thanks for your informations about pongal, today I was for my job in Paris, and I was at my favorite tamil restaurant (Dishny):
Tamarine soup (in a plastic glass, very good, but HHOOOTT)
Veg Thali (rice, dhal, curd with vegetable, crushed coconut, spinach, and a very good green beans and other vegetable carry, and some other small dishes)
sweetened rice with grapes and conamon (in a plastic glass)
spice tea (metal cup and cupboard)
Price : 7 (same in USD) with tip.
I asked the owner about sweet pongal, he told me he cooked it only on request, or only for the festival
About the other dishes, he told me that he had majoritary tamil patrons, so he offers thali, but that european patrons prefered north indian cooking (tandoori)
I guess it is something similar in NYC
Just two points :
Do u know any thali restaurant in NYC (a good one)?
are you only into Indian food (you are so precise, it would be a pleasure to read your comments about other cookings)