Introduction: Pongal - Traditional Outdoor Cooking
Pongal is a festival celebrated in Tamil nadu, South of india on jan 14 or 15 to thank Sun God to provide the energy for agriculture. In the early morning farmers prepare pongal with new rice out side their home and pray the sun god. Not only on pongal day, Pongal is also prepare for many occasions like village festivals, Family deities functions. On that days Pongal prepared and offer to that particular gods or deities and distribute to all the friends and relatives.
During Pongal festival and village festival people gather in one place and prepare pongal there.
For any village deities function Pongal is the first food offer to god.
Pongal is very sweet and very healthy too.
Step 1: Items Needed
Quantity for our home pongal pot. As per tradition pongal must be in full pot.
1) Raw white Rice - 1.75 Kgs
2) Jaggery (for brown pongal or sakkarai pongal) or Kalkandu (sugar candy) (for White pongal or kalkandu pongal) - 3Kgs
3) Dessicated coconut - 2Nos of full medium size coconut
4) Cashewnuts - 100 grams
5) Raisins - 50 grams
6) Cardamom pods - 10 grams (break it, We use stone ammi to break it powder)
7) Ghee - 250 grams
8) Dry ginger - small piece (make it to powder, We use stone ammi to make it powder)
Step 2: Setting Up the Pot
Here i tell u the traditional way to prepare Pongal. In traditional pongal is done in two types of part Clay pot and Brass pot. On pongal festival all the farmers prepare pongal in new clay pot with new rice in villages. But in town and city side mostly use brass pot. Brass pot used to prepare pongal is very heavy. In tamilnadu south of india, for newly married couples brass Pongal pot is given by their parents during their first pongal festival.
Prepare the pot
1) Take Three square stones and put it as triangle to make a fire place or viragu aduppu is used to fire.
2) Clean the Brass pongal pot and place it over the cooking place.
3) Put the rice in a Separate vessel and pour water and clean it lightly to remove the dust and rinse the water.
4) Again pour water with rice and now mix well the water and rice and the water turn some color of the rice. Now rinse that water to the Pongal pot. Do it again and again up to the water above the neck and below the top of the pot.
5) With that water level correct the pot to see make it straight.
Step 3: Start Up Preparation
1) Paruthi (Dry cotton plant stems) used for it because it got quick fire add some fire woods with that.
2) Its takes long time first because the brass is very heavy. Put more and more fire.
3) Foaming form on the top of the vessel due to rice water added in the pot. Add fire up to the foam come up and drop on the sides of the pot. According to the direction of the foaming drop on the pot it is told by elders how god accept out offerings (Facing the east side is very good).
4) Now remove the excess water from the pot according to the water needed (we removed half of the water).
5) Add the rice kept in the vessel to the pot. Now Reduce the fire by removing few fire wood and allow the rice to cook.
6) It take some time for riced to cook.
Step 4: Adding Ingredients
1) Once the rice is get ready. Reduce fire by remove some fire woods. But the vessel retain its heat. So only few heat is enough.
2) Not put the Dessicated coconut, Breaked Cardamom pods, Powdered Dry ginger into the rice.
3) Mix it all well.
4) Time to add the sweet. (Break Jaggery or Kalkandu in to small pieces).
5) Add few amount of Jaggery or Kalkandu and mix it well ( We use Wooden Stirrer (mathu) to mix it well. Its look like small cricket bat).
6) Like wise add few more and continue up to finish. Mix it well to spead the jaggery all over the rice.
7) At the finishing stage add the Cashewnuts, Raisins and ghee and mix it well.
Step 5: How to Serve
Now the Pongal is ready to serve. Use banana leaves to serve it. on using fresh banana leaves its very healthy for body. We first offer it to the god and thank him for what we have. Then Distribute it to all.