Pongal / Sankranthi Special

The festival of harvest and joy, called Pongal in Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh, Sankranti in Karnataka and Maharashtra, Sankrant in Gujarat, Sakarat in Madhya Pradesh, Lohiri in Punjab that marks the departure of winter, Khichiri in Uttar Pradesh and Bihu in Assam is celebrated in mid-January. In Kerala, it marks the end of the Anushtahan for Lord Ayyappa devotees. It is the time when uttarayan sets in implying the beginning of sun's journey towards north.

In Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka the festival is devoted to the sun god and a special neivedyam “Sakkarai Pongal” is offered to the god. It is spread over three days and houses are cleaned and decorated with colourful rangolis.
For rangoli designs, check here

In Tamilnadu, the festival is spread over three days known as Bogi, Surya Pongal and Kannu pongal. A bon fire is lit on the first day to chase away all evils from the house. On the day of Surya Pongal, the “PongaPanai” is decorated with turmeric, ginger, sugarcane, banana and coconut. Milk is boiled in it and when it is on the verge of spilling everyone celebrate it by chanting “Pongal o pongal”. Then sakkarai pongal is prepared in that pot and offered to the sun god. On the third day, various mixed rice varieties are prepared and special prayers done for long life of brothers. Jallikaatu is a popular bull festival in rural areas of Tamilnadu where money is tied to horn of bulls and the villagers try to catch hold the bull and thus the money.

Check out the recipes to make

Sakkarai Pongal

Ven Pongal

Ullundu Vadai

Medhu Vadai

Mixed Rice varieties

Lemon Rice

In Karnataka, a special mix of roasted groundnuts, roasted dal, jaggery pieces, fried sesame seeds, dry coconut pieces is made and distributed among friends and relatives. Also sweet pongal is prepared. Everyone is greeted with the words “Ellu bella thindu, olle maathadu”(thanks Asha for the correction) implying eat these sesame seeds with jaggery and speak nice words.

Here is the picture of that mixture with the recipe

Ingredients (Translation)

Roasted dal
Dry coconut cut into small cubes
Jaggery cut into small cubes
White sesame seeds

Roast the groundnuts and remove the skin. Roast the white sesame seeds till it starts changing colour. Mix all of them.

In Maharashtra, sesame seeds ladoos are prepared with sugar as well as jaggery and distributed among friends. Everyone greets each other with the words ‘til-gul ghya, goad goad bola” implying have these til ladoos and speak sweet words.

Ingredients for til ladoos (Translation)

1 cup white sesame seeds
½ cup jaggery
Little grated dry coconut
Some roasted groundnuts
½ tsp cardamom powder

Roast sesame seeds for some time till colour starts changing. Remove skin of the roasted groundnuts and break them into smaller pieces.

Heat jaggery with little water. When jaggery melts and you get a sticky consistency, switch off the gas and add the other ingredients and mix well. Grease hands with a bit ghee and make small balls of the mixture.

Kite flying is a part of Sankranti in Gujarat and the skies are full of kites of various shapes, colours and sizes during this period. All families gather in the terrace and fly kites, competing with each other. Kites with lights in the night are a must see view. Chikkis rule at this time of the year. Chikkis made of jaggery and sesame seeds or groundnut or dryfruits are made for the occasion.

Check out the sugar version of dry fruits chikki here

To make chikkis with jaggery, check out the version of Nupur from One Hot Stove blog.

In Punjab, a bonfire is lit on eve of Sankrant and all friends, relatives come together to dance and enjoy the festival. They offer til, peanuts and beaten rice sweets and puffed rice to the bonfire.

Uttar Pradesh celebrates the festival by taking a ritual bath and donating khichiri which is made of rice and lentils.

In Kerala, the makara jyoti or celestial light is visible on the Sabari mala hill shrine on this day and is considered to be very auspicious.

Happy Sankranti in advance to all.

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Anonymous said...

Amazing post on Sankranthi/ Pongal. Til ladoo is my favourite. however I have not seen this being made in south india during sankranthi.

Jayashree said...

What a spread for Sankranti. Happy Sankranti to you too.

sunita said...

What a lovely spread...we call this festival 'magh bihu'.

Susantha said...

I have heard about Pongel.. But never known that different kind of Pongles there.. nice blogging..!
Keep it up!

Kamini said...

getting ready for Sankranti too. Nice spread....

Padmaja said...

Pongal recipes already!! Wow they all look so delicious!!

Finla said...

Informative post. And wonderful spread

FH said...

Great post EC, so many goodies to try. Beautiful looking post!:)

Loved the Kannada saying. A correction, I know you are not a Kannadiga!:)

"Ellu Bella Thindu, olle Maathadu"

"Eat sesame seeds and jaggery and speak sweetly"

When is Shankranthi? I didn't even know, got to check now!! Ahh..!!:D

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

Lovely post!!! Sankranti wishes in advance to you!!! The dishes look gr8!

Pravs said...

i am just drooling seeing all the dishes. Nice spread.

Rajitha said...

not sure if my earlier comment went thru..all i wanted to say was yummy!

Seema said...

A great post & awesome spread.. So many dishes!! Wow!! Very nice. Appreciate the efforts behind this. Happy Sankranthi to u too.

DEEPA said...

Excellent Spread ...Happy Sankrathi to you and to your family

DK said...

whoa! that was a complete recipe stack for the festival! Happy advance Pongal to you too ec

EC said...

thanks all of you for your comments

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Simple Indian food blog (author- EC) is the legal copyright holder of the material and pictures in this blog and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without the written consent of the author. All the measures used in the recipes are approximate. Please adjust the spices as per your taste. For any queries, please email us at easycrafts@gmail.com