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From Sabudana Laddoo to Avial: The best of Pongal recipes

On the second day of the Pongal festivities, we bring to you the best of Pongal delicacies.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
January 15, 2015 5:59:26 pm
rice-main Pongal rice

Pongal is a harvest festival and also marks the start of sun’s six-month long journey northwards. In Tamil, the word Pongal means “overflowing” which means abundance and prosperity. Though it’s a four-day festival, the second day is the main day of the celebrations and also co-incides with Makar Sankranti which is celebrated in most parts of India. On the second day of the Pongal festivities, we bring to you the best of Pongal delicacies.

Sabudana Laddoo

laddooIngredients

Sabudana-1 cup
Dessicated coconut-3/4 cup
Sugar-1/2 cup (or more if required)
Cashewnuts-10-15
Cardamom-5
Ghee-7 tbsps

METHOD
* Heat a pan, add sabudana and keep the flame low and stir it for at least 30 minutes
* After 25-30 minutes, the sabudana will change its color to light brown. Remove the sabudana from flame and cool it off. Add the cooled sabudana in a mixer and grind it to a smooth powder.
* Again heat the pan, add grated coconut and fry in low flame for 2-3 minutes. The coconut doesn’t need to become brown. Remove from flame.
* Powder sugar in a mixer
* Add the powdered sugar and powdered sabudana to the grated coconut and mix well
* Heat another pan, add 1 teaspoon of ghee and fry the broken cashews. Add the cashews to the ladoo mixture and mix well. Add rest of the ghee in the pan and heat it for a minute. Remove the ghee from flame and add it to the ladoo mixture and mix well with a spoon.
* When the mixture has cooled a little, take half fist-full of ladoo mixture and make small balls.
* Sabudana laddoo is ready to serve!

PONGAL RICE

rice-400Ingredients
Moong dal-3 tbsps
Raw Rice-1/2 cup
Palm Sugar (jaggery)-3/4 cup
Cardamom powder-1/4 tsp
Cashewnuts-5-6
Ghee-5 tbsps

METHOD
* Heat a pan and dry fry the moong dal till you get a nice aroma and the dal slightly changes colour. Rinse the rice twice or thrice, add it to the moong dal and pressure cook this till 4-5 whistles.
* Take palm sugar in a bowl. Add water to soak it and keep it on low flame and allow it to dissolve in water. The palm sugar is likely to have dust or sand particles in it, so it is a good idea to strain it after dissolving.
* Now, take the cooked rice with dal, mash it nicely and add it to a pan. Strain the palm sugar syrup once again and add it to this. Mix the rice well with the palm sugar syrup.
* Keep the flame low for 5 minutes. Add cardamom powder and mix well. Meanwhile, add a teaspoon of ghee in another pan and add broken cashews. Fry the cashews in ghee till they are slightly golden in color. Add these fried cashews to the cooked pongal and mix well. The ideal Palm Sugar Pongal Rice will be light in color.
* This is now ready to serve.

AVIAL

Avial recipe (Source: festivals.iloveindia.com) Avial recipe (Source: festivals.iloveindia.com)

Ingredients
3 cups mixed vegetables (unripe banana, baby brinjal, drumstick, white pumpkin, yam, carrot, snake gourd, ash gourd)
A pinch of turmeric
½ cup grated coconut
Three green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup thick curd
Salt to taste
For seasoning
Coconut oil
Curry leaves

Method
* Wash and cut all the vegetables lengthwise into two inch pieces.
* Boil in a large vessel until just tender with a pinch of turmeric, salt and little water. Do not overcook the vegetables.
* Grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds without any water.
* Add the coconut mixture to the vegetables, stirring gently so that the vegetables retain their shape
* Cook on medium heat till the gravy thickens.
* Now remove from heat and add the well-beaten curd
* Now heat some coconut oil in a pan, add curry leaves, do tadka and pour over the vegetables.

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