The first day of the Tamil month Thai is the main day of the festival and is called Thai Pongal. This day coincides with Makara Sankranthi which is a winter harvest festival celebrated in many parts of India too. The day marks the start of sun’s six-month long journey northwards (Uttarayana). This also represents that the sun enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac i.e. Makar or Capricorn.
Usually this kootu is made to go with ven pongal/ karapongal. Sarkarai pongal is also made oh thats my favorite..
I have faint memories of my grand parents celebrating the boiling of milk and doing all the rituals on the terrace of the home as the offerings are all done to the Sun God to thank for the prosperity and bounty.Calling pongalo pongal etc. I must admit standing barefoot in blistering morning Sun was no fun, my eyes were always set on the sugarcane kept as prasad 🙂 and when sarkara pongal would be given to me:)
Pongal is the Tamil NewYear, a four days long festival which usually takes place from January 13 to 16 in the Gregorian calendar It is the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of Tamil month Thai.
Seen above is kali,ezhucurry kootu and pongal (lil dry variety).
Any set of 7 indigenous veggies (naatu kaikari)can be used. Everything together should come to around 2 cups of veggies.
Pumpkin/ Mattan / Puzhinikkai
Field beans / Mochakottai
Broad beans / Avarakkai
Yam /Chena –
Green plantain /Pacha kaya
Sweet potato/ madhurakizhangu
Karamani / achinga payar/ String beans
Ashgourd /padavalanga / pudalanga
To be cooked separately:
Peanut – 1-2 tbsp
Channa/ kadala – 2 tbsp soaked
a)To be dry roasted and powdered :
Sesame seeds – 2 tsp
Raw rice – 1 tsp
b)To be dry roasted or roasted with cooking oil and powdered:( Instead of sambar powder)
Coriander seeds- 2 tsp
Channa dal/kadala parippu – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal /Uzhunnu parippu – 1/2 tsp
Whole red chili 1-2 as per heat required
Black pepper corns – 5-6
c)To be roasted until brown in few tsps of coconut oil for seasoning:
Coconut grated – 2bsp
Curry leaves a few
Tamarind – 1 small lime size (soaked in 1 glass hot water and the juice extracted once cooled)
Coconut fresh grated – 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/3 tsp
Salt to taste
1.Cut the veggies into big pieces.Add salt and turmeric powder and enough water to cover veggies, cook until 3/ th done only.
Cook channa and peanut until just soft
Dry roast n powder rice and sesame seeds that is section a.
Roast the spices powder it that is section b.
Take half of the spice powder from b and grind with coconut grated to fine paste consistency adding water.
Keep section c ready.
3. Once all the above is ready mix the tamarind juice extracted with vegetables cooked , peanut and channa and begin cooking again on medium flame. Allow the mixture to come to a full boil then add the spice and coconut paste. Allow everything to boil well until the raw smell goes. then add the other half of the spice powder from section b mix well. Allow this to boil again.
4.Toward the end add add the sesame + rice powdered. Switch off flame mix well.
Add the final coconut and curry leaves seasoning mix well.
As the kootu sits it will become thick so add water while cooking accordingly if are looking for gravy.