AAHARAM

Theevu Gunta Pongalam / Vellai Paniyaram


Theevu Gunta Pongalam / Vellai Paniyaram is a popular dish. Kids are normally introduced to the paniyara/ Gunta Pongalam through the Theevu Gunta Pongalam. The making of this dish would be celebratory these days. The stone pan with sockets would be taken out and dapped with a little bit of oil. Those were times when the households relied on stoves fired with coal or cow dung patties or firewood. The ladies of the house would normally clean the stove after the cooking hours and draw a kolam in front of it. They would get up in the early hours of the day, have a bath, and begin the work in the kitchen by offering a prayer in front of the stove. They would light it with pure devotion and begin to cook for the day. These stoves would be made of clay or would be made of bricks which would form a platform. A chimney used to be present above this. The kitchen would be white washed at regular intervals in order to make it look bright.

The ladies would place the Gunta Pongalam penam (apparatus used for making) and then drop in a drop of oil in each one of the sockets. Thereafter they would light the stove and wait for the penam to get a little warm. The ladies would use a small ladle for collecting the batter and delivering it into the socket. One or two drops of oil would be sprinkled on the batter found in the sockets. They would use a toothpick-like twig to check out on the progress of the Gunta Pongalam. The Theevu Gunta Pongalam can be eaten hot or mildly hot or even cold. This would be offered to the deity in the kitchen and then consumed. It would be normally first served to the youngest in the family. The women of the house would be the last to consume it. The joy of serving others was considered to be paramount. Alternately, the men would toil in order to make money. But the fruits of profit would be given to the women and children in the form of jewelry, clothes and amenities at home. The made for each other couple were known to be the last to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. India that is Bharat was known to be following this pattern for centuries together. This recipe has given us the opportunity to think about the noble homemakers of the past. No wonder women were known as ‘aani ver’ (foundation) of the family.


Ingredients

Wheat flour - 250 ml

Rice flour - 2 tbsps

banana(ripe) - 1 (any variety)

Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

Baking soda - 1 pinch (optional)

Clean cane sugar - 4 tbsps or more as desired

Procedure

Mash the banana in a mixing bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients mentioned above. Add sufficient water to make a batter (The batter should resemble a thick dosa batter). Heat the kuli Theevu Gunta Pongalam tawa. Add oil and pour the batter into each socket till it reaches 3/4th of each. Keep the flame low. Cover the Theevu Gunta Pongalam tawa with a suitable lid. Turn them over when the top of the Theevu Gunta Pongalam looks cooked (use a twig or rod to check). Add a few drops of ghee on each socket. Roast on either side of the Theevu Gunta Pongalam until it looks golden. This sweet Theevu Gunta Pongalam is apt for a prasadam / naivedyam. This can be made throughout all the aadi festivals. This nourishing sweet dish can be made instantly. Pieces of jackfruit can be added to this batter for extra sweetness.


PREVIOUS ARTICLE

Pallanguzhi paati