Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pongal Festival

pongal 1

Today, I went to the Pongal Festival in Brickfields, near YMCA. Pongal is a popular harvest festival of South India, mainly Tamil, and is celebrated for 4 days, which includes cooking of delicious Pongal, or "sweet rice" or "rice pudding" (my interpretation).

pongal 2

pongal 3

The Pongal is prepared mainly with normal rice mix with brown sugar (jaggery), milk, cashew nuts, ghee (butter), moong dal (my interpretation would be "yellow mung bean"). The ingredients are cooked in a clay pot in the open, and allowed to boil over. You can see lots of bubbles foaming up from the clay pot (not in picture). It means prosperity for the coming year. The Pongal is then offered to the Sun God.

pongal 4

There was a very nice family there who shared with us their Pongal. It tasted like rice pudding with some ginger taste. The sweet rice was not too sweet, which is to my liking. They asked me if I wanted to stir the Pongal. I was so happy... I took a picture with their whole family, with a big smile on my face :D

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