Pongal is essentially a festival which reminds me of my childhood. A dear friend would offer me her mother’s home cooked Pongal, and I would eat it straight out of her tiffin box. When I entered Rasam, the pure vegetarian South Indian restaurant of The Stadel, I went back to those days past, and remembered the delicious rice and lentil concoction.

I generally love Rasam’s food – it is basic, staple South Indian dishes, and for this event, the restaurant had kept a few specials on offer. For example, the Porokottu Uttapam sprinkled with mushrooms, or the Pesarattu, the mung bean dosa served with a side of Upma. But nothing screams more of the season of Pongal than the dish itself, Venn Pongal, a dish which was declared to be the real thing by none other than Usha Uthup, who declared it to be delicious.

I was more occupied with my traditional filter coffee, which came in the glass and bowl set, and I set out to make my own froth. As the froth rose, so did my expectation for the item I had ordered – the Amma Dosa. I was intrigued by it from start, and wanted to know how it turned out.

To be very honest, the Amma Dosa is a huge affair, and left me full to the point of bursting. A generously sized Dosa, filled with a mixture of chilli paneer, was actually quite unusual and fun, and I longed for some fiery red garlic chutney instead of the usual sambhar and coconut chutney combination. The dosa itself was soft in the center and crisp on the edges – just the right combination for my taste buds.

Rita Bhimani and Usha Uthup enjoyed their food quite a lot, it seemed, and declared that the softness of the idli was glorious. The meal was a lovely way to remember my childhood, and Rasam had done a nice job in including some traditional and unusual dishes to their regular menu for the event period. The Pongal festival has started from the 14th of January, 2015, and will end on the 25th, and the food is available fro 12 noon to 10 pm, so head over to Rasam before it is over.

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to the Pongal Festival at Rasam by the management of The Stadel. 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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