Interesting story of Pongal at Chennai 2015

We are aware that Traditional Pongal at Chennai is not 100% practical, but we decided to experiment how far it is possible.

We celebrated Pongal with Mud Pot and Mud Stove on the entrance to our home.

We offered the prepared Pongal to the God "SUN" and thanked him through our prayer and Pongal.

Watch out the snapshots made during the celebration at below links:

A day after Mattu Pongal 2015

Last year (2014) a cow visited us on the day of Mattu Pongal. We offered Pongal banana and thanked her by showing Aarthi

This year also the same cow visited us on the day of Mattu Pongal (2015) and it was offered Pongal and Aarthi. However since i was out of station i didn't take any snaps.

The next day i was surprised to see the same cow in the morning who brought another two cows. So we had three visitors now.

We offered few food stuff and bananas. They didn't consume any of the thing we offered them. It seemed they demanded some other thing. I wondered how they expressed their demand,

One of our neighbor said that we should offer raw rice flour /  பச்சை அரிசி மாவு with jaggery / வெல்லம் mixed. They prepared the jaggery raw, rice flour and water mix in a bucket and offered to the cow.

It immediately started having this food mix. So we felt many traditions have been forgotten by this generation or it was not taught to us. So i thought is should explore much more traditions of our Tamil Culture and practice.

பொங்கல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

தமிழர் திருநாளாம் பொங்கல்....
யார் சொன்னது தமிழர் திருநாள் என 
தமிழா! அவ்வளவு சுயநலவாதியா நீ
மகிழ்ச்சி என்பது உனக்கு மட்டுமே சொந்தம் என நினைக்க
உழவுக்கு நன்றி சொல்லும் நாள்
நீ மட்டும் தான் உழவு செய்கிறாயா?
ஞாயிறுக்கு நன்றி சொல்லும் நாள்
அது உனக்கு மட்டும் தான் சொந்தமா என்ன?
உலகே நன்றி சொல்லவேண்டிய நாள்
அனைவரையும் வாழவைக்கும் இயற்கைக்கு - இன்று 
நான் சொல்லிவிட்டேன்

பொங்கல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

Traditional Pongal in Chennai Page11

Now the Pongal Celebrations are over, the left out were the Mud stove with burnt ashes. Also we noticed few interesting things during the celebration. Two goats visited us at the end and we offered Pongal with plantain leaf. It ate both the Pongal and the leaf. A pet Dog also was our visitor, who didn't wait for me to take a snap. It ate so fast that made us feel "Yes we made a tasty Pongal".........

Traditional Pongal in Chennai Page10

The cooked Pongal is kept on Plantain leaves with bananas above Betel Leaf and Areca nuts , fruits and coconut in the mail leaf. Now with the camphor flame in Thambula plate, Pongal is offered to the God "SUN" by showing the flames towards SUN and worshiping. This is actually thanks giving to God "SUN". The Pongal ceremony is over and the pongal in leaf are consumed.

Traditional Pongal in Chennai Page9

Now the Pongal has cooked well, the heat is reduced by removing burning wood sticks out of stove.

Dried grapes and cashew nuts are fried with sufficient ghee and added into Pongal Pot.

The Pongal is stirred until all dried grapes, cashew nuts and ghee are well mixed fully.

Later few shredded coconut pieces are sprayed into the Pongal pot and stirred.

Traditional Pongal in Chennai Page8

After checking the cooking condition of rice, milk was added to Pongal pot.

Next Jaggery / வெள்ளம் was added to Pongal pot and stirred / mixed

Until the Jaggery / வெள்ளம் is thoroughly mixed with Pongal, it is stirred.

Traditional Pongal in Chennai Page7

Now the heat was reduced and the Pongal water came back to normal level inside the pot.

Soaked Raw Rice / பச்சை அரிசி - 1kg was added to the cooking pot. 

The cooking rice and green gram was taken from the pot with a ladle / கரண்டி and checked for the softness or cooked condition of rice.

The Pongal pot was closed for few minutes and when the Pongal boiled out we shouted "Pongalo Pongal" / "பொங்கலோ பொங்கல்" three times.

Traditional Pongal in Chennai Page6

When the water boiled out, the mud lid was opened and we shouted "Pongalo Pongal" / "பொங்கலோ பொங்கல்" three times.

Traditional Pongal in Chennai Page5

We had an argument that the turmeric leaves should be tied or not around the pot opening. The reason why the turmeric leaves should not be tied to the pot is that the leaves may dry or burn with the mud stove fire. The reason why it should be tied is that its sacred to have the turmeric root and leaves while Pongal preparation. Finally it was decided to tie the turmeric root and leaves around the Pot. Two turmeric shoots were knotted and tied around the pot opening.

The mud stove started heating the pot and the water started boiling in the pot.

The pot was closed with a mud lid. This will increase pressure inside the pot and a faster cooking.

The boiled water with green gram started fuming with water vapor.

The boiled water began to raise which is the actual meaning of Pongal