It is a local holiday today at my home town Trivandrum and it makes me nostalgic with the sweet memories of the famous Attukal Temple Pongala.......First I thought of writing in detail on this Ladies only festival which has occupied its name in the Guinness World records....Later I got a Wonderful Blog exclusively for Attukal Pongala festival...So I am not repeating any thing here...Interested readers can visit http://attukalpongala.blogspot.com/
Being brought up at Trivandum, I never missed joining in with my grandma , mom & all relatives on this occasion to offer a Pongala for the Attukal Devi....Since last couple of years, though I could'nt join them physically, my mind is always with them offering my Pongala.
There are so many items which are prepared as offering for Attukal Devi on this day, such as Sharkara Pongal (Payasam), Cooked White Rice, Mandapputtu ( prepared from a mix of green gram, rice flour and jaggery) , Therali Appam , Cooked green gram, Unniyappam etc...
My grandma used to assign each of us the duty to look after one item and Therali Appam is the one usually I will be assigned ...So this one has some how became my favourite item...It is a sweet offering prepared using rice flour, jaggery and banana...The name of this comes from the special leaf called Vayana leaf also called therali which are used for wrapping the sweet...
For the Pongala day we used to make them in large numbers and string them together using coconut leaf sticks...
The nice aroma that comes, once the appams get cooked is really irresistable...!!!
Here is the recipe of this special Pongala sweet that you can try out in case you can get hold of some Vayana leaves...
- Roasted Rice flour - 2 cups
- Powdered Jaggery - 1 1/2 cup ( Add little more according to your sweet tooth if required)
- Small banana - 3 nos
- Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
- Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
- Vayana leaves - enough Nos for wrapping
- Coconut leaf sticks - enough Nos to keep the wrap in tact
- Wash the Vayana leaves to remove any dirt and wipe with a clean cloth.
- Fold the leaves as shown on the right and tie them using the coconut leaf sticks. Keep these moulds aside.
- Now mix the ingredients 1 and 2 without forming any lumps.
- Add smashed bananas and grated coconut to this along with cardamom powder and mix well. ( We used to do this by hand as no gadgets are used for making offerings during Pongala. But you can use a mixer for this, as it may take more time by hand.)
- Now fill in the leaf moulds with a spoonful of the prepared mix and steam them for about 20- 25 mins.
Allow them to cool and remove the leaf mould before serving .....
Wishing all ladies out there at Trivandum today, a Safe and peaceful Pongala Day !!!!!!!!!!