the first bite and are also known to be first invented in the kitchens of Mysore Palace.
15. Ribbon Pakora
Ribbon Pakora is a delicious variation of Murukku. It is also known by other names like Ribbon Murukku, Nada Thenkuzhal, and Ola Pakoda. They are ribbon-shaped and fried until crisp. They are a tasty snack.
16. Rava Kesari
Rava Kesari is a popular South Indian sweet dish prepared from Semolina made during Pongal. Rava Kesari is also known as Sooji ka Halwa in North India. Other variations of Rava Kesari which are popular are Milk Kesari, Kesari Bhath, Fruit Kesari, and Pineapple Kesari.
17. Badam Halwa
Badam Halwa is another sweet recipe made during Pongal. It has a right sweetness and lovely texture. It gives a heavenly feeling when you take the first bite.
18. Til Gud ke Laddoo
Til Gud ke laddoos is a delicious dish made from sesame seeds and jaggery. It is considered a healthy sweet as it includes ingredients like sesame seeds, desiccated coconuts, and peanuts. It is a quick recipe as it is prepared in half an hour.
19. Wheat Flour Laddoo
20. Tamarind Rice
Tamarind Rice is made using rice, tamarind juice, and other spices. People have it for lunch or dinner which completes the meal. The taste is tangy and delicious.