About Pongal

The word Pongal means "Boiling out of Vessel".
Tamil Pongal

Pongal is a food Cooked with rice and water in mud pot traditionally.

There are two main varieties of pongal - "Venn Pongal" and "Sarkarai Pongal".
"Venn Pongal" means white Pongal. "Sarkarai Pongal" means Sweet Pongal.
Venn Pongal is just boiling of rice and water with a little salt to taste. It can be considered as plain pongal.
However spicy form of this pongal is cooked with Pepper and Cumin.

Making a research on Tamil food habits, we will be able to find that Rice is the main part of the food stuff of Tamil people. 
The normal cooking of rice in olden days was referred to the word pongal, which people ask as "Arisi Pongiyacha" or "Saadam pongiyacha" or "Soru Pongiyacha"It means "have you boiled rice". Later the tradition lost to the saying "Saadam Vadichacha" (Have you filtered Boiled rice) or "Saadam Senjacha" (Have you made rice) or "Saadam Samachacha" (Have you cooked rice). The word "Sooru" is now considered as colloquial and many hesitate using it. However the word "Sooru" was used by common Tamil people more, when compared to "Saadam" which has the same meaning of "Sooru".
However "Sooru" is the Laymans word of referring "Boiled Rice" in Tamil.

During special occasions of celebration, sweetness was added to Rice and boiled.

At the time of harvesting, Tamil people cook Pongal with sweetness and offer to Nature and Sun as a thanks giving for helping them in harvesting.
This begin to name the harvest festival as "Pongal" and is celebrated along with sugarcanes ("Karumbu" in Tamil).The main sweetener is Jaggery ("Vellam" in tamil) and in the present trend, Refined sugar is also used.
Also pot is replaced with metal pots / vessels , and the boiling stove has also been modernised.
Traditional way of celebrating Pongal is seen more in Villages rather than City.
Traditional celebration is also followed in Tamil Nadu in India, and Srilanka.
Tamil people living in other parts of the world celebrate in modern way.

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