Ven Pongal – A simple and delicious rice and lentil porridge from Southern India
Ven pongal is a popular breakfast of Southern India. It is made in all the southern states with little difference in the dal rice ratio. The thickness and texture also differs in each family. Pongal is also offered as Prasadam in most of the south Indian temples and tastes divine. Temple pongal is loaded with pure ghee but you can adjust the quantity of ghee at your home according to your preference.
Ven pongal is always made with yellow moong daal and short grain rice. The moong daal is often dry roasted before making the pongal and then the rice and daal are pressure cooked together to a soft porridge like consistency. Tempering is done with cumin, peppercorn and cashewnuts. Some add whole pepper corns and some crush them slightly. Ginger imparts a delicious flavour in pongal so don’t forget to add it. Quantity of ghee added in it also make a huge difference in the taste of pongal.
Pongal is like North Indian Khichdi but a very easy and mild flavoured one. In North India we make Khichdi with different lentils and different temperings. I always make a khichdi once in a week. Sometimes its Tuvar daal Khichdi and some times its Moong daal khichdi, My daughter loves this –Healthy daliya and vegetable khichdi and for a light and simple meal I always prefer Green Moong Daal khichdi. And since I started making this ven pongal everyone in my family loves it. This pongal is usually served with coconut chutney, sambhar, ghotsu etc but I love this with lots of ghee and plain yogurt.
Ven pongal Recipe, Khara Pongal
- 1 cup Rice/chawal Short Grain /tukda
- 1/4 cup Yellow Lentil / Moong Daal (dhuli huee)
- 8 Curry Leaves / Kadi Patta
- To taste Salt / Namak
- 4 cup Water / Paani
- 4 tbsp Clarified Butter / Desi Ghee
- 1.5 tsp Cumin Seeds / Sabut Jeera
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida / Hing powder
- 2 Dried Red Chilli, Whole
- 3 tbsp Cashew Nuts / Kaju
- 2 tsp Peppercorns / Sabut Kali Mirch
- Dry roast yellow lentil/moong daal in a pan for 2-3 minutes(This step is optional but I prefer doing this )
- Soak rice and lentil in enough wtaer for 15 minutes.
- Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a pressure cooker and add 1/2 tsp cumin,5 curry leaves and then add the soaked rice and lentil mix.
- Stir for a minute and then add about 4 cups of water in it.
- Add salt and mix it and then pressure cook for 3-4 whistles on medium heat.
- Let the pressure come down then open the cooker and give it a stir .(can add some hot water to adjust the consistency )
- Heat ghee in a small pan and add cumin and cashew nuts and let it turn to a golden colour then add pepper corns ,curry leaves ,ginger and asafoetida.
- Now add the tempering in the pongal and mix.
- Serve hot with a tsp of ghee poured on top of it.
- Serving suggestions- serve with coconut chutney ,ghotsu, sambhar or yogurt.
- Use any short grain or broken rice to make pongal,no need to use Basmati rice.
- Pressure cooking time depends on the quality of rice ,it should be soft and mushy after cooking .
- Pongal should be of medium thickness,neither too dry nor too watery.
- Quantity of cashew and peppercorns can be adjusted according to your preference.
- If the pongal thickens after some time just add some hot water and give it a boil to adjust the consistency.