Tag Archives: pongal festival

JalliKattu – Tamilian Sport


JalliKattu is also known as Eru Thazhuvuthal and Manju Virattu, this is a traditional sport played during Pongal in Tamil Nadu. Not all the bulls are allowed for this sport, most commonly known Kangayam breed partitcipates in this sport.

It is known to be practiced during the Tamil Classic Period. A new seal from the Indus Valley Civilization depicting the practice is preserved in the National Museum, New Delhi. A cave painting in white Kaolin discovered near Madurai depicting a lone man trying to control a bull is estimated to be about 2,500 years old. The sport is more than two millennia old.

Jallikattu – In Jallikattu, the bull comes with salli or jalli means coins and kattu means bag. Here the bag filled with coins are tied to the bull’s horns and the winner had to retrieve. Eru Thazhuvuthal – Eru Thazhuvuthal means embracing the bull. Manju Virattu – means chasing the bull.

This sport is organized during Pongal across the state – Tamil Nadu. Jallikattu, which is celebrated at Alanganallur near Madurai, is the most popular.

Rules of the sport – The participants try to hold on the hump of the bull for a particular time or distance or in one variant the bull is tied to a long rope and a team of players has to subdue the bull within a specific time to win or in another variant coin filled in a bag is tied to the horns of the bull and the winner gets the coin bag.

Here both the participants and the bulls are examined by health examiner or vet. And later they are allowed for the game, the act of taming the bull has stood for virility and male power since ancient times.

The bull which wins the game is meant for breeding and the others are used for farming. The person who wins the Jallikattu will be given a reward now and in older days, they would be meant to marry the daughter of LandLord and most of the women fall in love for this person.

How the sport is played – The bulls are let through the entrance and this is known as the VAADI VAASAL. The bulls are let through the entrance, into the track, where the players wait. The track is usually the main street of the village, with the side lanes blocked. The event begins with the villages elders, followed by a band drummer and then to the temple of the village deity. First of all the temple bull is allowed to enter the sport, where the players do not touch and the bull is allowed to run free. After this bull, all the other bulls enter the ground through the vaadi vaasal, where the players are let to wait for the bull. All classes of people are allowed to participate in the game, today educated youngsters from these villages are also prticipate in the sport.

About the breed of the Bulls – Jallikattu bulls are exceptional and the kangayam breed which is fierce and belligerent fits for jallikattu. They are stronger than the usual bulls and they react to attack at slightest provocation. Another breed Bangur Bulls, are known for their speed.

How are the bulls brought up – These bulls are fed very well by their owners, which make them stronger, mostly their legs stronger. Also, they were not meant to do any works except for this sport. These bulls are not treated like an animal, but as one among their family member.

According to estimation, there were one million Kangayam bulls in 1990 and now they have been reduced to 15,000. It is said that, “The jallikattu sport is an incentive for people to rear these native breeds which are going extinct”.

Hence it has been an individuality, identity and unique sport for the Tamilians.

Why Jallikattu – The bulls won in jallikattu are used for breeding, where the others are used for ploughing the field, carrying loads and drawing the cart.

 Fuss on Jallikattu – PETA and other animal rights activists say that sport is cruel and the bull is tamed violently and harmed. So in May 2014, the Supreme court of India banned the practice and in Jan 2016, the Supreme court of India upheld its ban on the event, leading to protests all over Tamil Nadu.

Almost for 3 years, this sport was banned all over TamilNadu and this year it resulted in a big Revolution started by College Students all over TamilNadu gathering in a place without any violence, just singing the slogans, quoting the awareness verses for the Jallikattu. This revolution extends it’s wings slowly day by day and now its been fierce when the parents of the students, school students, teachers, farmers, villagers, IT employees, and now the public.


Not only the people from Tamil Nadu, the revolution extended all over India by Tamilians and now all over the world by Tamilians. The most important thing in this revolution is everyone (including women, girls) gathered in a common place of a city or town and start shouting the verses, singing the slogans also at few places there was a band playing music, drums and songs which creates awareness among people.

Also this revolution, it almost in action for past 6 days whole day and night, people gathered there was served with food, snacks, water, cool drinks whereever it’s taking place. Each and every girl and women was safe gaurded there and this makes me remember the oath we take on our prayer “All Indians are my brothers and sisters”.

Finally the state and central government together grants a temporary ordiance which is applicable for just 6 months and the people need the permanent solution and not the temporary. Wish we get the permanent solution – It all happens only when the Bull is removed from the PCA (prevention of cruelty of animal) act. Finally I loved to say that, “It’s not Bull Fighting but Embracing the Bull”. Hope we get the permanent solution and save our culture.

Even I and my family had been a part of Revolution today at HOSUR, really I was astronished to see, right from the way the place was cleaned by the students, till the food served to everyone, not only the food but also snacks, water packets. The food was served by the public to public and students. Still the revolution grows day by day as more and more public supports the revolution.

