Sunday, January 13, 2019

Pongal celebration, Pongal shopping list

What is Pongal festival? Pongal festival is celebrated widely among Tamil nadu people, devoted to Sun god. It is also celebrated in the places where ever Tamil people are living - like Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Sri Lanka, US, UK etc;.
Happy Pongal

Wishing all my reader and follower friends a Happy Pongal! I am not going to write the basic details about pongal festival, please check wikipedia if you want to know about the basics of the festival. Even Though it is celebrated by all the tamils, it's not the same way it is celebrated by every family. Each family, each household have different way, traditions that is followed. I did not even realize my in-laws family had a different way of celebrating from the way at my mom's place.
After I got married, I haven't been there to celebrate pongal with them. So every year, my mami ask me to visit them when it's pongal. But usually Aj will have cyclic test and won't be able to make it. Last time when they visited, I requested them to come here to Singapore to celebrate the festival.
So last year (2018), my mama, mami came here for celebration along with my two other brothers-in-law family🙂. Last year, I could learn a bit from my mami what is our custom and traditions to be followed. First I was little nervous on how I would manage all the things, Vj gave me confidence and told since many people are there, they will all do their part and no need to worry. As he said, While I concentrated only in the cooking part, I got all the help from my co-sisters, mami to prepare for the poojai. I just concentrated on cooking for the entire family along with pongal keeping.
Before I go through the way we celebrate pongal, if you are looking for pongal recipes, click here for the pongal recipes.
Disclaimer: This is just how we celebrate pongal festival at our household. Please check with your respective family elders to follow your traditions. I just wanted to share and keep a record of how we celebrate pongal festival. Though the customs and traditions are changing according to our convenience,  availability, I just wanted to keep it written for my future reference.
Let me also share the pongal shopping list/ checklist.

Shopping list for pongal:

Poojai items

  • Kungumam
  • Sandal
  • Flowers
  • wick (thiri nool)
  • Betel leaves, nuts
  • Banana
  • Agarbathi, sambrani
  • Camphor
  • Sesame oil/ vilakku yennai
  • Mango leaves/ maavilai
  • Kaapu kattu if applicable / available (kind of a bouquet with white flowers and yellow flower sarakkondrai, etc,)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh turmeric
  • Sugarcane
  • Mochai
  • Broad beans
  • Raw banana/ plantain
  • White pumpkin
  • Yellow pumpkin
  • Sweet potato
  • Colocasia/ arbi/ seppankizhangu
  • Karunai kizhangu/ yam
  • Banana leaf
  • Coconut 

Grocery checklist

  • Moong dal
  • Raw rice
  • Jaggery (preferably paagu vellam)
  • Ghee
  • Oil
  • Cashews
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg, edible camphor
  • Milk

Let's start with how we celebrate pongal. First and foremost, they figure out when is the Tamil month 'Thai' exactly born, by referring panjangam. We use paambu panjangam (பாம்பு பஞ்சாங்கம்) for referring all such timings for festivals etc.
Whenever the month is born, my FIL or MIL takes bath and lit's lamp. The lamp is also not the usual ones, its called madakku (மடக்கு) - large lamp made out of mud.
So let me start how we celebrate pongal festival:
Soak 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup raw rice, grind to a smooth paste in liquid form to draw maakolam (மாக்கோலம்). Draw a kolam at entrance of the house. You can refer my parents blog for pongal kolams. Here's what my mami drew last year.
Draw kolam as shown below in three places. One at the regular pooja place, one for veetu deivam and one for Surya bagavan. So total three places. My mami drew these kolams last year.
Here are the lamps cleaned and kept ready for the poojai. The brass vilakku is my paati's and the other are respective from our mom's house.

