Pongal / Ven Pongal / Khara Pongal
After Idli, the next common dish oft seen at a South Indian breakfast table is Pongal - a savory pudding made with beautiful combination of lentils and rice tempered with spices and nuts sauteed in Ghee. The taste is mind blowing to say the least and filling. It is also one of the simplest dishes to make which does not need constant attention and gets done in matter of minutes - say approx 15min! with nada preparation. This is also called as Ven Pongal (meaning white pongal)/ Khara Pongal (meaning spicy/hot Pongal). This also has a major role to play in the celebration of Indian festival also called as "Pongal" I make this not just for breakfast but also when I am short on time or when I am not so much in the mood to make anything fancy! Better this than eating out, or use any instant mixes laden with preservatives and god knows what else.
Pongal / Ven Pongal / Khara Pongal
This is also a soul food for me, since it reminds me so much of home :) This is also one of those rare recipes for which not many variations are available. It has few standard ingredients without which one couldn't possibly relate this to Pongal otherwise.:)
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • 1 cup short grained rice
  • 1/4 cup+ 2tbsp split green gram/moong dal ( I like it with more lentils)
  • salt to taste
    To Temper
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1" inch ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • few sprigs of curry leaves
  • few unbroken cashews
1. Wash and clean rice and lentil well until the water runs clear.
2. Mix them both and add 5 cups of water (depends on the type of rice you get - you might need less or more). Place them in a pressure cooker and cook for 10-15min - or until 3-4 whistles (Indian cookers)
3. Meanwhile in a little ghee, temper first the ginger slices, then add peppercorns and cumin. Saute till aromatic and reddish. In the very end, add curry leaves and asafoetida, stir it for 2-3 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon
4. In the same pan, add the cashews and roast them till reddish color.
5. Now along with salt, add the tempered spice/nut mixture and mix well. Serve hot.

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7 Member Reviews

By Avinash on Jul 9, 2012

This was an awesome experience. Finally felt the taste of my Mom's pongal.

Please help me on the mistake...

The ghee didnt float over the food. The rice and moong dal sucked all the ghee which I added for seasoning and also I added on top of it. Probably, I would have added less ghee. How much should we add for 1 cup rice and 1/2 cup dal?

But, it shouldnt override the taste of other ingredients..

Response awaited!!!

Thanks in advance.\"smiley\"



By Food&Food on Mar 14, 2012

I made Ven Pongal based on your recipe-and it was the first time that I tasted a Pongal..It was yummy ,and my hubby who is very fond of Pongal said its exactly tastes like how you have it in Tamil Nadu ..Thanks Chef in You for the recipe...

Read All 7 Reviews →


By ramaswamy s Tarikere on Aug 27, 2014

:) I am a kannadiga settled in Bengaluru. We often prepare Pongal, but we use equal quantity of dhall and rice. we shall try the recipe given. On taste, the Ven Pongal served in some salem hotels are heavenly dish. Some one to help me with that recipe please.

By Priya on May 1, 2014

Pongal + sambar + coconut chutney is my fav!!! Ingredients as u said cant be changed.... but adding the tempered cumin+pepper+curry leaves+ cashews nd grated ginger n salt to the rice+dall+water mixture nd thn pressure cooking them helps blend the tastes well... age old trick! And uding raw rice/pacharisi is d best.

By satya on Jan 17, 2014

yummi taste,super hot and spicy good for breakfast lovelable dish.

By vinnu on Dec 13, 2013

very nice. superb

By Sandhya on Mar 26, 2013

nice... its possible to give this as in video

By Vishwa Babu on Mar 18, 2012

Very good recipe... I am going to try it today.. thanks :)

By pallavi on Mar 13, 2012

Today is my first visit to your site while I was searching for perfect idli batter and I must say am already hooked!! Every recipe is so properly explained and the attractive photos only adds charm to it :!: I am expecting my first child and wanted something light to eat,by the end of day I tried this pongal and its bliss!! I am a huge fan of south indian food and am so glad I found this site:-)

By Ranganathan on Feb 23, 2012

Where can I find the recipe for the gojju that often accompanies VenPongal? Thanks.

