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  • Celebrate Pongal & Makar Sankranti in the USA with Authentic Indian Sweets

Celebrate Pongal & Makar Sankranti in the USA with Authentic Indian Sweets Published Jan 10th, 2024
Celebrate Pongal & Makar Sankranti in the USA with Authentic Indian Sweets

Pongal involves boiling rice with milk and jaggery until it overflows, symbolizing positive beginnings. Makar Sankranti marks the sun's transition into Capricorn. Both festivals involve sharing freshly harvested food and expressing gratitude. 

Pongal, a popular harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu and southern India, starts on January 14 and lasts until January 17. Simultaneously, Makar Sankranti is observed on January 15 in various northern regions. Pongal marks the end of winter, coinciding with Makar Sankranti, a harvest festival where people worship the sun.

 

Pongal and Makar Sankranti Celebrations: Date & Time

The name 'Pongal,' meaning "spilling over," originates from boiling rice with milk and jaggery until it overflows, symbolizing positive beginnings in life. Legend has it that Lord Shiva cursed Basava (the bull) to live on Earth forever, plowing fields to help produce more food, leading to the celebration with cattle after the harvest.

The four-day Pongal festival includes Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, Maattu Pongal, and Kanum Pongal, each day holding unique significance. Traditional Pongal dish preparation, using freshly harvested rice boiled with milk and jaggery, is a crucial custom, symbolizing an ode to the Sun god.

On Makar Sankranti, worshippers bathe in sacred rivers for spiritual purification, with sesame and jaggery treats symbolizing a desire for peace. Both festivals foster gatherings with family and friends, emphasizing new beginnings, prosperity, and harmony.

Pongal celebrations will begin on January 14, 2024, and will continue until January 17, 2024. Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on January 15, 2024.

 

History Of Mattu Pongal

According to spiritual beliefs, Lord Shiva cursed his bull, Basava, condemning him to live on Earth forever due to a misunderstanding. When Shiva asked Basava to advise people to have a daily oil massage and bath and to eat once a month, Basava mistakenly conveyed the opposite message, leading to the curse.

In Tamil Nadu, during Mattu Pongal, people worship their Basava. They express gratitude by bowing down before their decorated cows or bulls, adorned with various colors. This tradition symbolizes respect for the animal and acknowledges its role in agriculture and food production. 

 

Best Indian Sweets To Shop For Pongal & Makar Sankranti 2024

  1. Puran Poli: Puran Poli is a traditional Indian sweet flatbread filled with a delectable mixture of lentils, jaggery, and spices. It is enjoyed during festivals like Makar Sankranti and offers a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.

  2. Til Ladoo: Til Ladoo, also known as Sesame Ladoo, is a delightful treat made with roasted sesame seeds and jaggery. These round, bite-sized Indian sweets are popular during Makar Sankranti celebrations, offering a nutty and sweet crunch.

  3. Sakkarai Pongal: Sakkarai Pongal is a South Indian festive dish made by boiling freshly harvested rice with jaggery, ghee, and cashews. This sweet and aromatic preparation is a staple during Pongal celebrations, symbolizing prosperity and abundance.

  4. Coconut Ladoo: Coconut Ladoo is a sweet delight made with grated coconut and condensed milk, creating soft and flavorful round sweets. These coconut-infused treats are popular during festive occasions in Indian sweet shop, adding a touch of tropical sweetness to the celebrations.

  5. Gulab Jamun: Gulab Jamun is a classic Indian sweet featuring deep-fried dough balls soaked in fragrant sugar syrup. These soft and syrupy delights are enjoyed during various festivals, offering a rich and indulgent experience.

You cab shop all the above sweets from our partnered brands, including SweeDesi, Almond House, Rajbhog Sweets, Shaheen Sweets, and more, and get doorstep delivery at zero cost. 

 

Easy Recipes of Pongal Sweets To Try This Festive Season

 

1. Puran Poli

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)

  • 1 cup jaggery (grated)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/4 cup ghee

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

  • Water as needed

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 30 minutes

  • Cooking: 45 minutes

Instructions:

  1. Cook chana dal until soft, then drain excess water.

  2. Mash the dal and mix it with grated jaggery in a pan.

  3. Cook the mixture until it thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.

  4. Add cardamom powder and mix well.

  5. In a separate bowl, knead whole wheat flour with water and ghee into a soft dough.

  6. Make small dough balls, fill them with the dal-jaggery mixture, and roll them into flatbreads.

  7. Cook the Puran Polis on a griddle with ghee until golden brown.

 

2. Til Ladoo

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sesame seeds

  • 1 cup jaggery (grated)

  • 1/4 cup ghee

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 15 minutes

  • Cooking: 15 minutes

Instructions:

  1. Dry roast sesame seeds until they become golden and aromatic.

  2. Grind the roasted sesame seeds to a coarse powder.

  3. In a pan, melt ghee, add jaggery, and let it melt.

  4. Mix the sesame powder with jaggery and cardamom powder.

  5. Shape the mixture into round ladoos.

 

3. Sakkarai Pongal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice

  • 1/2 cup split yellow moong dal

  • 1 cup jaggery (grated)

  • 1/4 cup ghee

  • 1/4 cup cashews

  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 15 minutes

  • Cooking: 30 minutes

Instructions: 

  1. Cook rice and moong dal together until soft.

  2. In a separate pan, melt jaggery with a little water to make a syrup.

  3. Mix the jaggery syrup with the cooked rice and dal.

  4. In another pan, roast cashews in ghee and add to the mixture.

  5. Add cardamom powder and ghee, mix well, and cook until the Pongal thickens.

 

4. Coconut Ladoo

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated coconut

  • 1 cup condensed milk

  • 1/4 cup ghee

  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 10 minutes

  • Cooking: 20 minutes

Instructions:

  1. In a pan, heat ghee and add grated coconut.

  2. Stir in condensed milk and cardamom powder.

  3. Cook the mixture until it thickens and starts leaving the sides of the pan.

  4. Allow it to cool slightly, then shape it into small round ladoos.

 

5. Gulab Jamun

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk powder

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup ghee

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • Oil for frying

  • For sugar syrup: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, a pinch of cardamom powder

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 20 minutes

  • Cooking: 20 minutes

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix milk powder, all-purpose flour, and ghee.

  2. Gradually add milk to form a soft dough.

  3. Shape the dough into small balls.

  4. Fry the balls until golden brown.

  5. In a separate pan, make sugar syrup by dissolving sugar in water and adding cardamom powder.

  6. Soak the fried balls in the sugar syrup until they absorb it.

As families come together to prepare and share these traditional sweets, the festivities satisfy the taste buds and foster a sense of unity, tradition, and joy during these auspicious occasions. May the warmth and sweetness of our Indian sweet delights continue to spread happiness and make these moments special for you and your loved ones. 

Wishing you a joyous festive season. 

 

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