But today… 23rd Jan 2017, the sad part is, the police force entered into the crowd during the dawn where the crowd was half assleep and started clearing them, started with Chennai Marina and it is happening all over the place where the students were protesting.

With a heavy heart and tons of parayer, let’s hope for the best.

We support Jallikattu from Hosur

We support Jallikattu from Hosur

23-jan-2017 — Jallikattu has been approved officially, thanks to all our students, who stood united inspite of too many despites. It’s only students who made it possible after a decade, created awareness all over the world. Awaiting for Feb 1st – Jallikattu at Alanganallur.

Tagging Vasantha Vivek of MySweetNothings – one among the Bloggers4Jallikattu

Image Courtesy – Google and Information gathered from few websites

Tamil Sakkarai Pongal / Sweet Pongal – Southern Tamilnadu Special


This Pongal recipe is completely different from all of my other Pongal recipes, authentic and traditional Pongal from southern most part of Tamil Nadu.

Wish you all a HAPPY PONGAL

Wish you all a HAPPY PONGAL

Recently I heard from one of my friend that, authentic Tamilian Pongal needs just 3 ingredients as base. I asked my mom about that, she and my grand ma was laughing at me, don’t you know that and we cook the same in our home. I was shocked to hear and then asked my mom about the recipe… She told you need only raw rice, jaggery and grated coconut for Pongal. Later temper cashew nuts and raisins in ghee. How will I wait after hearing this, started preparing it.

This Pongal was delicious, usually I use to wonder my mom’s Pongal looks attractive (color) but I miss the color. Finally when I prepared this Pongal I got the color, taste and now happy me. Let us move on to the recipe…


  • Raw rice / Pacharisi – 2 cups
  • Grated coconut – ¾ cup
  • Jaggery – 1 ½ cups
  • Ghee/Clarified butter – 3 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 15 nos
  • Raisins – 10 nos
  • Cardamom – a pod

Making of Sakkarai Pongal / Sweet Pongal (English):


  • Usually we use to wash the rice 2 to 3 times. Wash the rice and drain the water for the first time, drain the second time washed water and keep it aside. Continue the same for the next time also.
  • Pour the collected water in a heavy bottomed vessel or pressure-cooker, also pour excess water when as you need for boiling the rice.
  • Add in the raw rice, cover with the lid and let it boil.
  • Meanwhile crush the jaggery into small pieces along with the cardamom pod and keep it aside.
  • When the rice is boiled (mashing consistency), add in the crushed jaggery, and give a stir.
  • Keep on stirring it once in a while, add in the grated coconut and give a stir.
  • Heat ghee/clarified butter in a kadai, add in the cashew nuts and cook until they turn golden brown.
  • Add in the raisins and cook until they turn golden brown.
  • Pour it to the Pongal, give a stir and mix well.
  • Transfer the Pongal to another vessel.

Serve hot.

Note: You can add a pinch of salt, for more taste. I have used the jaggery which doesn’t have sand in it and so I have directly added the jaggery to the Pongal. But it is preferred to use jaggery syrup: Boil a cup of water, add in a cup of crushed jaggery, let it melt, bring it room temperature and drain the residue.

Do check out my other pongal recipes in this link: https://madraasi.com/2015/01/14/pongal-recipes-wish-you-all-a-happy-pongal-with-madraasi/

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Venn Pongal Recipe / How to make Ven pongal / Khara Pongal recipe – Thai pongal recipes


Venn Pongal is a traditional SouthIndian breakfast dish. It is very easy and quick to prepare. The flavor of ghee with pepper is the unique taste of pongal. The shine and smell of ghee in pongal will tempt everyone towards Pongal.  It is served with Tiffin Sambhar, Chutney.

Do check out my other breakfast recipes in this link: https://madraasi.com/recipes/breakfast-dinner/ and pongal recipes in this link: https://madraasi.com/2015/01/14/pongal-recipes-wish-you-all-a-happy-pongal-with-madraasi/

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Ven Pongal / Venn Pongal / Khara Pongal / Spicy Pongal


  • Raw rice – 2 cups
  • Split Moong dal – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Peppercorns – 15 nos
  • Cumin seeds – 1 ½ tsp
  • Water – 6 cups
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves – a strand

Making of Venn Pongal / Ven Pongal / Khara Pongal / Spicy Pongal:


  • Take rice and dal together in a bowl. Rinse them very well.
  • Drain them completely.
  • Crush peppercorns and cumin seeds.
  • Heat oil in kadai or pressure cooker.
  • Pour ghee and put the peppercorns, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Wait till they crackle.
  • Put the drained rice and dal. Fry them till the raw smell goes off.
  • Pour water and add salt. .
  • Stir them well, bring it to boil and cover and cook or pressure-cook for 3 to 4 whistles.
  • Remove the lid and mash the rice with a spoon.
  • Drizzle little ghee/clarified butter over the ven pongal.

Serve hot with Sambar and Coconut chutney.