Thai Pongal Treats for Breakfast Today

Kumari cooked her little heart out all morning to produce a bevy of Thai Pongal specialities to take to her daughter (oh, and for me too, of course!) so I thought the least I could do to show my appreciation was to take some pictures to share with you.

Foremost amongst Pongal treats here in Sri Lanka is Pongal itself –


a delicious concoction of red rice, cashew nuts, little, unhusked peanuts, dates, sultanas and raisins cooked in coconut milk, with a little jaggery (palm sugar), pani (coconut nectar) and cinnamon.  With all those wonderful nutty and fruity flavours, and a complex texture it’s a cross between desert and the most luscious bircher muesli cum porridge!

I’ve saved mine for ‘lunch’ because I got stuck into the spicy chick peas and delicious aromatic vadai.

Aromatic Wade

Here, have a look at this morning’s spread!

45 thoughts on “Thai Pongal Treats for Breakfast Today

  1. Oh wow, they all look delicious! I missed a lot on my recent travel to Sri Lanka! I hope I can have them when I make my way to the country again in the future.

    • Oh yes, Lucid Gypsy – all vegetarian! Thai Pongal is a harvest festival, so of course the grains are what are offered to the god.

      The Mordagam is a sweet concoction – inside that little twist of rice pastry is the most delicious mixture of chopped coconut, nuts and jaggery, with a generous and mind altering dash of cardamom. I hold it by it’s little topknot and take a bite of its bulb – the nose picks up the scent of the cardamom first, before the taste buds and it’s quite a thrill to the senses!

    • Yes, delicious, and healthy – one always feels virtuous eating ‘vegetarian’ food I find Christine! (Not that I eat much meat. That’s one of the things I love about Sri Lankan meals – a little meat and lots of different vegetable dishes – and the rice, of course!).

  2. Aah, and here I was, cooking (and freezing) a whole host of non veg, in preparation for my Father in law’s visit tomorrow…..sacrilege 🙂
    I love sweet (Sakkara) pongal. We use cardamom in place of cinnamon. The spicy chickpea is called Sundal (U as in put), the one made with green peas is much nicer, but is strangely less common these days.

    • What a shame, I had green peas – or do you mean dry, Madhu? I wonder if Kumari knows the recipe? Thank you for filling in the Sakkara and Sundal names – I should have a little notebook and pen with me at all times – sometimes it’s difficult to get the words straight, let alone remember them long enough to write them down later! (I’m very unilingual :(. ). Non-veg? Most unusual!

      • I am sure Kumari will know the recipe. its made with dried peas usually with bits of raw mango, hence the name – “Thenga, Manga, Battani Sundal”.
        And yes, my Tamil neighbours wouldn’t approve of the non-veg cooking on a festival day 🙂

  3. What delicious looking treats. And so nicely presented and photographed. I am going to be in India again in a few weeks and this time am going to have to save room for desert. 🙂

    • Lucky you! Where are you going this time? Are you shooting something special?

      There are so many wonderful desserts in India (though often a little sweet for my liking) – with regional/religious specialities like rosewater, or almonds or pistachio, or honey, or pomegranate … you should talk your friends into taking you to do a tasting!

  4. Although I live within a half-mile of Chicago’s Little India, sadly there are no Sri Lankan restaurants to be found. Still, I will look for these treats the next time I’m over there. Surely they won’t be nearly as good as the homemade dishes that you enjoyed but at least I’ll have an idea of what to look for. 🙂

  5. Ooooh! I love those little dumpling things! We have the best Thai restaurant near us… and one of the desserts is “sticky rice with mango.” Yum, yum, yum.

    You are one lucky lady to have this feast!

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