This year I decide that the celebration of Pongal/ Sankrant at my home would be in full South Indian fervor. I was not cutting coconut and jaggery into bits, so my Sankrant was the most breezy one. No tearful making of Tilgul ladoos this year. God knows for how many years I have avoided that on the pretext of non availability of Chikki cha gul! I don't get sticky jaggery here like we get in Mumbai during Sankrant. My Tilgul ladoos have always failed me. My Dad refuses to call me a sugran just because I fail in the crunchy Tilgul ladoo test year on year. Sometimes the ladoo don't bind. Other times they are too hard or chewy. Never the excellent khat khaTit.
Then celebrating the South Indian way is the best way to escape this stigma that my Dad bestows on me. All I do is pressure cook Dal and rice together and make two types of mush. Both turn out delicious specialties and I even get a pat on my back from My two elderly neighbor aunties, never mind if Dad is not impressed. He is atleast satisfied after the meal.
Well though making pongal is really easy peasy, may be putting down this recipe may help someone. So here you go...
1 cup basmati / sona masuri rice
1/2 cup moong dal (yellow split)
3/4 cup crystal sugar / Kal sakkare/ Khadi sakhar
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
10 roundels of dried figs or handful raisins
15 Almonds sliced
1 teaspoon of ghee for glaze
Wash Dal and rice thoroughly. Pressure cook it with thrice the amount of water. Allow 4 whistles. Let it cool.
Open the lid. In a large pot add ghee and heat. On melting add the cloves. Cut the fig roundels into bits. Fry them in the ghee follow in with the sliced almonds and crystal sugar. Add turmeric for color. Now transfer the cooked dal and rice mix. Add some water to make it possible to mash the pongal with the back of the ladle. It should be creamy yet should allow itself to be scooped up. Once all the sugar dissolves remove from heat. Add a teaspoon of ghee and mix. This imparts the aroma associated with satvic food that is the mark of a festival.
Enjoy it warm as we celebrate the end of winter.
Once again here is my lovely Thali that got me a pat on my back :D from my neighbor aunties.