Wish You a Happy Pongal and Sankranti 2021

by Shobha Hegde
P{ongal 2021

May the sweetness of gur, doodh and kaju bring happiness into your life. A very happy Pongal and Sankranti 2021

Sankranti 2021

The land of festivals in India. India celebrates the harvest festival at different times throughout the year. They are owing to the diversity in climate and differences in a region’s staple crop. Hindu regional calendars have two elements lunar and solar. The lunar-based on the moon’s movement and counts from the full moon to the full moon. Many regions begin the local new year with the commencement of the lunar calendar. Sankranti marks the beginning of the new year, the traditional  Hindu solar calendar.  India celebrates Bihu, Pongal, Makara Sankranti, and Lohri with distinct names. Rituals in different parts of the country. The festival holds an eternal meaning to it. Makar Sankranti commemorates the beginning of the harvest season. Cessation of the northeast monsoon in South India. The Sun’s movement from one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranthi.  The Sun moves into the Capricorn zodiac known as Makara Sankranthi. One of the few Hindu festivals celebrated on a fixed date. ‘Thanksgiving’ festival is celebrated to thank the SUN God. Farmers, thank you for getting better-yielding crops. During the festival, people reject old belongings and welcome new stuff.

Indian festival occasion. People wear new clothes,  pray to God, and offer traditional food to their ancestorVisit near and dear ones to get blessings from elders. s. Rangoli a shobha-hegde-fermentation-stationbeautiful ornate drawings and patterns on the ground drawn in front of their homes. Since my childhood, I have liked to draw rangolis. In Hindu scriptures, a belief that rangoli has been removed to welcome Lakshmi. The Goddess of Prosperity into the home and drives away the evil spirits. Rangoli has drawn throughout the year in most homes in South India. Significance of rangoli during festive, add colours to look more attractive. I begin my festival with a beautiful rangoli in my front yard entrance. Later take a bath, and start cooking with traditional recipes necessary for a festive occasion.

There are different varieties of dishes prepared during Sankranti. The most popular dish prepared for the Sankranthi festival is PONGAL. Tradition sweet Pongal made with rice+lentil (yellow moong)added jaggery. Jaggery is Indian unrefined cane sugar and has a molasses-like flavour and taste. Cardamom powder, Cashews, and raisins tempered with ghee enhances the taste and flavour of Pongal

The right indulgences can fuel us. Sweet Pongal holds some nutritional value. It is a well-known fact that lovely food acts on the taste buds. A sweet dish first improves the flow of digestive secretion. The sugary word is easier and more enjoyable to consume—low-nutrient carbohydrates than any nutritional and healthy food.

If we delve into the real impact of a favour, done without calculating the returns, it is faster than the ocean.

Tiruvalluvar, Kural

It is always essential to focus on consuming a well-balanced diet. Crave for desserts in a healthier and tastier version not to compromise sweet taste buds. Rice is a cereal very divine offered at festivals for deities.  Rice offerings are sacred and holy. This year made an upgrade on my sweet Pongal.

1. Use grain or fibre-rich rice.

Butterfly pea flower TeaMy sweet Pongal recipe had cooked brown rice. Brown rice has many vitamins and minerals. It contains Iron, manganese, and phosphorous. If you don’t like brown rice, substitute it with other grains with higher protein levels than rice. I add moong dal. It is a bean versatile and high in nutrients, and believed to aid many ailments. It is one of the best plant-based sources of protein.

  • Rich in  healthy nutrients
  • High antioxidant levels may reduce chronic disease risk.
  • Rich in potassium, Magnesium and Fiber, which may reduce blood sugar
  • May lower Bad LDL cholesterol levels reducing heart disease.

If love and virtue permeate the family life, they become the character and fruit of the family life.

Tiruvalluvar, Kural

2. Add more Fiber

The traditional sweet Pongal is prepared with jaggery, better than sugar which contains molasses. Adding fibre helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the blood. s. I have used sweeteners as dates with 6g more thread than the classic.

One who feels envious of the wealth given away as a charity will have even his kin suffer without anything to wear and eat.

Tiruvalluvar, Kural

3. Dairy alternative milk

Home made peanut butterMilk adds a creamy texture and flavour to the dessert. Coconut milk is high in calories food. 93% fat, including saturated fats. It contains many other nutrients.

4. Reduce unnecessary fat

I am adorning a dish with lots of ghee, cashew, and raisins( unhealthy). Ghee has 50% saturated fat. I roast the cashews and raisins with natural fat and add them to any sweet dish. In my personal opinion, it is not necessary for my family on daily use.

We are finally, Offering to the Sun God sweet Pongal as part of the Thanksgiving ritual or puja with traditional attire. Our ancestors prepare this dish to signify and celebrate prosperity after the harvest.

Crave for sweets makes you happier. Enjoy Sweet Pongal with your sweet tooth, a healthier and wholesome dish.

Wish you all Happy Sankranti 2021

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