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Pongal – A Versatile Dish

shutterstock_207293968 As we are all know, Pongal Festival falls on January 14th, which is widely celebrated in South India. However, India is a huge country with diverse cultures and rich traditions. Besides Pongal, other cultures also celebrate this auspicious day with great pomp. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Bengal, Maharastra, Andra Pradesh and in some parts of India. In North India, Lohri is observed and Khichadi is served in homes. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, Uttarayan is celebrated and is well noted for its kite flying event that takes place on this day. Anyway, let's appreciate the diversity that these cultures bring. In Singapore, Thai Pongal / Pongal Thirunaal is celebrated to thank the Sun God for a good harvest. The main highlight of the Pongal festivities, Sakkarai Pongal, is cooked and placed as offering to God. A complete balanced dish with all the ingredients that constitute the food pyramid — cereal, pulses, sweet, dairy, nuts and fat. But, did you know there are different varieties of Pongal, which are simple to cook yet equally tasty? Add a twist to your Thai Pongal with these yummylicious variations: Paal Pongal milk-pongal Image source: http://www.great-secret-of-life.com/2013/02/milk-paal-pongal-rice.html Also known as Vellai Pongal, it is cooked with boiled rice and milk. No extra ingredients are added, however you can choose to add moong dhal and grated coconut to enhance the taste of your dish. Ven Pongal shutterstock_522574864 Also known as Kaara Pongal (Spicy Pongal), it is prepared from rice and yellow lentil/ moong dhal which is boiled over and cooked completely. The pepper and cumin seeds in ghee gives it the aroma and added taste. Yummy! Gothumai Pongal shutterstock_337307258 A healthier choice made from wheat flour. Rava Pongal rava-pongal Image Source: http://foodviva.com/breakfast-recipes/rava-pongal/ A tasty alternative to the traditional Ven Pongal, prepared with semolina. Perfect accompaniment with coconut chutney and sambhar. Puli Pongal tamarind-pongal A spicy and tangy version of the traditional Sweet Pongal, cooked with tamarind and boiled rice. Well, if you are sticking to the basics this year, try out this simple recipe (below) at home to prepare Sakkarai Pongal. How to prepare Sakkarai Pongal shutterstock_351319988 Ingredients
  • Raw Rice
  • Jaggery
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Ghee
  • Moong Dhal or Channa Dhal
  • Milk
Cooking Method: 
  1. In a pan, add ghee and once it its hot, add cashew nuts and fry until golden brown colour.
  2. Add raisins. Once raisins are fluffier, remove the mixture from pan.
  3. Soak rice for 15 minutes in a pot.
  4. Cook rice and fried moong dhal or channa dhal with 3 cups of water.
  5. Once it is cooked, add jaggery, milk and cardamon powder and let it cook for 6-10 minutes. Add the cashew nuts and raisins.
Delicious Sakkarai Pongal is ready. Enjoy this dish with your family and friends. PONGALO PONGAL!! PS: Save the hassle and travelling time to buy your items for Pongal. Shop for all essential items and more on dei.com.sg! The above items are now available as a package and delivered to your doorstep. Order here: http://bit.ly/PongalRiceSet

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