Monday, May 20, 2013

Ven Pongal | Simple South-Indian Breakfast Recipe

The simplest South-Indian breakfast is Ven pongal... There is no much work involved in it. Keep the rice in cooker and let it do its own work. You need to season it and serve.  TH always needs a perfect accompaniment for this pongal, else he won’t even touch it... Either any of this chutney (click here for recipe) or with tiffin sambar, pongal goes well. 

In most South-Indian hotels they use Dalda instead of ghee. Dalda gives a gorgeous look and taste to the pongal, but it is not good for health. Ghee gives the divine flavor to the pongal and its ur wish to choose ghee or oil. Amma usually makes kathirikkai gothsu. Since I don’t like it much I served it with tiffin sambar and it was awesome.


Raw rice – 1 cup
Moong dal/ Pasiparuppu- ½ cup
5cups of water
1tsp ginger chopped
Pinch of Asafoetida

To temper

2tbsp Ghee/oil
1 or 2 tsp pepper
Few curry leaves
Cashews (as needed)
1 tsp cumin seeds

How to make it

  • Wash both the rice and moong dal. In a cooker add the washed rice, moong dal along with ginger, asofoetida and salt. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles in medium flame.

  • In a pan heat ghee/oil and temper the items given.  First add pepper and once it starts to splutter simmer the flame. Fry the cashews till golden brown. Finally add the cumin seeds.

  • Add the seasoning on to the cooked rice.

  • Mix well and serve hot with side-dish of choice.

I served with tiffin sambar.


  1. Make sure you don’t use ginger while taking it for dinner. I have heard eating ginger in the nights will upset the digestion process…. and ven pongal never tastes good without ginger. So it is always better to take pongal as a breakfast.
  2. If you wish, you can temper before and then pressure-cook the rice. Tempering at the last gives an extra-ordinary flavor.
  3. If u doesn’t like whole pepper just crush it coarsely with a pestle or in a mixer and then temper.
  4. If the pongal becomes too watery after pressure cooking step, keep for some more time till the water evaporates or keep for 1-2 whistles.
  5. If it is too thick, add some more water and cook again. Following the exact measurement will never let u down.