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How to make Pulagam

Pulagam is a famous Andhra recipe mostly used as naivedyam i.e offering to God. This is basically a rice item and is a healthy combination of cereal (rice) and lentil (dal). This food item is very much similar to the North Indian recipe - Khichdi and to that of Ven / Katte Pongal.


The recipe is simple and easy to prepare. It offered as naivedyam to Sun God on Ratha Saptami day This item is prepared with the new harvest of rice on the Makara Sankranti day and offered as naivedyam to Sun God. As 'Pongal' is the special dish prepared by Tamilians on Makara Sankranti day, the festival is known as 'Pongal'.

In many of the temples in South India, pulagam is offered as naivedyam to the deity and is distributed to the devotees. The mouth-watering aroma of the hot hot pulagam distributed in the temples stimulates your taste buds and it is so irresistible that you can't stop yourself from asking the priest for one or two more leaf bowls of pulagam.  The taste of the recipes which are offered as naivedyam to the Lord and then distributed as prasadam to the devotees is really something and it is near difficult to get such a taste when the same is prepared by us. You feel something lacking in the recipe and you really don't get that typical taste of prasadam offered in the South Indian temples.

Ingredients

  • 1 measure (small cup) of quality rice preferably Sona Masoori
  • One-third measure of split green gram / pesara pappu / moong dal
  • 1 tbsp melted butter / ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
  • few fresh curry leaves
  • Little black pepper corns / miriyalu
  • Grated ginger (optional)
  • few cashew nuts fried in ghee till golden brown 
  • salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Wash rice and moong dal and soak these together for at least 10-15 minutes.
  2. In the mean time, heat ghee in a thick bottomed container, add jeera and allow it to splutter. 
  3. When the jeera turns brownish, add curry leaves and black pepper corns. Fry these for a couple of seconds.
  4. Now drain off water from the soaked rice and dal and add this to the heated spices in the container. 
  5. Fry the whole thing for a couple of seconds and then add water and salt to it.
  6. Cook this mixture in a thick bottomed container over medium flame by placing a lid on the container. 
  7. Cook till the rice and dal becomes soft with required consistency.
  8. Once done, garnish the hot pulagam with fried cashew nuts and offer it as a naivedyam to God.
  9. After offering to the Lord, you can enjoy the taste of the prasadam along with ginger pickle / allam pachchadi.

Health benefits of Pulagam

Pulagam which is basically a rice item, is a healthy combination of cereal and lentil with a blend of little spices and ghee. Rice which is a cereal is rich in carbohydrates and moong dal which is a lentil is a good source of protein. Moong dal is a very commonly used lentil for making the traditional dal tadka, dal fry, khichdi, pongal etc and is a commonly used item in the Indian household. This lentil is a dieter-friendly dal which is rich in iron and potassium as iron helps in increasing hemoglobin count in the blood while potassium helps in reducing blood pressure. Moreover, this lentil is easily digestible and is good for sick people, pregnant women, people with acidity problem and also for diabetic people. This rice item gives a filled-in feeling and keeps you away from hunger the whole day. Hence, it is also good for obese people and those who are keen on weight loss.

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