The harvest festival of Pongal is celebrated all across India- however it has different names in each region. In north it is celebrated as Lohri, some parts of India as Makar Sankranti. The day is marked by kite flying and enjoying delicacies such as Til Ladoos and Pongal.
Here in Hyderabad, Pongal is celebrated in a big way, the celebrations go on for four days. Making rangoli, wearing traditional dresses, preparing exquisite dishes, visit to temple, kite flying symbolize the festival.
Pongal is also the name of popular South Indian dish, which is cooked during this festival. There are two types of Pongal- one is the sweet Pongal and the other is the spicy Pongal. I made sweet Pongal and it turned out nice.
Raw Rice- 1 Cup
Moong Dal (Green Gram)- ¼ Cup
Ghee (Clarified butter) -2 Tablespoon
Elaichi (Cardamom) – 6 (powdered)
Cashew nuts- 7-8, fried in ghee
Jaggery- 2 Cups
Raisins/Kishmish – 8-10
Whole Milk- 3 Cups
Water- 1 Cup
Wash and dry roast the moong dal. Bring the milk and water to boil in a thick- bottomed pan. Add the rice and dal to the boiling milk. Let them cook on low flame as you stir continuously. (This can be pressure cooked too) Grind the cardamoms and break the jaggery into small pieces. Keep aside.
After about twenty minutes when the rice and dal are cooked, add the jaggery and stir continuously on low heat. After the jaggery dissolves, let the mixture cook for another 5-10 minutes. Now add the ghee and cardamom powder as well as the fried raisins and cashews. Stir well and serve hot.
Happy Pongal! Wishing that this festival brings good luck and prosperity to everyone.