MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA JANUARY 28 , 2012 01.40 A.M.
I always knew that Pongal is very important festival of Tamil Nadu . During my Allahabad days and then during my stay in Deoria , my native place , I came to know more about Pongal , the festival . This festival is akin to Makar Sankranti of North India .
Recently I went to Tamil Nadu for pilgrimage . Every single Tamil in the restaurant was ordering a dish for breakfast . It was called Pongal . I thought I am listening something else or simply I am not understanding the word properly . When a waiter approached me , he simply asked , what do you have sir ? Pongal – Dosai or Pongal – Vadai ? I was curious . I knew some of the South Indian delicacies like ; Dosa , Idali , Vada , Uthappam and Upma . I have eaten Appam also with Gassi , vegetables made in South Indian style . In deserts , I am fond of Thallaneer Payasam and Madurai Halwa . But Pongal ? I have never heard of this delicacy . Out of sheer curiosity , I ordered the dish .
I was shocked beyond belief when I ate it . It was so delicious .
It is a dish made of coarse rice cooked with lot of water . More than normal water is used , so that it should not become dry as normal rice . Pepper , ginger , salt and curry leaves are used to make it spicy . If you wish , you can add some dry fruits also to make it more tasty.
It is served hot with Rasam and Chutney . I had my sumptuous breakfast of Pongal – Vadai and immediately became addicted . I ate it daily till my last day of stay there.
I am not a food – writer . So I cannot write much about the elaborate cooking process of Pongal and my prose is also not very lucid . It is a lay man’s account of the dish , which is tasty beyond belief .
I got hooked to Pongal and shall remain so till the last breath of my life .
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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