curry - a side dish.
Pongal is celebrated for 3 to 5 days in the middle of January by all people with agriculture background in India. Rice and banana are the major crops in my home town. So pongal is a big festival there. It is a season of happiness for the farmers as well as for every one who loves festivals like me:) The main celebrations include cleaning the house and farm material (Pogi day), offering thanks to Sun and God (Pongal day), celebrating the holiness of cow (mattu Pongal day). The night before Pongal day, the ladies paint big size rangoli kolam in front of the house and tie turmeric plants and sugarcanes in the doorway to welcome the prosperity. On pongal day, just like barbeque party, it is common to prepare the sweet rice Pongal in the front yard in a traditional way. The feast may include a plain rice, sweet rice pongal, avial, puli curry, dhal. It is a tradition to include at least a small piece of every vegetable in that day.
On the third day those who have cows would prepare another batch of sweet rice for the cows and themselves and pamper the cows as always. While in India, I used to befriend a beautiful cow and pamper her everyday.....happy memories :)
The next day is called kanum pongal or tour day.
So the whole January spins around pongal festival in my home town and its a colorful season there:)
Here is the recipe for the pongal puli curry.
(I used yam, potato and arbi only. But given the link to the images of various tubers in my ingredient list for reference. Thanks for the bloggers who have published these images).
Root vegetables:Yam / elephant foot yam / senai kilangu / suran - 200 gm
potato / urulai kilangu / aloo - 1
siru kilangu / chiru kizhangu - 5
sembu / taro root/ colocasia / arbi - 5
pidi karunai kilangu / yam - 1 (small)
other ingredients:Tamarind - 1 small lime size
Red chilli powder - 1.5 tbsp
coriander powder - 3 tbsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
water - 2 cups
salt - 2 tsp (to taste)
To grind:shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
shallot onion - 10
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
To temper:mustard - 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig
oil - 2 tbsp
asafoetida - 1 pinch
Wash and peel the root vegetables. Cut them into 2 inch size cubes.
(Take care while handling the yams).
Cook them together till soft (10 minutes). Discard the water and keep aside.
Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice thrice with 2 cups of water.
Add the chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt to the tamarind extract and start boiling with the cooked roots.
Grind coconut, onion and cumin seeds with little water and add it to the boiling curry. let it get thick.
Heat oil in a pan. Crackle mustard seeds , add fenugreek seeds , curry leaves and asafoetida. Pour over the boiling thick curry. Switch off.
Pongal puli kulambu is ready!
Serve as side dish with sweet pongal.
Can be used as kulambu / curry over plain rice or with chapati.