Ponk Stop at Surat [an Indian Foods Photo Series]

Come Winter, Gujarat bursts with all sorts of delicacies. Papdi, Undhiyu, Soonth Gol, Saalam Pak, Adadiyu and what not. Ponk is one of these delicacies. Written as પોંક in Gujarati, it is pronounced as “soak” but with P “Poak”

Different regions of Gujarat have their own Winter specialities. Ponk is a speciality of Surat. It is basically green, ripe Jowar (sorghum) seeds. Ideally they should be soft and naturally sweet but depends on the quality of seeds. Similar ripe, soft seeds of Bajra (millet) and some other grains are also available in certain places but these are not so common.

Recently I traveled to Surat to meet an old uncle with my parents and took a Ponk stop. Here are some photos and information on how to eat this delicious Jowar…

Cleaning the Ponk

Surat Ponk
Women ensuring that the seeds are clean after removing husks and such
Indian Food
This is a traditional method of cleaning grains in India… until some time back was done in our kitchens too…
Indian Food
Jowar stalks are beaten in pillow covers by men to separate the ponk…. this ponk is then given to the ladies to clean up…

Selling Ponk

Surati Ponk
This is what the final ponk looks like. Firm n chewable. Natural sweet taste…. somewhat like sprouts
Indian Food
Ponk is always sold with sugary lumps and sev packets. The sev is usually a spicy variety – pepper, chilli, garlic…

So basically you take the delicious Ponk seeds and mix the sugary lumps into it and add the spicy sev. It makes a tasty sweet, spicy mix… and it is quite healthy too. This is the traditional way to eat it. It is also made into various other delicacies like bhajiyas, buttermilk, bhel and so on…

Ponk is also a part of many of the Gujarati marriage ceremonies…

Indian Food
Lotsa sevs and sweet lumps…
Surati Ponk seller
Cowboy style… 🙂

Ratalu Bhajiya

Indian Food
The fried stuff is Ponk bhajiyas…. these seeds are fried in besan batter…. behind it you can see pink Ratalu.. which is also made into bhajiyas…
Indian Food
Ratalu bhajiyas being made…. hot hot… 🙂
Indian Food
Ratalu bhajiya served with green chillis n a chutney of sorts. Quite tasty.
Ponk Buttermilk
Ponk matha – a drink made of Ponk… its like butter milk but with a Ponk taste to it… nice, tasty!

So if you find yourself Gujarat side in Winter, ask around for some Ponk especially if you are near Surat! 🙂

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