28 Nov 2013

How to make Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal is one of the traditional South Indian dishes and one of my favorite! We always have pongal with sambar and not with chutney. Although many families are used to eating with chutney, we always make pongal and mulangi sambar. It tastes absolutely heavenly! It is also very easy to make. And since kids love to eat this too, it is one of the regular dishes in our home.
Traditionally pongal is made using ghee - lots of ghee! The more ghee you add the better it tastes. But in our house we make it only with oil. You can add ghee if you don't have any restrictions. If the pongal looks a bit runny when you open the cooker, not to worry. It will come down to a soft consistency. 
I have also started to make pongal with millets and we love it! Check out the kuthiraivali pongal and thinai pongal . Also check out the brown rice pongal and oats pongal.

Ven Pongal

Preparation time - 10mins | Cooking time 20mins | Serves 3-4

To Temper
  • Oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger + garlic - 1/2 tsp, chopped or add as a paste
  • Red or green chilli - 1
  • Hing - a small piece or a fat pinch
  • Cashews - few (optional)
Ven Pongal

1. Dry roast the moong dal for 3 mins or until a nice aroma emanates and keep it aside.
2. Soak the rice and dal for 30 mins. This step is optional. I always soak but my mum doesn't so it's your choice.

3. Heat the pressure cooker with 2 tbsp of oil (or ghee) and add all the ingredients listed under 'to temper'.
4. Add 5 cups of water and add the rice and dal. 

5. Add the cumin powder, pepper powder, turmeric(if you are adding) and salt.
6. Check the seasoning and close the lid. Leave it for 4-5 whistles.
7. Open it and add a tbsp ghee give it a good mix.

Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar!

Ven Pongal

1. You can do the tempering at the last too. This method that I have shared, saves time.
2. Don't let the cumin seeds splutter for long as it will burn easily.
3. If the pongal is too runny then you can close the lid and wait for 2 more whistles. If its dry, add a bit of milk or water and bring it to the right consistency.
4. Adjust the water according to the rice variety.
5. We add less of pepper corns and cumin seeds and more of pepper powder and cumin powder since no one in the family likes to eat the whole pepper corns. If you prefer adding whole pepper corns, you can crush the pepper and cumin seeds and add. Then you can skip or reduce the pepper and cumin powder .
6. Most people add only ginger, but try adding ginger and garlic together like how I have added in this recipe, it takes the taste to a whole new level!

Until next time,
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  1. Delicious pongal.. though i haven't' made it at home... i am sure i am ready to make..good instructions.. with pics....lovely. Happy New Year and Thanks so much for linking to my event.Looking for more..

    1. You should try, it tastes wonderful and very simple to make too. Thanks for accepting my posts!

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