Pongal (or Thai Pongal) is celebrated as the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. Pongal is enthusiastically celebrated by farmers with their farm produce harvested this season. The word Pongal in Tamil means ‘to boil over’. Here are the recipes that are traditionally prepared during this festival.

Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal): Cooking Time : 30 minutes.


  • Raw rice    – 1cup  (175 grams.)
  • Green gram dhal – 50 grams
  • Brown (unrefined) sugar       – 300 grams
  • Milk                   – 1 cup
  • Ghee  (Clarified Butter) – 2 table spoons
  • Cardamom           – 4 nos
  • Cashew and raisin – 20 grams
  • Grated Coconut – ½ cup

Cook the rice and dhal together adding 3cups of water and one cup of milk in a cooker, and mash it well. In a heavy-bottomed vessel add ¼ cup water and the brown sugar and keep it on a low flame. When the brown sugar melts completely, strain and remove any impurities etc. Add the mashed rice and dhal mixture to the brown sugar syrup stirring slowly. Then add grated coconut and crushed cardamom. Heat another vessel with ghee. Fry the cashew first and then add the raisin. Add this fried cashew, raisin and rest of the ghee to the above mixture.

Tips: Brown sugar and ghee can be either increased or reduced as required.

Ven Pongal (Also a breakfast item):         Cooking Time : 30 minutes


  • Raw rice (1cup) – 175 grams
  • Green gram dhal – 75 grams
  • Ginger                 – 1/4 inch piece
  • Cumin seed (jeera) – ½ teaspoon
  • Black pepper          – ½ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves          – 1 sprig
  • Ghee                       – 2 tablespoons
  • Cashew                  – 10 grams

Add three cups of water and cook rice and dhal together till done, adding ½ teaspoon salt. Pour ghee in a pan and add finely chopped ginger and then the cumin seeds, pepper and curry leaves with cashew nuts. Then add the mashed rice, dhal mixture to this and stir for a few minutes on a low flame. Enjoy your delicious Pongal!

Pongal 2
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