Pongal is a traditional harvest festival celebrated in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, marking the auspicious transition of the sun into the Capricorn zodiac sign. Typically observed in mid-January, Pongal spans over four days and is a time for expressing gratitude to the sun god, Surya, for a bountiful harvest. The festival is characterised by the preparation of a special dish called "Pongal," a savoury rice and lentil dish cooked in a pot until it overflows, symbolising abundance and prosperity. Families come together to celebrate with rituals, traditional attire, and vibrant decorations, creating a joyous atmosphere that reflects the agrarian roots and cultural richness of the region. As you celebrate Pongal 2024, we at LatestLY have curated a collection of traditional dishes that you can add to your menu for the festive day. From Sakkarai to Arachuvitta Sambar, 5 Appetising South Indian Delicacies That Will Add a Burst of Flavours to The Harvest Festival.

Pongal: The quintessential dish of the festival, Pongal is a savoury rice and lentil porridge cooked with black pepper, cumin, and ghee and garnished with cashews. The ritual of allowing it to boil over symbolizes prosperity and abundance.

Sweet Pongal (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Sakkarai Pongal: A sweet counterpart to the savoury Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal is a delectable dessert made with jaggery, rice, and lentils. It’s infused with cardamom and often garnished with cashews and raisins, creating a delightful treat.

Pongal (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Ven Pongal: Another variation of Pongal, Ven Pongal, is a simpler version without the addition of jaggery. It is seasoned with black pepper, cumin, and cashews, making it a delicious and comforting dish.

Ven Pongal (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Medhu Vadai: This crispy and savoury doughnut-shaped snack is made from urad dal (black gram) batter seasoned with spices and deep-fried to golden perfection. Medhu Vadai is a popular accompaniment during Pongal festivities.

Medhu Vadai (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Payasam: A traditional South Indian dessert, Payasam is a creamy and sweet dish made with milk, rice, and jaggery and flavoured with cardamom. Some variations include adding vermicelli or lentils, creating a delightful and indulgent sweet dish to conclude Pongal celebrations on a sweet note.

Chana Dal Payasam (Photo Credits: Flickr)

The culinary traditions of Pongal not only tantalize the taste buds but also serve as a cultural bridge, connecting generations through shared meals and cherished recipes.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 16, 2024 11:31 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).