‘Thai Prandhal Vazhi Pirakkum’ is a Tamil proverb which means when the Tamil month Thai dawns, there will be ways for new opportunities in life. Thai month also marks the beginning of Uttarayanam. People across India celebrate this occasion in various names. Pongal for Tamils, Sankranti for Telugu and Kannadigas, Vaisakhi for Punjabis, Uttrayana for Gujaratis, Kumbamela for North Indians, Bihu for Assamese and Makar Sankranti for Bengalis.
Pongal is a harvest festival. Tamil people across the world celebrate Pongal festival to express their gratitude to Sun, Agriculturists, and Cattle. The first day is celebrated as Thai Pongal and the second day is celebrated as Mattu Pongal/Patti Pongal.
Making Pongal is a common practice during this festival with the season’s newly harvested rice, fresh jaggery & coconut. For every Pongal festival, my mother buys two new pots. One for making the sweet pongal and another is for making milk pongal. The kitchen scene of the day begins in the early morning with applying Vibhuti, Kungumam, and Sandal to pots and stove. First, we boil milk in the pot. Once the milk overflows, the eldest person of the family adds the first padi (Tamil measurement, used for measuring grains) and it continues till the kids add rice.
Usually, pongal is prepared before the sunrise and offered to Sun God first along with arati, fruits and sugarcane. Then it is served to all the family members.
The milk pongal recipe by my mother is one of our all-time favourite recipe. We also called it Venpogal in Tamil. Here is the recipe and let’s celebrate Pongal together. Happy Pongal Everyone.
- Raw Rice - 400 gm
- Fresh Milk - 1000 ml
- Coconut - 100 gm
- Ghee - 04 tablespoons
- Salt - 01.5 tablespoons
- Water - As Required
- Wash the rice and soak it in water. Chop the coconut into small pieces and keep it aside.
- Boil milk and 200 ml water in a pot till it boils over. Drain the rice & salt and add it to the pot.
- Cook the rice till it becomes mushy. Keep stirring the pongal once it is cooked.
- Fry the chopped coconut pieces in ghee till it becomes mild brown and add it to the pongal with ghee.
- Stir it once and serve it hot with sambar.
You can add fried cashew nuts and raisins if you prefer. This pongal can be served with sambar or chutney of your preference. The same is followed for making sweet pongal by adding jaggery, cashew nuts, raisins, cardamom, and extra ghee.