Ven Pongal (Moong Dal Kichdi)

35 mins
Serves 5 people
Author: Rajni Ram
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This savory Pongal is a popular breakfast item in Sout India. Like the Rasam, the Ven Pongal too is one recipe, whose taste  I find is different from house to house, though the same ingredients are used. The proportion of the rice and dal and the proportions of the pepper and cumin are what make the difference.

This is a simple recipe that can be made as a one-pot recipe or a pot in pot one. I follow both the methods depending on when I am making it. In this recipe, I have followed the pot in pot method.

I prefer the Pongal to be spicy(not the chilli kinda spicy, but the pepper kind of spicy). The quality of pepper we use always makes a difference to the dish. I source my peppers from Kerala, where they are the freshes and spicy.

Though this dish is made as a breakfast dish, in my home I always prefer it for lunch, as I find it too heavy for breakfast. For breakfast, I make a Millet Pongal which is lighter to have in the morning. Like the Chakkara Pongal, this dish too is loaded with ghee, but I prefer adding my ghee in the end and I don’t use too much.

I have mentioned in my previous blog posts how and when to add ghee to a dish, such that it is not too much, but is proportional to the dish. I have shared some tips and tricks for adding ghee in the Chakkara Pongal post, do check it out.

While you are here please view my other recipes like Chakkara Pongal, Barnyard Millet(Kudiraivali)Pongal, Rava Dosa, Lemon Rice, and more…

Here is the recipe for Ven Pongal for you

Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. Rice 1 cup washed (regular small-grained rice)
  2. Moong dal 1/2 cup roasted to a light brown
  3. Water 4 to 4.5 cups (more to add later)
  4. Salt as required
  5. Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
  6. Pepper-cumin powder 3 tsp
  7. Peppercorns 4-5
  8. Cumin 1/2 tsp
  9. Cashewnuts 6 to 8
  10. Curry leaves a few
  11. Ginger 1inch piece chopped fine
  12. Oil for tempering
  13. Ghee 2 to 3 tbsp for garnish
  1. Dry roast the moong dal in a Kadai to a light brown colour or until you get a nice aroma. Add the roasted moong dal to the rice and wash them well together.
  2. Place the vessel into the cooker and add the required water. Add salt and turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp jeera, and 4 to 5 peppercorns and close the cooker. Cook for 5 to 6 whistles.
  3. After the pressure from the cooker releases, remove the vessel and mash the rice and dal mixture with the back of a ladle. Add around 1 to 1.5 cups of hot water and adjust consistency.
  4. In a Kadai take some oil and heat. Add 1tsp Cumin and drop in the chopped ginger and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds and add the Pepper-cumin powder and fry for another 10 seconds. Add a little more salt, if required. Now add the cooked and, washed rice and dal mixture and mix well.
  5. Now in another small Kadai take some ghee and heat. Add the cashew nuts and some more curry leaves and fry until light brown. Pour this into the Pongal mixture. The yummy and spicy Ven Pongal is ready to serve

Take the rice in a vessel that fits into the cooker. Dry roast the moong dal in a Kadai to a light brown colour or until you get a nice aroma. Add the roasted moong dal to the rice and wash them well together. Place the vessel into the cooker and add the required water. Add salt and turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp jeera, and 4 to 5 peppercorns and close the cooker. Cook for 5 to 6 whistles.

After the pressure from the cooker releases, remove the vessel and mash the rice and dal mixture with the back of a ladle. Keep aside. In a Kadai take some oil and heat. Add the 1 tsp Cumin and drop in the chopped ginger and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds and add the Pepper-cumin powder and fry for another 10 seconds. Now add the cooked and, washed rice and dal mixture and mix well. Add some hot water handy to adjust the consistency of Pongal, approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup. Stir nicely. Adjust salt and spice, add more hot water if the consistency is too solid. The Pongal should be a little gooey, but not runny. Now in another small Kadai take some ghee and heat. Add the cashew nuts and fry until light brown. Pour this into the Pongal mixture. The yummy and spicy Ven Pongal is ready to serve as breakfast or lunch.

Serving suggestions: With Sambar, with chutney, with Gotsu or even Moru Kuzhambu(kadi). I like it just as it is and needs no accompaniment.

To make pepper – cumin powder, dry roast pepper, and cumin in the proportion of 3 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp of cumin. Cool and make a coarse powder. I always have this handy as I use it to temper Rasam too.

Notes:

  1. The cashewnuts can be fried in ghee before adding the regular tempering too.
  2. The softer the rice and dal cook the better will be the texture of the Pongal.
  3. Asafoetida can also be added while tempering. I have not added in this recipe, but it definitely can be done.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

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