Pongal recipes: Time to satiate your taste buds!


Dating back to as early as the Sangam Age, Pongal comes with a lot of history attached to it. While traditionally, this harvest festival has been all about celebrating the newest of the harvests, paying due respect to livestock, the earth and the sun, urbanisation has gradually taken the true essence away from the festival, reducing it to just another holiday.

With the festivities, from some of the most colourful kolams to delectable spreads gradually being cut down in metropolitans, DC gets its hands on some of the oldest Pongal recipes from the state, from as old as 500 years ago, which one can recreate at home without sweating much. Here’s your route to remaking some of our most delicious past!



Raw rice (broken) —  500 gms                            

Moong dal — 300 gms

Ghee — 150 ml

Milk — 500 ml

Cumin, ginger, peppercorns — 30 gms each

Red chillies, green chillies, curry leaves — as required



In a pressure cooker, add ghee, and saute cumin, peppercorns, chillies and onions.

Add the soaked rice, dal and required water to pressure cook it.

Simmer for five minutes before taking the pot off the heat, mix well and serve.

Saffron Pongal


Rice —  500 gms                             

Milk — 5 litres

Cashew nuts — 200 gms

Saffron — 2 gms

Salt — 1/4 tsp

Sugar — 1 kg


Wash and soak the rice for half an hour.

Keep a vessel on the fire, add rice and milk and cook till it becomes soft. Add sugar and mix well.

Mix the saffron in little quantity of warm milk and mix well to release its colour. Add fried cashews and serve hot.

(Recipes from Chef Damu)

Panagkalkandu (Palm Sugar) Pongal


Rice —  500 gms                              

Milk — 500 ml

Moong dal— 250 gms

Palm sugar — 1 kg

Ghee — 150 gms

Cardamom powder — 1tsp


Wash and soak the rice and dal for half an hour and pressure cook together.

Release the pressure and add milk, while on fire, along with palm sugar and mix well.

Add sauteed dry fruit like cashews, dried grapes to the rice mixture and serve hot.