Katte Pongali and Chakkera Pongali / Savory Pongal and Sweet Pongal – Instant Pot Method

Today, I am going to share a healthy and traditional festival dish ‘Pongal’ prepared especially  for the ‘Pongal’ festival. Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in most parts of India. Pongal festival is also known as ‘Makara Sankranthi’. It is a three-day festival. Pongal is a rice and lentil porridge prepared with freshly harvested rice and lentils.

Today is the first day of the festival. First day of the festival is called ‘Bhogi’. Second day of the festival is the main festival ‘Makara Sankranthi’ and the third day of the festival is called ‘Kanuma’. The festival is celebrated for four days in some regions. Fourth day of the festival is called ‘Mukkanuma’. Each region of India celebrates this festival with a different name and different rituals. Some of the rituals that are common between most of the regions  are prayers, rangoli, bonfires, flying kites, preparing traditional dishes like peanut chikki, sesame ladoo and the special dish ‘Pongal’.

There is a wide range of traditional dishes that are prepared as a part of celebration. I have recently shared the recipe of traditional ladoos Sesame Ladoo/Sesame Chikki/Nuvvula Laddu which are fondly relished during this festival.  Pongal is another traditional dish prepared for this festival. I am sharing the savory version and the sweet version of Pongal. The savory version is known with different names Katte  Pongali/ Ven Pongal /Khara Pongal/Spicy pongal. The sweet version is known as Chakkera Pongali/Sweet Pongal.

Let’s start the process of making this Sankranthi special dish.

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Nuvvula Undalu/Til Ladoos/ Sesame Jaggery Ladoos

My first post in the year 2017 is an age-old traditional Indian recipe, ‘Nuvvula Undalu/Til Ladoos’ which are usually made for the ‘Makara Sankranthi’ festival. I learnt this recipe from my mother- in-law. With Makara Sankranthi just around the corner, I thought it is a perfect time to post the recipe of traditional Til Ladoos. They  are very yummy and have a texture similar to hard candy. However, unlike hard candy, which is loaded with artificial colors and sugars, these ladoos are very nutritious. Kids can happily indulge in these ladoos. These ladoos are made with sesame seeds and jaggery. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium, and jaggery is a source of iron. My mother-in-law makes these ladoos in a large quantity to distribute them to all our relatives. They are also made in a large size. If you can bite into them, then it is proof that you have super strong teeth.  For some reasons, if you cannot bite into them, then the ladoos can be broken into smaller pieces with the help of a hammer(Yes, they are hard as rock) and eaten. Although these ladoos may be difficult to bite into, that’s what makes eating them fun. Enjoy!!!

I am also sharing the recipe for Peanut Chikki/Peanut Brittle and Sesame Chikki/Sesame Brittle in the same post.

11/03/2017: I have updated the post with Dry Fruit Chikki/Mixed Nut Brittle Recipe.

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Eggless Chocolate Cookies

A very Happy New Year 2017 to all my readers. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the visitors, readers and followers for their feedback and support. Today I am sharing an  Eggless Chocolate Cookie recipe. My kids love chocolate and I am always looking for new chocolate cookie recipes for holiday treats. I decided to try Nigella Lawson’s recipe. I followed the recipe to the ‘T’ except that I made smaller size cookies and reduced the baking time. I didn’t add the chocolate glaze and sprinkles on the cookies. The cookies turned out perfect. They were delicious without the chocolate glaze topping. I am sure they will be even more delicious with the chocolate glaze. These will be my go-to cookies for the holidays from now on, because my kids loved these cookies.

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