Pongal Festival and Festivities in January

Pongal Festival and Festivities in January
  • Now heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter. Add fenugreek seeds, red chili, asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Now add the cooked vegetables, except the Ash Gourd and pumpkin. Add salt and the tamarind extract. Cook on medium heat till the tamarind is fully absorbed without the raw taste
  • Then- one by one add- the ground paste, cooked dal, cooked ash gourd and pumpkin. Add half a cup of water and cook well, so that they mix well for a couple of minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let the dish settle. It should not be too runny or thick. Ezhukari Kootu or Thalagam is ready.
  • Serve Thiruvadhirai Kali with Thalagam
  • So, the month of Margazhi, a year-end Tamil month has a lot to look forward to, especially if you are a Pongal fan like I am.

    A small clarification here: The dish Pongal, is different from the festival Pongal –(means “boiling over”), a harvest festival that the entire state celebratesMadras. On the day of Pongal, usually January 13 or 14, the farmers celebrate the harvest and thank the Sun God. In open fields, the farmers cook rice and lentils in an open earthen pot. And as the rice boils over, symbolically signifying prosperity and happiness, the farmer and his family shout – Pongalo Pongal (A celebratory phrase for the festival).  The day after Pongal is called “Maatu Pongal” – where the bull that helps in rearing the fields, is celebrated. The horns of the bulls are colourfully decorated, and they are treated to a feast. This is the farmers’ way of repaying the services of the bulls.

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