I have a recipe for that here: http://chefinyou.com/2009/01/eggplant-gotsu-the-perfect-pair-for-pongal/. Please refer :) --DK

By Food&FoodOnly on Feb 12, 2012

Hi I would like to know the type of rice you use for making it. Is Sona Masoori suitable?? I read somewhere else that we can use Basmati rice .. I havent tasted Pongal in my life, just heard it from my husband.He likes it very much. So I would like to make it. pls help

By Lakshminarayanan on Dec 19, 2011

You've already made my mouth watery and just Pongal around the corner hardly a month to go, this is really a South Indian's delight dish. Some say too much of vanaspati oil in it might cause slumber but it all depends on the proportion of the various components that goes into when a person prepares it and the other or same person's wish for quantity of consumption. I really love it, more than Idli I can tell you :!:

By S'N on Nov 19, 2011

i never knew that the recipe is so simple...

By Arjun on Sep 19, 2011

:lol: We are tamilians I. Love pongal after coming abroad websites Ike These are our lifelines goin to make it now Cheers Arjun

By Shalini on May 17, 2011

:wink: I am gonna try this right now:)

By Vimitha on Feb 10, 2011

This is one of my huss's favorite... Gonna try this tonight.. :)

By Anu on Apr 10, 2009

Pongal looks very yummy :) Wonderful snaps too!!

I am Anu from My Scrawls. I have posted my version of Ven pongal in my blog. Do visit my blog in ur free time. Would be happy to receive ur comments :)

By jd on Mar 6, 2009

Wow, I've actually never heard of Pongal before!

It sounds - and looks - absolutely delicious though...

I can't wait to give your recipe a try!

By oneordinaryday on Mar 6, 2009

I've never had pongal, but you have really intrigued me. I wish I had access to all of those ingredients so I could try it myself. It sounds great.

By sunshinemom on Jan 10, 2009

I love pongal and had lots of this, mung khichdi etc during the last week thanks to a bout of stomach infection:) Is this a prelude to the festival? Great pictures doing complete justice to the otherwise simple dish! Thank you for participating in FIC, dearie:)

By bindiya on Jan 8, 2009

this really is comfort food!looks simply delicious!!

By DK on Jan 8, 2009

@all : thank you for ur sweet comments :)

@Madhu : Am sure it would have tasted great, not only cos Pongal is one of the most forgiving dishes but also for the fact that it has Madhu's touch to it ;-)

By Madhuram on Jan 8, 2009

That's my favorite too DK and I also prepare it similarly. Occassionally I follow another method too. I add the rice, paruppu, cumin seeds, pepper powder (my husband doesn't like to bite of pepper), grated ginger, hing in the pressure cooker and cook it. Then simply heat some ghee and pour that and add salt and mix it well. Believe me or not this also tastes good.

By aparna on Jan 8, 2009

Lovely and yummy.

By Pavithra Kodical on Jan 8, 2009

Pongal look delecious and mouthwatering..Nice click :)

By Kitchen Flavours on Jan 8, 2009

Wow looks tempting...

By veggie belly on Jan 7, 2009

I love pongal - both the dish and the festival! Your pictures look beautiful. I cook the rice in water+milk for extra creamy pongal.

By karuna on Jan 7, 2009

happy new year dk, the pongal looks yummy. i love it with a little ghee...so comforting.

By Nags on Jan 7, 2009

I wasn't much of a pongal fan. Until I tasted the one my mil made :D

By Madhu on Jan 7, 2009

nice pictorial, will eat pongal anytime..i am craving some right now.

By Gita's Kitchen on Jan 7, 2009

The pongal looks very yummy. This is my all-time favorite dish. In fact I served this for breakfast for some of friends on New Year and was a hit :)

By Gita's Kitchen on Jan 7, 2009

The pongal looks very yummy. This is my all-time favorite dish. In fact I served this for breakfast for some of friends on New Year and was a hit :)