Pongala is normally made in Goddess temples, mainly Kerala and Tamil Nadu to please the goddess. Attukal pongala is made using payasam rice, known as 'puzhungalari' and jaggery known as 'sarkkara' and adding a little ghee and raisins. I am telling you how it is made in Attukal every year, the place where more than 3 million women gathers to give their offerings to 'Bhagavathi'. Pongala is normally made using unused earthern pots in fire hearths. But at home, we can use gas stove also, but if you get a clay pot make use of it. Bay leaves commonly known as 'vayana ila' in Kerala are added to the payasam at last to enhance its nice aroma.

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Ingredients:
Payasam rice - 1/2 kg
Jaggery crushed- 1/2 kg
Scraped coconut - 1
Cashew nuts - A handful
Raisins - A handful
Cardamom crushed - 8 or 10 ( or as needed )
Small banana(Rasakadali or palayamkodan) sliced - 4
Bay leaves - 3 or 4
Ghee - 2 tablespoon or as needed

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Method of preparation:
1. Take water sufficient for making payasam. It should be noted that payasam should be thick. So take care to take enough water. You can add water later also. Boil the water.
2. When water boils, add the cleaned rice. No need to stir it now.
3. When it boils, stir the rice well and cook it. Always take care as rice may settle at bottom and burn. So stir it at least once in 5-10 minutes and cook it well. The water should be almost completely absorbed. Even if you find water in it, you should evaporate it completely.
4. Add jaggery to it and stir continuosly in low flame for 3 minutes. When jaggery melts, it will add extra moisture to the payasam.
5. Add crushed cardamom, ghee and coconut and stir continuosly.
6. Add sliced banana, cashew nuts, raisins and bay leaves tored to it and mix well. Put the flame of.
 If you are doing Pongala at temple, place a banana leaf on the top and let it be there in heart till evening. It will make pongala thick and will have the baked effect.


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