Chakkarai Pongal: A Delicious Prasadam Recipe From South India
- Jasmine Kaur
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
We’re so engrossed in our masala dosas and rava idlis that we hardly ever think what’s on the other side. South India is replete with some amazing desserts like payasam, rava kesai and murmura ladoos. Did you ever think that a prasadam (a holy preparation devoted to god) could also feature in this list?
We’re talking about Chakkarai Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal. The name very clearly gives out the festival for which is delectable prasad is prepared; Pongal. For those living under a rock, Pongal is a huge festival in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The occasion marks the onset of the harvest season and brings great joy to the people. This festival is actually celebrated across the country under various names out which Makar Sankranti is widely known in North India.
Pongal or Thai Pongal is a four-day long affair wherein the Tamilians welcome the harvest month with pujas to worship the Sun god and hope for economic prosperity in agriculture. The highlight of any Indian festival: the food. Just like in north Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, kadha prasad or boondi is served as part of the holy offerings, the people of this state prepare a Chakkarai Pongal.
Chakkarai Pongal can be an individual or collective gathering where families get together to cook the prasadam. In an earthernware pot, milk is boiled and then freshly harvested rice added and cooked along with jaggery, coconut, moong dal and loads of nuts. The pot in which the prasad is cooked is decorated with beautiful patterns and you’ll also find a turmeric leave stem tied to the neck of the clay pot.
This sweet heaven isn’t just known for its delicious taste. Apart from satiating your tastebuds, each ingredient that goes into the making of Chakkarai Pongal is believed to add to your nutritional intake. From improving the flow of the digestive juices to developing tissues, you can think of it as a great medicine too.
A medicine that tastes like dessert, isn’t that like a dream come true? Be careful, moderation is the key.