Ven Pongal/Khara Pongal (rice-lentil “risotto”)

ven pongal1

Ven Pongal or Khara Pongal is a popular breakfast dish from Tamilnadu, South India.  It is a porridge or risotto-like savory dish using rice and lentils (moong dhal or split green gram dhal), flavored with cumin, peppercorns, green chillies and ginger with a dash of turmeric to give it a golden yellow color!! Seasoning or tempering is always done with ghee or clarified butter (“ven” means ghee in Tamil) hence the name, and oil giving it a rich buttery flavor. Serving it with any coconut chutney or sambhar makes it a complete meal.

Ven pongal is often made in our house during weekend brunch.  Served with coconut chutney (hing coconut chutney, peanut chutney )and some potato chips, it is a very satisfying and comforting meal. There are lot of variations now of this traditional recipe.  For healthier versions, you can substitute the rice with either cracked wheat, oats or even quinoa. Some people use semolina instead of rice, but I do not prefer it as it becomes too mushy!!

You can use any type of rice.  I have tried sona masuri, regular rice and basmati;  turned all turned out good.

Ven pongal or khara pongal is another recipe which can be prepared under 30 minutes using a pressure pan.  Try my other quick dishes like quick and easy vegetable fried rice, tawa pulao and jhatpat vegetable pulao.

Ven Pongal/Khara Pongal
Serves 2
Ven pongal is a nutritious meal served at breakfast in Tamilnadu, south India. It is a rice-lentil "risotto-like" porridge, seasoned with cumin, peppercorns, ginger and green chillies. Served with coconut chutney and someitmes sambhar, it is a complete comfort meal!!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
555 calories
45 g
66 g
41 g
5 g
17 g
137 g
84 g
2 g
0 g
22 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
137g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 555
Calories from Fat 357
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g
62%
Saturated Fat 17g
85%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Cholesterol 66mg
22%
Sodium 84mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 45g
15%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
27%
Vitamin C
182%
Calcium
3%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the rice-lentil mixture
  1. ½ cup rice
  2. ