Saturday, January 14, 2012
Pongalo pongal/Recipe Nutriladdu
Tomorrow is Makara Sankranthi/ Pongal. The weather in the southern India is slowly warming up leaving the cold winter nights behind, though northern India is still reeling under the cold. It would continue to be cold there till holi which is when they celebrate burning their old things akin to what is done in the south during bhogi. We had a fairly cold winter this year in Bangalore, accompanied by rains at times thanks to Thane and other short fused cyclones in the bay. People in parts of Tamilnadu and Pondicherry were the worst affected because of Thane and when seeing the clips of Thane ravaged beach road of Pondicherry I was reminded of our trip to Pondicherry last January . The beach road in Pondicherry is a lovely walking plaza and I enjoyed walking there on all days of our stay there.
Though winter is fast fading out, the mornings will continue to remain foggy and misty. A rich diet of proteins and carbohydrates is recommended to ward off the colds and coughs caused by the weather. That's is the reason why SarkkaraiPongal and Venpongal with lots of dal and rice and ghee is prepared and distributed during Pongal. In Karnataka a mixture of dried coconut, groundnuts, sesame seeds and jaggery is distributed to friends and neighbours during Makarasankranthi. "Ellu Bella thinni Olle mathannu adi" ( eat sweetened sesame seeds and speak sweet words).
I am giving a recipe for a nutritious laddu( poushtik laddu) which is rich in proteins and carbo and is very good for kids and grown ups alike. This laddu can be prepared with any assorted nuts and is quite easy to prepare. Here I have prepared with the more common sesame seeds and ground nuts.One can use either white or black sesame seeds. I prefer to use black sesame seeds.
Sesame seeds : 1 cup
Groundnuts :1 cup
Fried dal (pottukadalai) :1/2 cup
Jaggery : 21/2 cups
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Cardomom powder / dry ginger powder(chukku) 1 tsp.
Wash and clean the sesame seeds. Drain and spread on a clean towel to dry. Heat a pan and dry roast the sesame seeds, until the seeds start spluttering. Remove. Roast the ground nuts and fried dal separately.Remove and cool. Grind the ground nuts and roasted dal coarsely. Make a 2 string(kallupaku) syrup of jaggery. Add the ground nuts, fried dal and roasted sesame seeds and the ghee. Add the cardomom or chukku powder. Mix well.Remove from heat. Allow to cool a little. Make small balls of the mixture, when it is still warm. While making the balls, smear little ghee in your palms so that the mixture will not stick to your hands.
The hot mixture from the stove can also be poured into a greased plate and cut to shape when a little cool, to get chikkies.
WISHING EVERONE A HAPPY PONGAL AND JOYOUS DAYS AHEAD!