What is Pongal?
You may be wondering what on earth is Pongal?
Sounds a bit like a funny smell!
Well in Tamil Nadu where Chennai is (Kayden's home town), Pongal is a harvest festival. Pongal goes for 3-4 days around the 14th of January. In 2021 Pongal goes from Thursday the 14th of January til Sunday the 17th of January, so we decided to create a menu for Saturday the 16th showcasing Pongal. Click here to check out the menu.
Pongal is also the name of several dishes that are eaten at Pongal time. There is a savoury dish called Ven Pongal which is on the menu this week is made with rice, lentils (moong dhal), fresh ginger and other spices.. Pongal in the Tamil language means to boil. This dish is usually served with Sambar and coconut-based chutneys. There is also a sweet version of Pongal which contains jaggery (unrefined sugar).
Pongal is traditionally a Hindu festival and is dedicated to Surya the sun God. To mark the festival, the pongal sweet dish is prepared, first offered to the gods and goddesses (goddess Pongal), followed sometimes with an offering to cows, and then shared by the family. Some celebrations for the Pongal festival include decorating cows and their horns, ritual bathing and processions.=It is traditionally an occasion for decorating rice-powder based kolan artworks, offering prayers in the home, temples, getting together with family and friends, and exchanging gifts to renew social bonds of solidarity.
And of course sharing all the versions of Pongal along with Sambar, Idli's, Coconut Chutney and Lemon Rice. Have we tempted you?