In the pooja place wall, using avarai ilai (broad beans leaf or pungai ilai) crush and make a rectangle using the dye from the leaf. 7 rows of 7 dots are kept each in one different item and colour.
  1. Black - kan mai (kaajal) or sago saandhu
  2. Red - kum kum
  3. White - kola maavu (rice we ground)
  4. Green - Same leaf but darker shade
  5. Viboodhi 
  6. Sandhanam
  7. Manjal
We use cardboard to do as we do not have white wall at pooja place. So either we can keep the cardboard for the upcoming festivals or can also create new ones. I already tried to check with my family why we do it and the reason behind to understand better, but there's no much information available. So I have to check with other elders when I visit India and enlighten myself.
This setup is for two places- one at regular pooja place and one for veetu deivam. Last year, my co-sister helped me drawing this and cleaning pooja vessels with me.
Prepare one wooden plank - wash and dry. Draw kolam over it too and let all kolams dry.
A big agal vilakku (madakku - large lamp made out of mud) is tied around decoratively with a white thread. It is called thaai vilakku (தாய் விளக்கு) Which represents the late daughter-in-law of the house (here, my father-in-law's mom).
In the wooden plank, raw rice is spread {preferably new fresh harvest rice (புது அரிசி)}. Keep the thaai vilakku in the middle. Keep one lamp (brought by the daughters-in-law during their marriage) each for the daughters-in-law around the thaai vilakku. So here, one for my mom-in-law, one for me, two more - one each for my co-sisters, as I have two co-sisters. So total 5.
After my Mom-in-law, I have to take all these traditions and follow it. That time, the thaai vilakku will be for my Mom-in-law. And the tradition goes on.
The wick (thiri nool) for these vilakku is not the regular cotton wick we use. There is a thread called ''paavu thiri" (பாவு திரி) and we have to count in 50s or 100s. Take required length of the thread and cut. first tied a knot on the top. Then like we plait our hair, divide into three and make a plait. End it and tie a knot to secure. This is used same way for all the lamps. My grandfather used to run this thread 108 times in Padi, and it is then taken out, plaited to wick. But my father-in-law takes counts of thread, measures length  and plaits the wick as these days padi is not available at homes as well as madakku. 
So this wooden plank is kept in front of the regular pooja place, over the kolam we drawn earlier. In front of this arrangement, a thalai vazhai ilai (Full banana leaf) is spread. Over which, 5 or 7 betel nuts & leaves, coconut, flower on top of the leaf, vegetables like raw banana, broad beans, sweet potato, arbi (seppankizhangu), yam (pidi karanai) are kept in sets, the same count as above.

So once the lamp is lit by the eldest in the family (take bath and lit with wet veshti/ towel), Make ready the pongal pot by decorating it. Viboodhi pattai, kunguma pottu is kept. Manjal and ginger is tied around the neck of the brass pot (vengala panai). One panai, each for sweet pongal and ven pongal. The pongal pot should be full, so buy the pot accordingly. My mom in law used a thread and inserted a piece of manjal and ginger in it, tied around the pot. So you might not see much. Seems she does this usually to avoid the leaves catching fire while cooking.

The stove should be clean and can be decorated with kolam.
The whole day, everyone in the family should do fasting. Only after pongal, we can have food.
Menu to be cooked :
  1. Payatham paruppu (South Indian style moong dal)
  2. A thayir pachadi
  3. A sweet pachadi
  4. 2 poriyals - I made vazhakkai poriyal, avarakkai poriyal
  5. 7 kari kootu 
  6. Pongal sambar with payatham paruppu (moong dal)
Apart from ven pongal (to be consumed instead of regular rice) and sweet pongal.
All the menu prepared uses fresh turmeric, fresh ground spices and no onion or tomato, using only the 7 vegetables.
After the above cooking part is done, including the pongals, we start poojai.
At each place (3 places) - a pair of kuthu vilakku is lit. In front of it, over the kolam drawn, keep a plate with a pair of vethalai, paaku, coconut, a pair of banana.
In front of main pooja place, 5 banana leaves (One thalai vazhai ilai and 4 edu) is spread. Usually 7 is done, but now a days, we cannot consume all these as the family is smaller than the earlier days. So we did 3 at each place according to the number of family members.
In each leaf, ven pongal, sweet pongal are kept, patted using water and made dent in the middle. Add a slice of banana, a small piece of jaggery over it. Pour a tsp of ghee. 
Keep all the cooked items too in order. 

First the regular place is done with poojai. Later, veetu deivam and surya bahavan should be offered at the same time, so me and Mom in law did together simultaneously. 

