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Kalkandu Pongal Offering At Chidambaram Thillai Nataraja Temple

Kalkandu pongal is unique food offering at the world famous Chidambaram Thillai Nataraja temple in Tamil Nadu. The usual pongal is prepared using rock sugar or candy sugar instead of jaggery or plain sugar. Kalkandu or Kalkandam or Khadi Sakhar is widely used in temples and Hindu pujas in South India.

Kalkandu Pongal is prepared using rice and pasi paruppu (moong dal). Rice and pasi paruppu are cooked till they turn soft. The cooked mixture or pongal is mashed and kalkandu are added. The mixture with candy sugar is warmed till the candy sugar melts and integrates with the cooked pongal.

Saffron is mixed to the mixture and this gives the dish the pale yellow color. To flavor the dish, powdered cardamom and nutmeg are added.

The final ingredients are ghee fried cashew nuts and raisins.

The food offering of Kalkandu pongal is made during the morning pujas.