Pongal 2022: Rice and shine with these novel plates over the harvest weekend

Pongal weekend inspired us to land on a trail of unique dishes and desserts where rice takes centre stage

Sonali Shenoy Published :  13th January 2022 07:20 PM   |   Published :   |  13th January 2022 07:20 PM

Belgian Rice Pie at The Westin Chennai Velachery

Pongal weekend is here. Of course, that means, a typical harvest staple ‘meal’. But conjuring up that image of rice cooking in a decorated mud pot got us thinking about just how versatile rice is as an ingredient. And that inspired us to land on a trail of unique dishes and desserts where rice takes centre stage.

Pud ’em up!

If you haven’t heard of Rijsttaart, it’s a classic Belgian dessert consisting of a creamy baked rice pudding in a soft pie crust. And it dates all the way back to 17th century Verviers in Eastern Belgium. It is prepared with Arborio rice, brown sugar, lemon zest, vanilla pods and butter. Available on request at Seasonal Tastes, Lobby Level, The Westin Chennai Velachery. INR 800++.


Moves like jaggery

Sample this chocolate mousse filled with soft-cooked Mappilai Samba Pacha Arisi, jaggery and coconut sauce spiced with cardamom and pepper. At Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel. INR 695 ++. Available on request.


The Italian job

We love the idea of an Italian twist on our much-loved harvest staple. This Pongal Arancini made with good ol’ Ponni rice is loaded with tomato chutney, cheese and a Panko crust flavoured with cumin and cashew. It is served with a side of beetroot chutney kolam and ooruga mayonnaise. INR 195. At 6th Avenue restobar.


Rasam & risotto

This spice-rubbed Grilled Fish Fillet on a Jeera & Parmesan risotto, served with a warm rasam broth and crispy onions has our attention piqued. The silken risotto is prepped with arborio rice. INR 575. On the specials menu till January 16, at Sage & Lavender. 


Ladoo love

Pop one of these Kai Kuthal Kauvni Arisi Ladoos into your mouth for sweet bliss. Made with hand pounded red rice and cooked with palm sugar, this relatively healthy dessert also has cardamom, raisins and grated coconut. INR 450 ++. At Lobby Lounge, Hyatt Regency Chennai. Available on request.


Wait a millet

Thinai millets meet good ol’ Ponni rice for this Nutty Millet Jaggery Entremet. Expect the crunch of a jaggery nutty bar at the base contrasted by buttery smooth mousse, millet pongal and caramelised jaggery sauce on top. At Food Exchange, Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road. INR 350. Available on request.