Once the pooja is done, offered to crow, we all enjoy the food. We all sat on the floor and had food together. It was great experience last year and I was just imagining how the festival would have been celebrated those days earlier in our households where they had their own cultivation lands, cattles, cows and a very large (joint) family😃.


7 Stars(comments):

Thank you for visiting my space and leaving comments,your comments are really appreciated...
I am currently away, might take a bit while to respond to your query, but will sure do when I find time.


About Me

about me

Rajeswari Vijayanand

The person behind Rak’s Kitchen. Know more…


Blog Archive

Back to Top


12 easy Chutney recipes Top south Indian Breakfasts Gokulashtami recipes Ganesh Chaturthi recipes Easy 10 Diwali recipes Navratri recipes Diwali recipes Paneer recipes Gokulashtami 2014 recipes Ganesh chaturthi 2014 recipes Sponge Dosa Cauliflower masala Dosa Masala Dosa Maida Dosa Rawa Dosa Special vegetable masala dosa Tomato dosa Instant Ragi dosa Instant wheat dosa Onion rava dosa Vendhaya dosa Onion Uttapam Cone dosa Verum arisi dosa Paneer dosa Mysore masala dosa Dosa recipe peas masala Dosa 1- Idli vada uttapam 2 Pesarattu upma 3- Appam stew 4- Idli vada pongal 5 - Poori, mix veg kurma 6- rava dosa 7- Stuffed idiyappam 8- Idli dosa kadappa 9- Kara paniyaram vendhaya dosa 10- Kichadi, tomoto dosa 11- Vada curry dosa 12- Sindhi Dal pakwan 13- Sunday lazy BF 14- Rava idli masal dosa Instant Oats Dosa Instant Oats Idli Lemon Oats Oats savoury porridge Oats Pongal Oats Paniyaram Oats kozhukattai Oats upma  Oats murungai keerai adai  Thinai sweet paniyaram Kuthiraivali upma/a> Varagu Kanji Ragi Adai Instant Ragi Dosa Ragi Kanji (Sweet and salt) Instant bajra dosai Varagu adai Kambu dosa Samai pongal Kuthiraivali sakkara pongal Kodo millet pulao easy kambu kanji Milagu jeeraga varagu adai Tindora varagu rice Thinai semiya upma Millet idli dosa Samai upma kozhukattai Idly 5 taste uthappam Rava Kichidi Poori Rice/Arisi Sundal Puli Idiyappam Stuffed Idiyappam Adai Lemon Aval Tamarind aval Rawa Idly Ven pongal Palak Poori Bhatura Pesarattu adai Arisi upma Ulundhu Kozhukattai Aval Kozhukattai Aval upma Killu Adai Neer Urundai Paruppu Idiyappam Vermicelli Biryani &Thayir semiya Chapati noodles Vegetable hakka noodles Bread Upma Eggless French toast Veg momos Sabudana Khichdi Rava upma Milagu idiyappam Ragi Kanji Tomato sevai Kanda batata Poha Mini idli sambar Kanchipuram idli Grilled chocolate sandwich Jaggery idiyappam Schezwan noodles Indian style veg sunny side up Brinjal gosthu Onion tomato Gosthu Tomato Gosthu Tiffin sambar with moong dal Tiffin samabr with toor dal Kumbakonam Kadappa Recipe Vegetable stew Tomato kurma Vada curry Potato masala for poori Gotsu for pongal Vada curry2 Coconut chutney Mint Chutney Coconut Mint chutney Coconut Coriander chutney Onion tomato Chutney Thengai thogayal Sutta kathirikkai chutney Raw green chilli chutney Onion Chutney Karivepillai Chutney Chutney recipe collection Mango thogaiyal  Ridgegourd chutney Easy red chuntey Onion chilly chutney Peanut chutney Basic coconut chutney Garlic chutney Idli podi Poondu milagai podi Lunch menu 1 Lunch menu 2 Lunch menu 3 Lunch menu 4 