Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Pongal is celebrated from January 13 to 16 every year. The festival marks a period of plenty, peace and happiness.On the first day known as Bhogi, people clean their homes thoroughly and in the evening, all unwanted things are lit in a bonfire. The second day is  Pongal, the most important and also called Surya Pongal because people worship Surya, the Sun God and his consorts, Chaya and Samgnya. The third day, Mattu Pongal, is meant to offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, as they are used to plough the lands. Jallikattu, a violent taming the bull contest, marks this day. On the last day, Kanum Pongal, people go out to picnic.  


Bhogi is often referred as Lord Indra, the Vedic God of thunder and rain. It is also widely believed that Bhogi Pongal is the Indra Vizha festival observed during the Chola period. 
Another legend says: A major activity on the day is the burning of things that are of no use; We are supposed to control our senses and clean kama, krodha, moha, lopa etc so that spiritual Bhogam in our life is fulfilled.


Makar Sankranti is the day when the sun enters into the zodiac Capricorn or Makara. It is also known as Uttarayana Punyakalam .The sun journeys northward. The days are gradually lengthening in the northern hemisphere. 
Makara Sakranti signifies that we should turn away from the darkness to brightness
Lord Surya is worshipped on the Makar Sankranti day and is a form of Nature Worship. Taking a holy dip on this day on river Ganga is considered to cleanse sins committed and this will lead to Moksha (Salvation). 
Uttarayana Punyakalam, the day time of Devas, begins with the Makar Sankranti and lasts for six months 
Makar Sakranti is also celebrated with great enthusiasm as the Kite flying day 
Makara Sakranti is called Pongal by the Tamilians,. The day begins with  sun worship. The newly harvested corn is then cooked for the first time. 


Kanu  pongal , which falls on the third day of Pongal. The significance of the kanu pongal is that the women of the house take a few moments to think about their brothers, and pray for the welfare of their brothers, who might be in different parts of the world.

 Women in the family pray for the welfare of their respective brothers and keep little balls of yellow, red and white cooked rice, banana small jaggry piece on turmeric leaf and invite crows, all the while reciting the  below verse, in a hope that brother sister relationship may remain  strong forever like the family of crows.  They then perform  a small puja and  arathi .

This is festival time for crows. A lavish spread is laid out for the birds during Kanum Pongal festival

Kaaka pidi vechen,Kanu Pidi vechen,
Kaakai kku Kalyanam,
Kuruvi kki seemandham,
Pukkaam Pongi Vaazhattum,
Pirandhaam Tharandha Vaazhattum.


one small ball of food for the crow,One small ball of food for the Kanu festival,
Crow’s marriage 
Sparrow’s baby shower 
Let the in-laws house overflow with prosperity
Let the house that we were born in be ever happy.

Make this Pongal a healthy Pongal by with our traditional small millet like barnyard (Kuthiraivaali), fox tail millet (thinai), bajra (kambu) , kodo millet (varagu), little millet (samai) etc.  Usually we use the ordinary rice for making the dishes during Pongal. But this time I’ve made all the recipes with small millet. 
Wish you and your family a very Happy, prosperous, peaceful and healthy  Pongal

Celebrate this Pongal with Sachu’s Kitchen with a series of dishes from cane juice and small millets!!

Let's go to our recipe.

Kuthiraivali/ Barnyard sugarcane sarkarai Pongal is  delicious and healthy. It is made with barnyard millet, lentil and cane juice.  Barnyard millet is high in fibre and rich in minerals. Millets are a store house of nutrients. They are rich in iron, calcium and other minerals. In old times these were used predominantly compared to the regular paddy rice. They are the reasons for the strength and immunity of the previous generations.. They are also gluten free.Barnyard millet has the lowest carbohydrate content and energy value amongst all the varieties of Millets. The bran layers of millets are good sources of B-complex vitamins.


Kuthiraivali Rice / Barnyard millet         - 1/2 cup
Pasi Paruppu /  Yellow Moong Dal          - 1/4 cup
 Sugarcane juice                                               - 3 cups
Finely grated fresh coconut                        - 1/4 cup
Ghee                                                                      - 5 tbsp
Cashew nuts                                           - 10 nos
Cardamom Powder                                            - 1/4 tsp 



Roast the moong dal to light golden colour or till a nice smell comes.
Wash the kuthiraivali rice and dal well.
Add three cups of sugarcane juice and pressure cook for six whistles to eight whistles.
Fry cashews and raisins in ghee and add  it to the sarkarai pongal.
Add grated coconut and the cardamom powder and mix well.
 The healthy cany Kuthiraivali sarkarai pongal is ready for naivedyam.
Offer it to sun god and serve .

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