Pongala, which signifies ‘to bubble over’, is the custom in which ladies get ready sweet pongal (a pudding produced using rice, jaggery, coconut and plantains cooked together) and offer it to the Goddess or ‘Bhagavathy’.


  • 1 cup Kerala matta (rose matta) rice, soaked and rinsed
  • 3⁄4 cup jaggery
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp. ghee
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
  • 2 tbsp. hopped cashews, toasted
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced

In a medium pot over high heat, bring 5 cups water to a boil. Add the rice and boil until the water nearly bubbles over, 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes more. Add 2 cups water and stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Partially cover and cook until the rice is very tender (almost overcooked) and the water is mostly absorbed, 20–25 minutes. Stir in the jaggery to dissolve, 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut, ghee, and cardamom. Serve in bowls, topped with the cashews, raisins, and banana

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