Pongal, a harvest festival, is celebrated here to thank the Sun God. Sun is regarded as the creator and sustainer of life on earth, and worshipping the Sun is an age-old practice still followed in India. We could find several hymns praising the Sun god in our scriptures and also several temples enshrining the Sun god (Surya) as the primary deity across India. Suryanaar temple is one of the Sun temples in south India (Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu) where wheat pongal is offered to the deity. So we can also prepare wheat pongal instead of rice pongal and offer to Sun God on this Pongal festival.
Now I have prepared both the savoury pongal (venn pongal) and sweet pongal (sakkarai pongal) using broken wheat. I used fresh turmeric root instead of turmeric powder for savoury pongal, and also used banana & dates as natural sweeteners along with little jaggery for sweet pongal.
Generally we serve savoury pongal with sambar but my grand mother used to prepare mildly-spiced kathrikai gothsu (eggplant curry) or peerkangai gothsu (ridge gourd curry) and serve with venn pongal.
Wheat Pongal (Sweet & savoury versions)
The recipes for venn pongal & sakkarai pongal using broken wheat are as below:
|Broken Samba wheat||1 cup|
|Green gram lentils (paasi paruppu)||1/2 cup|
|Neutral oil (I used sunflower oil)||25 ml|
|Cumin seeds||1/2 tbsp|
|Crushed pepper||1/2 tsp|
|Asafoetida powder||1/8 tsp|
|Fresh turmeric root||2″|
|Cashew nuts||as desired|
|Curry leaves||1 sprig|
|Fully ripe banana (I used nendram pazham)||1|
|Cashew nuts||as desired|
- First we need to dry roast both the wheat & lentils until hot & aromatic.
- Wash them and then add into hot boiling water.
- Cook in medium flame until soft & mushy.
- Remove from heat and keep aside.
- I used 3/4 of pongal for making venn pongal and the remaining for sakkarai pongal.
Savoury Wheat Pongal (Venn Pongal):
- Heat a large pan with neutral oil in medium flame.
- Add cumin seeds, pepper, grated turmeric & ginger into the pan.
- Saute until the raw smell of turmeric & ginger disappeared.
- Add cashew nuts & curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
- Then add pongal into the pan and mix well.
- Finally add crushed pepper, asafoetida powder & salt and stir until combined.
- Remove from heat.
- Serve hot venn pongal after adding little ghee.
Sweet Wheat Pongal (Sakkarai Pongal):
- First prepare a puree of banana & dates using a food processor (or a mixer) and keep aside.
- Heat a sauce pan with water (50 ml) and add powdered jaggery to prepare the jaggery syrup as below.
- Pour jaggery syrup over pongal and cook in medium flame.
- Add mashed banana & dates puree and stir until combined.
- Add cardamom powder into the pan.
- Heat a small tadka pan with ghee and fry cashew nuts and raisins and add into pongal.
- Serve hot sakkarai pongal as a dessert for breakfast or lunch.
I served both the savory and sweet pongal for breakfast along with red rice (red kavuni arisi) idli & vadai and also with peerkangai gothsu & coconut chutney as the sides. You can find all other Pongal recipes here.