Harvest festival ,,, Sankaranthi is celebrated nationwide in different forms and among the South Indians too there are some differences although pongal is the basic dish for the day. Even today there are households that follow the tradition in cooking pongal on firewood and in earthen pots bought for the occasion .
At home we use bronze pots coated with lime and rice flour (basic idea to prevent the vessel from soot when cooked on firewood) as per the tradition and cook on gas flame.
On festival day the rice is cooked in milk but can be done with less milk or no milk otherwise and the taste of course is distinct either way.
Raw rice 1 cup
Moong dal ¼ cup
Jaggery (powdered) 1½ cups
Milk 1 cup
Ghee ¼ cup or less
Cardamom 4 (powdered)
Mace 2 petals (crushed)
Nutmeg powder 1 pinch
Cashew pieces 1 tbsp (10pieces sliced)
Raisin 1 tbsp
Saffron 1 pinch
- Roast the dal and rice on slow fire until aroma is wafted.
- Wash the dal-rice mix in water, add milk and 2 cups water and pressure cook till done (4 to 5 whistles should do ..2 whistles in high flame and the rest in reduced flame)
- While the rice is getting cooked melt the jaggery in a wok in ½ cup water and as it starts boiling strain it through a tea strainer to remove dirt and keep it ready.
- Add a spoon of ghee in a wok and roast cashew and raisin and keep them ready. Soak the saffron a spoon of milk and keep ready
- In the same wok transfer the mashed rice and keeping a low flame stir in the molten jaggery syrup and stir till evenly done. Add the remaining ghee and mix well. Add cashew-raisin, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder, mace and mix well.Add the saffron filaments in milk and mix well.
- Serve hot