Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pongal Kad(a)i

After coming to Europe, I never really celebrated desi occasions like Pongal or Karthigai with the appropriate gusto because many times there was no one to share the joy (and food). Since Ashok and I started living together, I have been celebrating everything and cooking everything like crazy to make up for lost time.

Since this is our first pongal after we started living together, I had already made up my mind to celebrate it the proper way. Ashok is usually not very enthu in celebrating such occasions but he does enjoy the food. So when I asked him about the menu, he played along and said lots of ghee, cashews, whole peppercorns (for the ven pongal) and shallot (china vengayam) sambhar to go with it.

The first order of business was to find my pressure cooker which is small, almost dying, with its safety valve long gone. I had to use the cooker twice to boil the rice and dal for the Ven pongal and chakkarai pongal separately since the former is cooked with water and salt, while the latter is cooked with milk. I was worried that it was going to die any minute, but it was surprisingly robust (which is a tribute to Premier) and I even managed to shout ‘’pongalo pongal’’ (not being able to allow pongal to boil over on an induction stove is a major buzz kill…ivalum iva modern appliancesum…cha…cha..thollai thangala)

As much as I love shallot sambar, I hate to peel them - handla shallots =>eyes fulla tearu and infinite patience. Then I realized that I need the paavamana cooker again for boiling dal for the sambhar. So for the third time, the cooker cooked successfully.

After a hearty meal, when Ashok was dozing off, I called Amma and proudly narrated my accomplishments for the day. She listened and finally said – ‘’ellam seri, ana nalaiku dhane pongal’’ !!! After few seconds of shock, I remonstrated ‘’inniku 14th, eppodhum 14th dhane pongal’’…apparently the tamizh calendar decided to give me a mega bulb !$#@!%#$% by pushing pongal to 15th this year.

Mental note to self: Google for thamizh panchangam and add it to favorites

Favorite response to my comedy story (from a friend): Pongala mundiri (kottai) potiya ?!


  1. belated pongal wishes. hope u had gr8 fun and celebrated it with full rigour

  2. Ha ha .. " yellam seri, ana nalaiku dhane pongal " too good .

  3. :) The next time you are in India, will send u a tamizh panchangam on the day of your flight back to Europe.. Namba thamizh naatule indha bulb ellam adikkadi aagum!!!! Like this morning, when my grandma asked, Inniki dhaane Maasi onnu??!!! and I promptly said, inniki Maasi Anju.. The first day of the tamil month maasi was on Feb 13th this year.. paati was super shocked!!!!paati went on..." maasa porappu, Naan eppdi gavanikkama ponen!!!" This at the age of 80!!! and I still dont understand why she was super upset about it.....

  4. @Dewdrop
    There is something weird about paatis and dates - they remember the panchangam (dates of months, functions) but they never know when they were exactly born. All my paatis have so far given atleast 3 different DOBs !

  5. Ya the grannies can remember one full year too.... with all dates and festivals...
    The food part came out well right? So pongal ennika irundha enna?

  6. @Priya H
    Sapda mattum pannala function celebrate panren bit ellam podalamnu nenachen :D ! andha planla oru lorry mannu !


Hit Counter
Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)