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

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.


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


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.


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.

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.


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


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.


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.

Quinoa Pongal

Quinoa Pongal


½ cup quinoa

¼ cup moong dal

¼ cup jaggery

2 cups water

2 tbsp cashews, cut into pieces

10 -12 raisins

2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tbsp ghee


Heat a half cup of water in a pan on medium flame, powder the jaggery, add it to the pan.

Allow it to dissolve completely by stirring for 2 – 3 minutes, to obtain a sauce-like consistency and turn off flame.

Soak quinoa in water for 15 minutes.

Dry roast moong dal, then pressure cook the soaked quinoa and moong dal for 3 whistles.

Transfer the mashed moong dal and quinoa to the pan with jaggery syrup and cook for a few minutes.

Fry the cashews and raisins along with cardamom powder in some ghee in another pan and finally add it as a topping to the quinoa pongal.


Quinoa is a powerhouse of proteins, which help build strong muscles and foster growth and development of organs in the body. Jaggery and moong dal abound in iron and antioxidants, for healthy red blood cell synthesis and transport as well as eliminating toxins from the system.