Celebrated as Pongal and Makar Sankranti in the south, the four-day harvest festival holds a lot of significance in our lives.

India being an agrarian nation, people celebrate the new crop harvest, cattle and good farm yield with pomp and festivities.

It is also time whip us dishes using newly harvested rice, fresh jaggery, succulent sugarcane as a part of festive feast. These ‘naivedyams’ are offered to Sun God and other deities.

If you are planning to cook ‘pongal’ with a twist, checkout the following high on fibre, delicious recipes.

Millet Pongal

Millet pongal is a healthy, fibre rich, protein filled dish made using foxtail millet. Other millets like kodo, little millet and barnyard millet can also be used to make Pongal. It is a great dish for all health-conscious people as millets come with a myriad of nutrients and taste delicious too.

Nutritional Facts

Foxtail millets are an amazing source of dietary fibre, protein, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, iron and selenium. They are also a storehouse of antioxidants that provide you with impressive health benefits.

Ingredients

½ cup foxtail millet

¼ cup yellow moong dal

1 green chillies

1 tsp jeera seeds

2 tsp whole black pepper

1 sprig curry leaves

8-10 cashew nuts

1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp ginger, chopped

2 tbsp ghee

1 tbsp cooking oil

Method

Dry roast foxtail millet and moong dal in a pan. Wash and soak roasted millet and moong dal for an hour.

In a pressure cooker, add the soaked millets, dal, 4 cups of water, green chilies and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.

Open the cooker once the pressure is released and mash it thoroughly.

In a pan add ghee roast cashews until they turn golden brown and keep it aside.

Heat oil in the same pan add oil temper it with jeera seeds, peppercorns, hing, salt, chopped ginger and curry leaves sauté for a few minutes and pour over the cooked millet Pongal and mix well.

Garnish with fried cashew nuts and serve hot with mixed vegetable sambar or chutney.

Bamboo Rice Sakkarai Pongal

Bamboo rice sakkarai pongal is a healthy, sweet dish that can be made during Pongal. The moist and sticky texture of bamboo rice makes it an ideal option of rice to make gooey Pongal.

Nutritional Facts

Bamboo rice is a type of special rice that derived from the bamboo shoot. Bamboo rice’s nutrient-profile is rich in fibre, calcium phosphorus and B vitamins. It is low on glycemic index making it an ideal choice for diabetics and all health-conscious individuals.

Ingredients:

1 cup bamboo rice

2 cups palm sugar

10-12 no’s cashew nuts

8-10 no’s raisins

3 tbsp ghee

2 pods cardamom

4 cups water

Method:

Soak bamboo rice for 6-7 hours

Drain the water and grind it in to a coarse consistency.

Add 4 cups of water and cook it in a deep bottom vessel on a medium flame for 15 minutes. Keep stirring continuously.

Add the palm sugar syrup, powder cardamom and continue to stir.

In a pan add ghee roast cashew nuts and raisins until golden brown and pour over the cooked sakkarai pongal.

Serve Bamboo rice sakkarai pongal hot or chilled.