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.