Pongal is just around the corner and the nation is gearing up to celebrate one of the first festivals of the year with pomp and enthusiasm. An important festival for people across Southern India, Pongal marks the beginning of Uttarayan - the sun's northward journey for a six-month period. It is also celebrated as the harvest festival and coincides with observance of Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Bhogali Bihu in different parts of the country. Pongal is a 4-day affair that begins with Bhogi festival and ends with Kaanum Pongal. The main festival is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month 'Thai'; hence, Pongal is often reffered to as Thai Pongal.
When Is Pongal 2021? Date, Time And Significance:
This year the 4-day festivities will begin on January 13, 2021 and will end on January 16.
- January 13, 2021: The day before Thai Pongal is celebrated as Bogi Pandigai. On this day people clean and decorate their households.
- January 14, 2021: It is the main festival day, called Thai Pongal. On this day people cook pongal- a concoction of rice milk and jaggery, topped with ghee and dry fruits. Pongal is then offered to Sun God as gratitude of good harvest. Traditionally, people spill milk while preparing Pongal as a sign of prosperity. (Thai Pongal Sankranti Moment- 8:29 AM)
- January 15, 2021: The next day is called Mattu Pongal, when cattles are decorated and worshiped by the devotees.
- January 16, 2021: The 4-day festival ends with Kaanum Pongal, when families gather for celebration with traditional meal spread.
Pongal 2021 Recipes: Complete Menu With Recipes For The Festive Fare:
While sakkarai pongal (sweet pongal) is a must-have during Pongal, there are several other traditional dishes that make the festival a delicious affair. We hand-picked 6 such traditional dishes that can help you put together a lavish pongal lunch for your family and friends. Let's take a look:
6 Pongal 2021-Special Recipes For You:
One of the most popular food items across South India, it is a hot and crispy donought-like savoury item that can be enjoyed anytime of the day. Pair it with coconut chutney and make a delicious starter to set the tone for the meal. Click here for recipe.
Rice makes an important part of every South Indian meal. And to pair with it, we have this super delicious avial recipe that includes carrots, beans, drumsticks, yam etc and topped with a tadka of cumin and curry leaves. Click here for recipe.
No South Indian meal is complete without indulging in ever comforting rasam, rice and papad. Keeping this in mind, we bring a quick rasam recipe that can make your meal a grand affair. Click here for recipe.
We also got a special pachadi recipe that will add flavour of the season to your meal. It's winter-special beetroot pachadi. For the unversed, pachadi is referred to as South Indian-style fresh pickle, made with different vegetables and fruits. Click here for recipe.
As mentioned earlier, sweet pongal is a must-have during the Pongal festival. Hence, here's a traditional pongal recipe for you to whip up for the occasion. Click here for recipe.
Moong dal payasam
Payasam in South Indian cuisine stands for kheer. And as we all know, kheer is one traditional dessert that holds a constant place in every traditional meal. Here's a moong dal payasam recipe that is made with blended moong dal instead of rice. Click here for recipe.
Happy Pongal 2021, everyone!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.