Pongal, the harvest festival celebrated in South India, is synonymous with a variety of delicious sweet dishes. Here are some traditional sweet dishes that are commonly prepared during Pongal celebrations:
1. Sakkarai Pongal:
=Also known as Sweet Pongal, this is a quintessential Pongal dish made with newly harvested rice, jaggery (unrefined sugar), ghee, and flavored with cardamom. It is often garnished with cashews and raisins, making it a rich and flavorful dessert.
2. Paal Payasam:
=A classic South Indian rice pudding, Paal Payasam is made with rice, milk, and sugar. It is slow-cooked until the rice is soft and the milk is thickened, creating a creamy and indulgent dessert. It is often garnished with cardamom and a generous amount of cashews and raisins.
3. Kesari (Sooji Halwa):
=Kesari is a semolina-based sweet dish that is quick to prepare and delightful to the taste buds. It is made by cooking semolina (sooji) in ghee with sugar, water, and flavored with saffron or food coloring. Kesari is often garnished with cashews and raisins.
4. Ellu Urundai (Sesame Seed Ladoo):
=Ellu Urundai is a sweet treat made from roasted sesame seeds, jaggery, and sometimes grated coconut. These ingredients are mixed and shaped into round ladoos, creating a nutritious and delicious sweet snack.
5. Coconut Burfi:
=Coconut Burfi is a sweet confection made with grated coconut, sugar, and ghee. It is flavored with cardamom and can be garnished with chopped nuts. The mixture is set, cut into squares, and served as delectable coconut fudge.
6. Thengai Poli (Coconut Obbattu):
=Thengai Poli is a sweet flatbread stuffed with a mixture of grated coconut, jaggery, and cardamom. It is then rolled out and cooked on a griddle, resulting in a delicious and aromatic dessert.
7. Arisi Thengai Payasam:
=A unique and flavorful kheer made with rice, coconut milk, jaggery, and cardamom. The addition of coconut milk adds richness to the dish, making it a creamy and satisfying dessert.
These sweet dishes are not only delicious but also hold cultural significance during Pongal, symbolizing prosperity, sweetness, and the abundance of the harvest season.