Home | Articles | Health and Nutritious Pongal Thali: Happy Pongal 2023

By Dr.Srilatha
Dietician
Published on 11/01/2023

Pongal, also known as Sankranti, Lohri, and other names based on the diverse cultures of several states in northern and southern India, is one of the first festivals celebrated across the country after the new year. The lush fields and verdant plantations around the country are once again producing a bountiful local crop of healthful vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts, and oils.

We must thank Mother Nature for her vast natural resources, which support all forms of life on Planet Earth. As we enter 2023 and celebrate Pongal, we have many prayers and thanks to offer to the Almighty for allowing us to survive the difficult conditions.

The four-day harvest festival 'Pongal' is celebrated with enthusiasm by the people of South India, especially in Tamil Nadu with friends and family. The 'Thanksgiving event' marks the start of the spring season. Many delicious traditional Pongal foods are cooked and consumed.

The festive dishes made and served all around India at this time have a few very distinguishing characteristics: they're at their freshest because they're from the harvest, which makes them exceptionally strong in antioxidants and phytochemicals. Because they help fight sickness, ingesting them helps our bodies do the same. Farm-fresh produce beats cold-storage produce in terms of nutritional degradation.

Are Pongal thalis healthy?

Pongal thali contains significant amounts of fiber and protein, two nutrients that support a healthy metabolism. It also contains good fats, which help the body stay warm naturally in the winter, calm the nerves, and lubricate the bones and joints. Fats aid in the function of hormones like the adrenals, which reduce stress and promote immunity.

Nutritious foods from the heart of South India that you can enjoy during Pongal festivals:

Intricate artistic kolams made of rice flour and bonfires used to burn trash symbolically are just a few of the traditional Pongal festivities. The harvest festival celebrations wouldn't be complete without a cup of hot, sweet Pongal cooked in traditional earthen pots and sweetened with dollops of ghee, correct?

The "Pongal bhojanam" includes the following additional healthy treats:

Sweet Pongal or Sakkara Pongal

In the pongal food moong dal provides an abundance of proteins for strong muscles and hormonal balance. Rice is a major source of carbohydrates for immediate energy and increased stamina and excellent source of b-complex vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin which are important for metabolism and are required body functions. Also, Jaggery is a source of energy that has small amounts of trace elements and minerals which are prepared in iron cast. The dry fruits and raisins are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cashew nuts supply healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

Rava Pongal

Recipe which replaces rice with rava.This dish has the same calories as rice pongal, but has more protein as we use rava and has many vitamins and minerals. This dish also boasts several health benefits, including raised immunity, a high protein content, and ease of digestion.

Til barfi

Sesame seeds, sugar, khoya, and ghee are used to make these delicious, crispy barfis. Jaggery can be used in place of sugar as a healthier alternative. Due to their high-fat content, sesame seeds make an excellent source of energy. They include beneficial fats, including Omega-6 and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Moreover, they include phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and other nutrients that assist in increasing energy. These nutrients make bones and muscles strong and boost the immune system.

Puranpoli

Everyone enjoys this traditional Pongal dish! To make this flatbread, Bengal gram dal, coconut, and ghee are combined. Puran Poli's flavor works culinary magic in the mouth. It offers fiber, is a significant source of protein, and also includes calcium, zinc, and folate. Chana dal can be substituted with toor dal, which has similar qualities to chana dal.

Medu vada

Medu vada is a crunchy, disc-shaped food that is deep-fried. Enjoy the vada with mint, coconut, and tomato chutney while being dipped in the hot sambhar. Black lentils, which make up the majority of medu vadas,are a protein-rich snack and good source of iron, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Moreover, by making them at home, you reduce the amount of saturated fat and hazardous trans fat. And let's not forget how amazing a homemade vada tastes!

Lemon rice

Lemon rice is a dish on any South Indian menu. It tastes great and has a tangy flavor, making it more tempting to be consumed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Vitamin C-rich foods include lemon and peanuts, which is a source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Murukku

A crispy dish made with rice, urad dal, ajwain, and til that has been coiled, it is one of the healthiest snack choices. It has protein, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and is good for the heart, immune system, and digestive system.

Enjoy the Pongal festival with loved ones, friends along with a healthy diet. Let the pots of your Pongal overflow with health!