Lunch menu 5 Lunch menu 6 Lunch menu 7 Lunch menu 8 Lunch menu 9 Lunch menu 10 Lunch menu 11 Lunch menu 12 Lunch menu 13 Lunch menu 14 Lunch menu 15 Lunch menu 16 Lunch menu 17 Lunch menu 18 Lunch menu 19 Lunch menu 20 Lunch menu 21 Lunch menu 22 Lunch menu 23 Lunch menu 24 Lunch menu 25 Lunch menu 26 Lunch menu 27 Lunch menu 28 Lunch menu 29 Lunch menu 30 Lunch menu 31 Lunch menu 32 Lunch menu 33 Lunch menu 34 Lunch menu 35 Lunch menu 36 Lunch menu 37 Lunch menu 38 Lunch menu 39 Lunch menu 40 Lunch menu 41 Lunch menu 42 Lunch menu 43 Lunch menu 44 Lunch menu 45 Lunch menu 45 Lunch menu 46 Lunch menu 47 Lunch menu 48 Lunch menu 49 Lunch menu 50 Lunch menu 51 Lunch menu 52 Lunch menu 53 Lunch menu 54 Snake gourd/ Pudalangai Kootu Cabbage Kootu 7 veg kootu Keerai Kootu Poosanikkai rasavaangi Mixed veg.Kootu Sorakkai Kootu(bottle gourd) Mango Pachadi Ash gourd pachadi Gooseberry thayirpachadi Appala kootu Banana stem kootu Upponkai Chow chow kootu Palakottai kootu Beetroot poriyal Snake gourd poriyal Plantain/vazhakkai poriyal Vazhaipoo poriyal Double beans curry Soya bean curry(dry) Cluster Beans poriyal Purple cabbage poriyal Yellow pumpkin dry curry Banana stem poriyal Raw banana dry curry Vendaikai/ ladies finger poriyal Potato Masala curry Pidi karunai kizhangu Podimas Plantain/Vazhakkai jeera curry Brinjal / Kathrikai poriyal Keerai poriyal Keerai masiyal Unripe Jack fruit curry Carrot beans poriyal Drumstick leaves poriyal Potato podimas Potato curry Broccoli Stir fry Cauliflower curry Baby corn subzi Tindora Stir fry/Kovakkai kari Aloo methi Vendakkai curry 100% Microwave spicy potato curry Brinjal in Onion tomato base Kathirikai Kari Chow chow/Chayote curry Cluster bean paruppu Usili Soya chunks curry Senaikizhangu fry Aloo Gobi mutter curry Aloo Bhindi fry  Arbi curry Small potato curry Baby corn pepper fry Senai kizhangu fry Bitter gourd fry Paasi payaru sweet sundal Sweet corn sundal Peanut sundal Channa sundal Channa dal sundal Rajma sundal Moong dal sundal Pattani sundal Black channa sundal Crispy cauliflower fries Crispy ladies finger fries Crispy bitter gourd fries Sepankizhangu Varuval Vazhakkai chips Senaikizhangu chips Aloo tuk Kothamalli thogayal Pudina thogayal Paruppu thogayal Coconut thogayal Gongura thogayal Keerai Masiyal Pirandai thogaiyal Coriander seeds podi Coriander leaves Thokku Paruppu Podi Karuveppilai podi Poricha kuzhambu Poricha kuzhambu easy curry leaves kuzhambu Mochakottai kuzhambu Paruppu urundai kuzhambu More Kuzhambu Pumpkin gravy Ridge gourd gravy Pepper Kuzhambu Poondu Kuzhambu Kara Kuzhambu Thakkali kuzhambu Keerai Sambar Arachuvitta sambar Mango sambar Dhahi Kadhi Dal tadka/Dal fry Dal tadka (Using moong dal) Dal palak Tomato Kadhi Sukku milagu kuzhambu Brinjal masala kuzhamu Easy pepper kuzhambu Vathal kuzhambu Vendakkai sambar Avarakkai sambar Methi dal Varutharacha kuzhambu Easy basic rasam Lemon/ginger rasam Puli saru/vendhaya vengaya rasam Paruppu rasam Pepper rasam Tomato rasam Agathi keerai thanni saaru Manathakkali thanni saaru Veppam poo rasam Mysore rasam Buttermilk rasam Annasi/ Pineapple rasam Vegetable stock recipe Carrot soup Tomato Soup Sweet corn soup Minestrone soup Palak soup Broccoli soup Cauliflower potato soup

