Makar Sankranti Recipes | Pongal Recipes

Collection Makar Sankranti Recipes from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra
Collection Makar Sankranti Recipes from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra

Makara Sankranti is one of those festivals that is celebrated across the length and breadth of India, albeit under various names. Typically, celebrated over 2 to 4 days, it marks the start of Uttarayanam or  the 6-month period which marks the the passage of the Sun northwards towards the Tropic of Cancer.

Hindus believe that the 6 months of Uttarayanam corresponds to 1 day for the Gods while the 6 months of Dakshinayanam, when the Sun moves southwards towards the Tropic of Capricorn corresponds to 1 night for the Gods. 🙂

Makara Sankranti is also the harvest festival and so a day to celebrate the fresh harvest. A lot of the dishes made on this day include freshly harvested produce such as rice, sugarcane, etc.

One combination that is common to Makara Sankrati celebrations across India is Til and Gud or Sesame and Jaggery. You will find people across India making sweets such as Til ke Laddoo (or Tilgul as it is called in Maharashtra) or Gajak.

It is a day to celebrate and typically every family has a feast at home. Here are some Sankranti Recipes that you can include in this feast.

Using new rice is a big part of Sankranti celebrations in the South. You can make:

Do you want healthier options of the traditional dishes? Try these Sankranti Recipes for Rava Pongal and Kuthiraivali Pongal | Udalu Katte Pongali |Barnyard Millet Pongal.

Of course, no celebration in Andhra Pradesh is complete without Pulihora. Try one of these different versions:

No celebrations are ever complete without sweets or desserts, so here are a few you could make:

Sesame and peanuts are popular ingredients for Sankranti celebrations.

And how can one forget the one dish that is a must in all South India festival feasts; Garelu or Ulundu Vada. You could also use the Garelu to make Perugu Garelu.

Happy Sankranti All!

Katte Pongali or Ven Pongal (Savoury Pongal)

Venn Pongal | Katte Pongali
Venn Pongal | Katte Pongali

I can eat Katte Pongali or Ven Pongal anytime, any place. I don’t need any accompaniments either; just plain Katte Pongali with some (ok, ok, lots of) ghee is a favourite breakfast of mine. 🙂 Apart from being a popular breakfast, this dish often served as naivedyam during festivals such as Navratri.

I look forward to this wonderful dish as prasadam in temple, where it is infused with the aroma of smoke from the wood fire it is cooked on.

In the past couple of years, I discovered the pleasure of eating Ven Pongal with Avial, thanks to Hotel Ram Ashraya in Matunga, Mumbai. In fact, we look forward to a breakfast here on Sundays, the only day that this combination is served.

You get some of the best Ven Pongal (outside of a temple) at the Railway Food Stall on Warangal station (the one opposite the Second AC compartment for trains to or from Mumbai). He liberally adds green chillies to it and what I can only guess is oil. 😀

This dish is called Katte Pongali in Andhra Pradesh and Ven Pongal in Tamil Nadu. It is also sometimes called Khara Pongal to distinguish it from the Chakkara Pongal or Sweet Pongal.

How to Make Katte Pongali or Ven Pongal

Serves: 4

Time: 40 Minutes


  1. Rice – 1 Cup
  2. Pesara Pappu/Moong Dal/Green Gram – 2/3 Cup
  3. Pepper Corns – 8 to 10
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Cashew Nuts – 10 or 12
  6. Ghee – 2 tbsp
  7. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  8. Salt to Taste

Katte Pongali | Ven Pongal | Khara Pongal


  1. Over medium heat, roast the moong dal till it is light brown.
  2. Crush the pepper corn into a rough powder.
  3. Pressure cook the rice and roasted dal with 3.5 cups of water for 3 whistles or till the rice & dal is completely cooked.
  4. In a heavy bottomed vessel/kadai/wok, heat the ghee.
  5. Add the cumin seeds and crushed pepper.
  6. Saute for about 10 seconds.
  7. Add the split cashew nuts and fry till the cashew turns light brown.
  8. Add turmeric powder, salt, and rice-dal mix.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Serve the Katte Pongali or Ven Pongal hot, topped with some ghee and with Coconut Chutney on the side.

Ven Ponal or Katte Pongali

Do also try my recipes for Moong Dal Khichdi or Moong Dal and Palak Khichdi Cooked in Buttermilk!