In Hindu temples bells, drums, clarinets and conch shells herald the joyous occasion of Pongal. To symbolize a bountiful harvest, rice is cooked in new pots until they boil over. Some of the rituals performed in the temple include the preparation of rice, the chanting of prayers and the offering of vegetables, sugar cane and spices to the gods. Devotees then consume the offerings to exonerate themselves of past sins.
Pongal signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine. Farmers also perform puja to some crops, signaling the end of the traditional farming season. It also sets the pace for a series of festivals to follow in a calendar year. In fact, four festivals are celebrated in Tamil Nadu for four consecutive days in that week. 'Bogi' is celebrated on January 13, 'Pongal' on Jan 14, 'Maattuppongal'on Jan 15, and 'Thiruvalluvar Day' on Jan 16.
The festival is celebrated for four days. On, the first day, Bhogi, the old clothes and materials are thrown away and fired, marking the beginning of a new life. The second day, the Pongal day, is celebrated by boiling fresh milk early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessel - a tradition that is the literal translation for Pongal. People also prepare savories and sweets, visit each other's homes, and exchange greetings. The third day, Mattu Pongal, is meant to offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, as they are used to plough the lands. On the last day, Kanum Pongal, people go out to picnic.
A festival called Jalli kattu is held in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur,all in Tamil Nadu, on this day. Bundles of money are tied to the horns of ferocious bulls which the villagers try to retrieve. Everyone joins in the community meal, at which the food is made of the freshly harvested grain. This day is named and celebrated as Tamilar Tirunal through out Tamil Nadu.
Surya PongalThe second day of Pongal known as 'Surya Pongal' is dedicated to the Sun God. The granaries are kept full on this day and Sun God with his rays are
The third day known as 'Mattu Pongal' is dedicated to the cattle as cowherds and shepherds pay thanks to their cows and bulls, paint their horns and cover them with shining metal caps.
The fourth day is termed as Kaanum Pongal. On this day, people travel to see other family members. On this day, the younger members of the family pay homage to the elders, and the
more easy way to explain).
4 red chilles and a tspoon
ground coconut, off the
- 2 cup Jeeraka samba/basmati/raw rice
- 1/2 cup Moong Dal
- 4 tsp Ghee
- 1 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 10-12 pieces Cashew Nuts (roasted or fried)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Pepper
- Clean and wash thoroughly the rice and dal. Boil them together in 5 cups of water in a deep pan. When cooked, keep them aside.
- In a separate shallow pan, heat the ghee and stir fry cumin seeds and cashew nuts slightly and separately.
- Add it to the rice and dal. Add salt and pepper and serve hot.
Pongal is one of the very famous and much-awaited harvest festivals celebrated in South India. To celebrate the festivity of Pongal, traditional recipes are prepared in every household. Sarkkarai Pongal is one of the special dishes for the occasion. It is prepared in an earthen pot, on the second day of Pongal. Sarkkarai Pongal is a very simple and easy-to-make dish, which gives a mouth
- 2 cup Basmati Rice
- 1/4 liter Milk
- 1½ cup moong Dal
- 1 cup Jaggery
- 12-15 pieces Roasted Cashew Nuts or Fried Raisins
- 12-15 pieces Almonds
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom (dried and grounded)
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 1 pinch Edible Camphor
- In a deep pan, boil the milk. Add rice and dal and turn it on low flame after Cleaning and washing them thoroughly.
- Stir in the Jaggery until it dissolves. When the rice and dal are cooked, add raisins and nuts, grounded cardamom and edible camphor keep while stirring continuously.
- Pour ghee before taking off the fire. Serve it hot or cold as desired.
Pongal, a harvest festival with major significance South India, is celebrated by preparing a wide
- 2 litres Milk
- 10 Almonds
- 1½ cups Newly Harvested Rice
- 1/4 cup Moong dal
- 15 Cashew Nuts
- 1½ cup Hard sugar candy(Kalkand)
- 30 Kishmish
- 1/4 level-tsp Nutmeg Powder
- 1/4 tsp Saffron Crushed
- 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- Chop almonds and cashew nuts and clean kishmish. Pour milk in the earthen pot called `Pongapani` and place it on fire.
- When the milk starts boiling add rice and dal, after washing. As soon as the rice and dal are cooked to softness, add Sugar candy and ghee.
- Let cook on medium fire for some time and then put in almond and cashew nut bits, saffron nutrieg and cardamom powders.
- Finally put in the Kishmis. Bring to one or two good boils
- 2 cups Broken Raw Rice
- Tamarind - small lemon size (soaked in water)
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Chana Dal
- Dry Red Chilies (according to taste)
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/4 cup Sesame Oil
- A sprig of Curry Leaves
- Salt to taste
- Keep the measured tamarind juice. For every cup of broken rice add 2 1/4 cups of tamarind juice.
- Heat oil in a pressure pan. Now add mustard seeds and when it splutters add the Chana dal.
- When the Chana dal is lightly brown, add turmeric powder, asafoetida, dry red chilies and curry leaves.
- Then add the tamarind juice. When it begins to boil, add the broken rice and the required amount of salt.
Thus, the harvest festival of Pongal symbolizes the veneration of the first fruit. The crop is harvested only after a certain time of the year, and cutting the crop before that time is strictly prohibited. Even though Pongal was originally a festival for the farming community, today it is celebrated by all. In south India, all three days of Pongal are considered important. However, those south Indians who have settled in the north usually celebrate only the second day. Coinciding with Makara Sankranti and Lohri of the north, it is also calledPongal Sankranti.