Methi Roti/ Methi Thepla Triangle paratha Aloo parata Gobi Paratha Cabbage Paratha Mooli Paratha Naan Roti/Chappati Onion paratha Ragi adai Mixed vegetable stuffed paratha Soya kheema paratha Easy palak paratha Peas paratha Lachha paratha Paneer paratha Capsicum Cheese paratha Rajma paratha Butter kulcha Missi roti Broccoli paratha Kashmiri naan Mooli paratha 2
Mixed vegetable kurma Potato kurma Kadai Bhendi Aloo palak Aloo bhendi masala Dal Makhani Boondhi raita Channa Bhatura Pindi Channa Peas masala Aloo Gobi Gobi Masala restaurant style Channa for Bhatura Baby corn Kurma 100% Microwave Butter Paneer masala Cauliflower and peas kurma Onion tomato gravy Whole green gram dhal Palak paneer Mutter paneer Masala Butter paneer masala Paneer Bhurji Cheesy Cauliflower Kofta Curry Hyderabad Subz Korma Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe Shahi paneer Kadai Paneer Paneer Pasanda Dum Aloo / Aloo dum Rajma masala Methi mutter malai Peas masala2 Chilli paneer gravy Potato masala for poori Aloo Bhaji Veg Manchurian Gravy Dal baati Schezwan baby potatoes Baingan bharta Malai kofta gravy Ridge gourd sabji Corn capsicum masala Puli sadham/tamarind rice with garlic Puliyogare Baby corn Pulav Tomato peas pulao Sweet corn pulao Tomato rice Tomato Bath Small potato Briyani Sprouted green gram fried rice Vegetable fried rice Fried rice Garlic rice Paneer fried rice Vaangi bath Coconut milk veg.briyani Capsicum rice Sambar sadam Vegetable Biryani Layered vegetable Biryani Mushroom biryani Thengai Sadham Peanut rice Jeera Rice Mango rice Curd rice/ thayir sadam Lemon rice Veg pulao Sesame rice Channa pulao Jeera cashew pulao Beetroot pulao Narthangai sadam Instant puli sadam Methi pulao Soya chunks biryani Curry leaves rice Kashmiri pulao Dal kichdi Tawa pulao Badhusha Jangri Sweet boondhi Jalebi Maida Burfi Kesar Burfi Paal Kesari(Kesari using milk) Rava Kesari Semiya Kesari Fruit Kesari Ras malai Rasgulla Rava Ladoo Corn flour halwa Carrot Halwa Beetroot Halwa Badam Halwa Shahi Tukra/tukda Sandesh Kaju Katli Coconut Barfi Sweet somas Aval ladoo Atta ladoo Nei urundai Besan ladoo Gulab Jamun Mysore pak Boondi ladoo Chocolate burfi Microwave therattipal Aval kesari Eggless chocolate mousse Apple custard Nutella truffles Mango Sago Caramel bread pudding Aval payasam Fine vermicelli payasam Vermicelli payasam Sago/javarisi payasam Paal Kozhukattai Payatham paruppu payasam Paal payasam/ Milk Kheer Coconut payasam Paal kozhukattai jaggery Badam kheer Akkaravadisal Thiruvathirai Adai and Kali Sweet pooranam Pori Urundai for karthigai Deepam Kozhukattai Ulundu Kozhukattai Uppu vella seedai Poli Adhirasam Sakkarai Pongal Sakkarai Pongal -2 Kalkanndu pongal Paal pongal 7 kari kootu Wheat flour Appam Suzhiyan Adhirasam Panakam Nei appam Karadaiyan nonbu adai Maida seedai  Ellu kozhukattai Vella kozhukattai Nel pori urundai Sweet pidi kozhukattai Baby corn manchurian Gobi Manchurian Baby corn Bajji Plantain skin pakoras Oma podi/sev Onion pakoda(with mint leaves) Murukku(potato murukku) Kai murukku(with video) Thattai Kara sev Kara boondi Thenkuzhal Murukku Magizhampoo Murukku Savory Diamond cuts Uppu seedai and vella seedai Ola Pakoda/ Ribbon Pakoda Sweet