Then things changed and I got married to a Tamilian. TH’s mom makes a mean pongal and it’s a favourite of mine now. She makes it every time we go home and this time I got to have it twice. Pics were taken in amma’s kitchen as she cooked so pardon the bad light quality.
Since Pongal festival is right around the corner, I thought this would be the best time to post this favourite recipe of mine!
Ven Pongal / Khara Pongal / Pongal Recipe
Recipe source: Mom-in-law
1 cup raw rice
1/2 cup moong dal / paasi paruppu / cherupayar
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole cumin / jeera seeds
A small piece of ginger
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp each of cumin (jeera) and black pepper powdered together
A few cashew nuts
A few curry leaves
1/4 tsp of hing / perungaayam / asafoetida
2 tbsp ghee + 2 tbsp oil
How to make Ven Pongal:
1. The rice and dal needs to be cooked together until mushy and soft. Amma soaks the moong dal in advance for 30 mins. This is optional but it ensures that the rice/dal mixture cooks well and evenly.
2. Add the soaked dal to washed rice (Add about 2.5 to 3 cups water) and place in a bowl in a pressure cooker. Add a few whole peppercorns and cumin seeds to this along with the ginger, chopped.
3. Cook for 3-4 whistles or 15-20 mins until the mixture is soft and mushy.
4. Heat the oil in a pan (you can use only ghee too) and add some more cumin seeds, curry leaves, cashew nuts, and the hing. Fry until the cashew nuts turn golden brown.
5. Add the cooked rice/dal mixture to this.
6. Add salt and stir well to combine all the ingredients. Once mixed well, add the ghee and stir again making sure everything is mixed thoroughly.
That’s it! Such simple ingredients and flavours but makes for a delicious dish!
We had ours with some Arachuvitta Sambar. The best combination for Ven Pongal is Gothsu, usually Kathirikai Gotsu.
The Pongal Festival is something else I am not very familiar with having never celebrated it as I grew up. I am trying to learn more about it so hopefully posting this Pongal recipe is the first step 🙂
Looking for Sakkarai Pongal Recipe? Look no further 🙂
Made this today since it's pongal obviously. Love it. I usually used to add turmeric powder while boiling the rice and dal mixture. I've added the salt to the mixture to get a more even mix. Thank you.
Jennifer Kumar, Cross-Cultural Coach
Thanks Nagalaskhmi… That kozhumbu looks delectable. I love the color and the texture too. I had made kozhumbu in the past with either onions or sundrakkai vatthal. Do you have any posts on how to cook using the various vatthals. I am in Kerala and can find them in some shops sometimes.
vatral may not be too popular in Kerala because it's a Tamil ingredient. Try a few stores, they may stock it. We get ours from relatives and family in Tamil nadu 🙂
Jennifer Kumar, Cross-Cultural Coach
I made brinjal sambar with pongal for Pongal this year. What is the kind of accompaniment in your photo? Is it onion sambar? To me it has the color of kozhumbu, which always makes me hungry. What is the recipe for the accompaniment here?
What is gothsu as mentioned by others? How is gothsu different than Sambar or Kozhumbu?
Great questions! The kozhambu you see with my pongal up there is shallot (chinna vengaayam) kozhambu which my MIL makes with a little coconut milk. It's her own recipe which I haven't shared yet, incidentally. Gotsu is the more popular accompaniment with pongal but since I am not a Tamilian, I have never tasted that! It's much simpler than any kozhambu in terms of preparation.
Hi Nags! Thanks for the timely post! The mister wanted to make pongal, and thanks to your post, he did. (The step by step photos helped a lot as well)..we had ours with chutney, was fab!
Pongal happens to be my daughter's fav .. I have not tried it myself though .. this is what she eats every weekend at Sarvana Bhavan 😀 .. i think its high-time i try and tell you how it goes ..
Happy Pongal to you and the hubby! I can see the pepper kick in your mom's pongal. My favorite combo is coconut chutney and kathirikkai gothsu. That is what is coming up this sunday at our place..of course all that because my mom is here!
Never had ven pongal before…This looks delicious..