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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).