Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pongalo Pongal - A Thai Thirunal Celebration!

Decoration: Used miniature pots designed by me to represent traditional Pongal festival

Thai Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festival of South India, mainly Tamil Nadu. Pongal falls in the mid-January every year. Pongal festival lasts for four days. Celebrations include drawing of Kolam, Cleaning and painting the house, cooking of delicious Pongal and so on.

The first day is celebrated as 'Bhogi pongal'. On Bhogi all people clean out their homes from top to bottom, and collect all unwanted goods and burn them. Kids dance around the bonfire.

The second day of Pongal is known as 'Surya Pongal' and is dedicated to the Sun God. It is the day on which the celebration actually begins and is also the first day of the Tamil month Thai. On this day the new rice is collected and cooked in mud pots until they over flow. It is this overflowing which means Pongal. This overflowing of rice is a joyous occasion, and the children and adults as well will shout out 'Pongal-o-Pongal!'.

The third day of Pongal is dedicated to cattle and is called Mattu Pongal. People offer prayers to the bulls, cows and other farm animals.

The fourth day of the three-day Pongal celebrations is called Kaanum Pongal. In few places this day is also known as Karinaal or Thiruvalluvar Day. On this day, people travel to see other family members and the younger members of the family pay homage to the elders, and the elders thank them by giving token money. Another thing many do is leave food out on banana leaves for birds to take.

Find more info abt pongal here.

I just clicked few pics to show the ethnicity in the city ;)

Earthen pots, colored pots and fresh turmeric decorate the market :)

Sugarcanes are also consumed on the day of pongal. They are the excitement factor for kids :)

At home mom, dad and myself made two varieties of Pongal. :) Paal pongal and Chakkara Pongal.

Mom and dad making Pongal.

Chakkara Pongal



New rice - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 1/2 cup
Milk - 7 cups
Cardamom - 2
Cashews - few
Raisins - few
Ghee - 3 tblsp



Wash and soak rice in water for ten min.

Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and let it boil. When it raises shout "Pongalo Pongal" ;) and add the rice to it stirring continuously.

Keep stirring continuously till it thickens and the rice gets cooked. Now add the jaggery and mix well till it dissolves. Finally add ghee, cardamom powder, fried cashew and raisins.

Richy rich Chakkara pongal is ready to eat. :)

Paal pongal



New rice - 1 cup
Milk - 7 cups
Salt - for taste


Wash and soak rice in water for ten min.

Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and let it boil. When it raises shout "Pongalo Pongal" ;) and add the rice to it stirring continuously.

Keep stirring continuously till it thickens and the rice gets cooked. Now add salt and mix well.

Paal pongal is ready.

Serve this with mixed vegetable sambhar also know as pongal kolambu. Will post the recipe soon. :)

You can add curd and seasoning to it and make yummy Bahalabath too :)

My pongal kolam. This my first try with colors. :)

Wish you all a very Happy Pongal :)

Written by: Nithya
post your queries to


Unknown said...

Lovely pics Nits! Happy pongal to u 2!

Simplyfood said...

I love your traditional presentation and learning about the pongal festival.Recipes are good too never tried savory rice pudding.

Saraswathy Balakrishnan said...

Superb happy pongal Nithi

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Happy pongal to you and your family. Cute pots and awesome clicks.

Tina said...

Wow what a perfect presentation and clicks dear...Sooooo cute and beautiful pots...

Rachana said...

Dear Nithya,
Awesome Post, Lovely presentation and Great Clicks, I especially like the photo in which your mom n dad are making the pongal...Lovely Snap!
Happy Pongal to you and your family!

Renuka Bedre - Rao said...

Wooow!! what a lovely pics dear!! Happy pongal to u n ur family :) absolutely loved reading about Pongal festival!!

vidhas said...

HAPPY PONGAL, Awesome Pictures. Decorations are so beautiful!!

kitchen queen said...

lovely pictures and a perfect detail about pongal festival.

Shri said...

Nithya...Those pics are lovely, esp your mom and dad cooking:)Very sweet!And the presentation is just awesome!