diamond cuts Ulundhu vadai/Medhu vadai Vazhai poo vadai Keera vadai Masala vadai Cabbage vadai Thavala vadai Chilli Paneer Dry Vegetable cutlets Paneer Pakora Palak pakora Mysore Bonda Spring rolls Panner Tikka in oven Gulnar seekh kababs Corn seekh Kebab Corn Rolls Dhokla Khandvi Samosa Gobi 65 Beach style kara pori Aloo Bonda Chilli Bajji Vazhakkai Bajji Ring murukku Wheat flour murukku Spicy Mixture Bread Bajji Mini samosa Baked idli fry Seepu seedai Cashew murukku sabudana vada Thayir vadai Punugulu Green chutney 1 Green Chutney 2 Red chutney Sev Poori Vada Pav Bhel puri Dahi vada Dahi puri Pav bhaji Vada Pav Raj Kachori Canape chaat Aloo channa chaat Peanut chaat Chilli Parotta Upma adai Sweet and kara paniyarams Soya kheema toast Kaima Idli Chutney Idli Cocktail Idli Aloo veg grilled sandwich Aloo kathi roll Ammini kozhukattai Eggless Pancakes Red velvet pancakes Pizza Homemade paneer tikka pizza Bread Pizza / Pizza cups Vegetable Puffs Easy cheesy pasta Homemade Pasta sauce Macaroni and cheese Corn Chat Stir fried spaghetti Aglio olio Veg momos Creamy tomato pasta Broccoli pesto pasta Baked pasta muffins Spaghetti with Spinach Masala pasta Capsicum cheese paratha Aloo kathi roll Spicy veggie pizza Nutella chapati Blueberry pancakes Corn potato toast Spinach lasagna How to make paneer Ghee Ginger garlic Paste Garam masala powder Homemade Pasta sauce Homemade tortillas Sambar powder Rasam powder Koozh vadam Elai vadam mor milagai Tomato Thokku Neer Nellikkai/Pickled goose berries Mango thokku/ Maanga thokku Maa Inji Oorugai/Mango Ginger Pickle Mango Instant pickle Vadu manga pickle Narthangai Pachadi Filter Coffee Microwave hot chocolate Ginger cardamom tea Masala milk Kothamalli thanni Panakam Carrot Juice Carrot orange juice Cantaloupe juice Grape juice Pomegranate juice Guava lime cooler Papaya Honey Smoothie Honeydew melon smoothie Vanilla caramel milkshake Mango milkshake Nutella banana milkshake Chikku/Sapota milk shake Strawberry milkshake Pineapple,lychee melody Apple lemonade Tomato Juice Yellow watermelon Juice Orange juice with lemon Strawberry lemonade Watermelon juice Panneer Soda Custard powder Icecream Neer mor Masala chaas Red velver hot cocoa Jigarthanda Masala neer mor Mango lassi Ice lemon tea Masala coke Oreo milkshake Rose milk popsicles Honeydew melon granita Custard powder Icecream Easy nutella banana icecream Mango sorbet Ilaneer sorbet Grape popsicle Mango icecream Watermelon granita Stuffed Masala Buns Garlic Buns Garlic bread Khara buns Potato buns Pizza buns Eggless Jam biscuits Eggless Choco chip cookies Oma biscuits Oats savory crackers Shortbread cookies Eggless tutty fruity cake Microwave chocolate cake Eggless chocolate cake- Eggless vanilla Cake Eggless brownies Eggless Banana Walnut Muffins Eggless blueberry muffins Eggless chocolate muffins Eggless Choco chip muffins Eggless Orange cake Eggless date cake Raspberry cheese cake Eggless carrot muffins Macaroni and cheese Aglio olio Homemade tortillas Redbean quesadilla Eggless Pancakes Homemade Tomato Salsa Guacamole Veg momos Granola recipe Oven baked baby potatoes Bruschetta Focaccia Thai green curry Corn fritters Butter Corn pasta Red bean/Rajma tacos