How To Make Pongala Payasam
Remitha John shows you a simple and effective way of preparing the Pongala Payasam.
On Feb 18, 2011


This is the week of devotion and dedication to Attukal Amma.  The Pongala payasam is the offering made to the Devi.


Some of you may not be aware how simple it is to make the Pongala. Here is how.


Chemba Pachari (raw rice) - ½ Kg
Jaggery- ¾ Kg
Coconut- 1 (Grated)


Wash the rice and put to cook in required quantity of water. The idea is to over cook slightly. The rice will harden when the other ingredients are added. So slightly overcook the rice.


Remember to keep stirring while the rice cooks. This will prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the vessel. While the rice is cooking mix and melt sharkkara (jaggery). The quantity depends on how sweet you want the payasam to be! Add, as much as needed, constantly tasting the sweetness while adding.

 To this add grated coconut and continue stirring. Cook this mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes. There should be just a little bit water left in the cooking mixture. If the rice is too dry by the time it is cooked and ready for the jaggery, just add some more hot water.  Add enough jaggery to meet the sweetness you desire.

To this, add ghee, cashews, raisins and elachi. The quantity of dry fruits and ghee can be of one's own choice.  Adding more ghee will make the rice soft and tasty. For a bit of extra taste fry the cashew and raisins in ghee before adding to the rice.

Prepare Pongala Payasam and be blessed. Good luck.


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Prof (Dr) Ramakumar,V, on Feb 19, 2011 10:26:25 AM
PONGALA HAVE A SOCAIAL AND ENVIRONMENT DIMENSION. The idea behind “Pongala” is not just pay respect to the goddess. It is an initiation of the young girls to prepare food using materials all from nature. It not only allows them to learn the art of cooking, but would also provide a stimulating environment to learn the fundamentals of traditional cooking. It provides a stage to socialize and learn from elders of the community. The use of earthen pots, coconut residue, hand-made baskets, ladles etc. also brings in a lot of social interaction and communal harmony. On my morning walk through Vazhuthacaud, I could hear the announcements offering ‘free bricks’ to set fire place to particiapants. Girls who were late to join were seen collecting every bit of coconut residue that fell from auto-rickshaws and bikes. Each one around is anxious and willing to help the pilgrims, be it with free food, free transport, water, cold drinks and what have you? Let our younger ‘hi-fi” generation brave the sun, smoke and toil and enjoy the taste of the food prepared in a traditional way. It is a sweet revisit to our heritage and tradition.
Prof (Dr.) Ramakumar,V., on Feb 19, 2011 10:28:20 AM
Hi Dear Prof... Is this a comment or an another journal ? ;) Seems like prof. pen down at wrong page.. btw, Did i say so ? ! ? eeeeE
Dukes, on Feb 21, 2011 10:38:06 PM
constantly taste the pongala: it is wrong to taste the pongala before naivedyam. It is also not allowed to fry the raisins ,cashews and also to melt jaggery as we do at home. First keep water for boiling and once it boils put rice. put initially handsfull of rice 3 times and then empty rest of rice.once it boils and pours out, mix it with a sppoon, till that donot stir, the pongala has to boil and spill if possible to east direction.donot cross over the hearth after setting up the hearth.
Avinkrishnan, on Mar 21, 2011 04:08:15 PM
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