Sailaja Damodaran said...

so cute....Your celebration are always inviting.Nice presentation.....

Vrinda said...

Nice photos Happy pongal to u and family....

Gita Jaishankar said...

Happy pongal I love all your Pongal photos...lovely and wonderful :0

Dolly Sharma said...

NIthya, Wishing you and your family happy Pongal. LOved ur awesome Clicks and thanks for sharing pics of ur family..Loved both the Chakkara and paal pongal. LOved ur write-up as well and ur Kolam(Rangoli)..I can go on and always a pleasure to visit ur blog.

Priya Suresh said...

Happy pongal wishes to u & ur family Nithya, missing all those sugarcanes and pots..

Beautiful virtual treats..

Valarmathi Sanjeev said...

Happy Pongal to and your family. Beautiful clicks.

Unknown said...

Happy Pongal to you, lovely presentation and post.

Ambika said...

Hey Nithya, Happy Pongal!!! The photos are awesome. You made me miss home even more :(...I'm especially missing eating sugarcane :D, it used to be a tradition at our place, after the puja in the morning and a hearty lunch, all of us used to settle in the garden with half a sugarcane each, hehe..and relax! Ah, good times :)

SE said...

Happy Pongal !!! Those tiny little earthern pots took me to the childhood when we used to play and really in those !! Awesome Pictures !

Rekha shoban said...

Happy pongal....Wonderful and perfecttttt presentation dear!!!

Parita said...

Wish you and your family a very happy pongal buddy! What a lovely post and pictures are gorgeous!

Perspectivemedley said...

Nithya.. the pots are soooo cute!! :), very very nice!, happy pongal :)

Anu Nandu said...

Wonderful Nithya - I love these detailed posts you do for our festivals! You take some of us down a road of nostalgia and its such a pleasurable ride! Thanks for that!

Happy Pongal to you and your family!

Anuradha said...

Happy pongal nithya! Lovely decoration. The tiny pot looks amazing. The sugar cane pic is also a different idea. Whats up for maatu pongal??

Raks said...

Wow,wonderful pictures,I am too tempted by your presentation,I could not think like you for such a wondeful presentation! Happy pongal!

By the way I put your prize winning kolam yesterday I will share the picture in Orkut..

chef and her kitchen said...

Loved those pics dear..looks so ncie n well captured..

Saraswathi Iyer said...

Happy Pongal. Beautiful pictures.

Anu said...

Happy Pongal.. Lovely pics... Nice presentation...

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Hi dear I have an award waiting for u in my blog. You can collect it.

Kanchan said...

Loved all the snaps... hats off to you dear , you are soo creative in every sense !!
Loved the post ! happy pongal to you :)

Siddhi Shirsat said...

hey happy pongal 2 u 2 nithya...nice info abt pongal...beautifully explained wid pics...nice clicks...n the painted pots luks superb...well dne

Anonymous said...

Pongalo Pongal :D

Pongal pongi vitatha?

Photos look amazing, esp karumbu..and that kutti panai..

Thanks for visiting ruchikacooks. I am also gonna keep visiting here, lovely space you've got.

Uma said...

Wow, awesome pictures. So authentic dishes. Happy Pongal!!

Jagruti said...

Hi Nithya

you have a beautiful space here..graet pics....

first time here


PJ said...

very nice post on Pongal. Happy pongal to you and your family! Lovely pictures and great recipes.

Bergamot said...

First time here... you have a cool site. You have really brought out the essence of the festival. Lovely pics.

Vani said...

Lovely pics, Nithya! Loved your rangoli too.

Rohini said...

Your tit-bits on the pongal occasion made me real nostalgic.. Loved the clicks of pots, sugarcane and turmeric bunch...! Lovely write-up n beautiful clicks as always dear :)

Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen said...

Wonderful Clicks Nithya!!!!!

Veena said...

this is wonderful... thanks for sharing pongal :)

Krish said...

Good post, nice pics. Have shared your post on FB :)

Sailaja Damodaran said...

check this out

Sugee said...

nice photographs...

mehak kashish said...

wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards, chakkara pongal recipe

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