Ven Pongal | Ammavum Naanum Episode #07 | A Cookery Web Series – Rakesh Raghunathan


[Singing one of the Sacred verses that’s normally sung in the month of Margazhi] What is your recollection of Margazhi (auspicious month)? I am reminded of the delicious Pongal (tempered rice and lentil preparation) It is a pun intended on the verse we sang – Pongal all over your lap It is true; I get reminded of Pongal during this month I make this everyday at home this entire month While Pongal may sound like an easy recipe, but getting the consistency right is the key I’ll share insights on pongal and indigenous rice in Southern India as we cook Can we begin? I’ve washed and kept a cup of rice and half a cup of moong dhal Have you soaked this in water? Not required Can I turn on the flame? Always ideal to use your hands while cooking I’ve measured 6 cups of water [talks about the ratio for water and rice] I am weak in mathematics so don’t confuse me with ratios I’ve measured the water, just go ahead and add that Rice – 1 cup, Moong dhal – ½ cup and 6 cups of water to cook this That’s enough water Add some cumin seeds Add some chopped ginger too One teaspoon of ginger is good? That’s enough Add salt to taste Adding salt while cooking does not affect the cooking process Add a little refined oil Why do you add oil? The oil ensures the contents don’t overflow Adding ghee will enhance the flavour too Add a pinch of asafoetida A few curry leaves to go with it Close the lid and pressure cook for 4 whistles First class The consistency must be a little mushy isn’t it? Yes Temper equal quantities of cumin seeds and whole black pepper Do we need to crush the pepper? No. Add a lot more of the cumin seeds Some curry leaves Add some more ghee to the pongal Pongal has a lot of historical significance All ingredients that go into the pongal are locally grown Temples serve Pongal as a prasadams (offering) Most importantly the quantity of ghee that is used Ancient verses written by Andal (tamil saint poet), says you eat food cooked with copious amounts of ghee. Lap is filled with Pongal This is a cooker filled with Pongal Cooker is filled with ghee too In the name of diet, people do not consume ghee, but ghee is good for you Certain things need to be eaten in a particular way and there is no compromise for that Ma, time’s up, lets go eat 🙂

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