Pongal Festival and Festivities in January

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
  1. Heat the plain rice in a kadhai or a wok. Roast it on low flame till golden brown in colour.
  2. Now grind this rice coarse, about the consistency of rava or sooji or semolina. Keep it aside.
  3. In another kadhai, melt the jaggery with a little water. Once completely melted, filter the jaggery water for impurities.
  4. Now bring the jaggery water to a boil in another kadhai
  5. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and add the grated coconut slowly while mixing continuously
  6. 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.
  7. Add the ghee and turn the heat to low and let it cook for a few seconds till it thickens
  8. Now pressure cook this in a separate vessel, in a cooker for three whistles.
  9. 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
  10. Thiruvadharai Kali is now ready. It is best served with the Thalagam or Ezhukari (Seven Vegetables) Kootu


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
  1. 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
  2. Extract the tamarind pulp after soaking it in water for twenty minutes.
  3. 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
  4. Take this off the heat and let cool
  5. Once cool, grind this mix to a fine paste after adding a little water
  6. 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.

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