Pongal Festival and Festivities in January
- 1 cup Raw Rice
- 1.5 cup Roughly powdered jaggery
- ¼ cup Grated Coconut
- ¼ cup Ghee or Clarified Butter
- 5-6 pieces Cashewnuts
- ¼ tsp Cardamom Powder
- 2 tsp Cooking Oil
- A pinch of asafetida
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- Handful of curry leaves and coriander leaves
- Heat the plain rice in a kadhai or a wok. Roast it on low flame till golden brown in colour.
- Now grind this rice coarse, about the consistency of rava or sooji or semolina. Keep it aside.
- In another kadhai, melt the jaggery with a little water. Once completely melted, filter the jaggery water for impurities.
- Now bring the jaggery water to a boil in another kadhai
- Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and add the grated coconut slowly while mixing continuously
- Turn up the heat again. Now add the rice/rava you had ground at the beginning to this mixture, while stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
- Add the ghee and turn the heat to low and let it cook for a few seconds till it thickens
- Now pressure cook this in a separate vessel, in a cooker for three whistles.
- Once taken out of the pressure cooker, heat ghee in a pan, add cashewnuts and cardamom powder. Add this to the rice dish while the rice is hot
- Thiruvadharai Kali is now ready. It is best served with the Thalagam or Ezhukari (Seven Vegetables) Kootu
THALAGAM OR EZHUKARI KOOTU (SEVEN VEGGIES STEW)
Thalagam is a coconut-laced vegetable stew that is usually accompanied with the Thiruvadharai Kali, that is an offering for Lord Vishnu in the festive Tamil month of Margazhi
- 1 Diced Carrot
- 4-5 Broad Beans / Sem / Avarakkai
- 100 gms Cubed Pumpkin
- 100 gms Diced Chayote a.k.a Chow Chow or Bangalore Brinjal
- 10-12 Cluster Beans
- 100 gms Chopped Ash Gourd
- 2-3 Small Brinjal / Aubergine
- 1 Diced Potato (Medium)
- ¼ Cup Field Beans / Flat Beans (Mochai in Tamil)
Spices. Lentils and Garnishing
- 2 tbsp Arhar Dal or Pigeon Pea
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder or Haldi
- 2 tbsp Tamarind Extract
- 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 tsp Chana Dal or Bengal Gram
- 2 tbsp Raw Rice
- 2 Whole Red Chilies
- 1 Small Cup Grated Coconut
- Cooking OIl
- In a pressure cooker, add the dal and the turmeric. Give it three whistles or until cooked real soft. Also pressure cook the Field Beans with a bit of salt and water
- Extract the tamarind pulp after soaking it in water for twenty minutes.
- Now, in a kadhai, heat cooking oil. Add the coriander seeds, Chana Dal, raw rice and red chilies. Fry till the dal turns golden brown. Add the coconut and saute for a few minutes
- Take this off the heat and let cool
- Once cool, grind this mix to a fine paste after adding a little water
- Now for the vegetables, cook both pumpkin and ash gourd separately in a little water until soft. In another pan, cook all the other vegetables with a bit of salt and water, till they turn soft but not mushy.