Delicious Vella pongala payasam a white sweet rice pudding made with raw rice, milk, rock candy, ghee and cardamom.
This recipe is close to my heart, and it from my hometown Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala, India. During the month of Feb/March all women in Thiruvanthapuram take a day-long escape from domestic responsibilities to celebrate Attukal Pongala. This year it is on February 20th. I want to create the recipes for pongala as keepsake in this my blog. I already posted Pongala payasam/ sweet rice pudding, Mandaputtu/Mungbean and rice steamed balls. This time I decided to make Vella pongala payasam/white rice pudding.
Attukal pongala is held on the Pooram day in the Malayalam month of Kumbha, when the sun shines at its peak. In the blazing sun and palls of smoke billowing from the hearths, devotees make sweet rice concoctions in their pots (usually new earthen pot) to offer to the Goddess. Temporary stoves made from bricks and dried coconut palm leaves are used as fuel for the fire. Read more from here.
I had asked my friend Suja as she is also from Thiruvanthapuram to check with her mother for recipe. I have gone as helper to my mother for Attukal pongala. Never did pongala alone. This is a unique recipe made with rice, milk, rock candy/Sugar, ghee, banana and cardamom. Rice is most important and prominent where rest is part of it.
You need 5 items along with rice to make this Vella pongala payasam/Sweet rice pudding. Even though pongala payasam made with rice and jaggery is most common that people make during the pongala, some will also make this vella pongala with other ingredients like fresh coconut instead of Banana.
Then there is another dish called Vella choru, made with rice, freshly grated coconut and thulasi leaves (Holy basil). They don’t even add any salt to it, I will try to make that recipe sometime later.
Pongala payasam/Sweet rice pudding is offered in the belief that God will be pleased with you, whereas Vella pongala paysam is offered to Goddess for fulfilling some wishes. Mandaputtu is offered to heal head and hair related diseases.
When all the offerings are cooked, a sweet aroma filled with devotion and prayers fill the air and make it a divine experience. Here is my recipe of Vella pongala payasam/ White rice pudding.
Vella pongala paysam /White rice pudding
- ⅓ cup/75g Raw rice
- 3 cup water
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoon rock candy/ sugar
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ¾ banana
- First boil the water in the pot.
- Then add a handful of rice for first 3 times, then add rest of rice and cook.
- Make sure not stir until it boils over.
- Once it is boil over continue to cook until rice is almost over cooked.
- Then add milk and mix and cook for 5 minutes.
- Then add ghee and rock candy /sugar then cardamom and cook until everything combined well and the payasam get thickened well
- Then add small banana cut it into thin round and mix well.
- It is ready for offering.
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This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.