Rawa Pongal Recipe By Reena

Two weeks into 2022 and we are celebrating the most important of all the festivals of Tamil Nadu –Pongal.
Several varieties of Pongal, a rice dish cooked in earthenware, both sweet and savoury, are offered in prayer to the Sun God, in thanks for a bountiful harvest. Cattle are decorated and the festival is celebrated with grandeur.
I have chosen a simple but delicious Rawa Pongal recipe served with Gothsu, the traditional accompaniment for Pongal.

Rawa Pongal
Rawa. 4 cups
Jeera. 1 tsp
Asafoetida. 3/4 tsp
Moong dhal. 100 gms
Cashew nuts. A handful
Whole pepper. 2 tbsp
Chopped ginger. 2 tsps
Curry leaves. A handful
Salt to taste
Lots of ghee Totally. 1 cup.
1. Cook moong dhal until very soft and mushy . Add salt.
2. Heat ghee. 1/2 cup. And add jeera. Add cashew nuts, roast till brownish, add the ginger pieces, and curry leaves , asafoetida ,add the rawa and roast till you get a good aroma.
3. Add 1 1/4 litres of water and let this boil really well till it almost evaporates but leaving a still wet but not watery consistency behind. Add more ghee and top with rest of the ghee.
4. Serve with Gothsu

Powder for Gothsu
In a pan, heat oil, 3 tbsps , add 3 tbsps of gram dhal, and 1 tsp of urad dhal, 3 tsps of dhania seeds, and 5 to 6 red chillies and 1/4 tsp of methi seeds. ( vendhiyum). Roast and take off the heat. Add a 1/2 tsp of asafoetida.
Cool the above mixture and powder fine .
In a pan heat t tbsps gingelly, oil, add mustard and let it splutter, add a handful of sambar onions, and curry leaves and sauté for a minute or two. When the colour of the onions becomes translucent, add I or chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp of turmeric and add chopped brinjals, sauté till the colour changes
And add 1 cup of water. Cook for 4 to 5 mins till the brinjal is cooked and the rest of the vegetables are well done. Add a spoonful of tamarind water and cook. Add a small piece of jaggery and simmer. Now add the powder ..about 2 to 3’tsps and let it cook for another minute.
Add 2 to 3 spoons of cooked moong dhal and add water if necessary.
This is not a watery dish , it should resemble a thick sambar.
Add fresh coriander leaves and serve with Rawa Pongal.
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2022

Reena Chandrashekar

Reena Chandrashekar is a contributor to the Madras Gymkhana Club Magazine

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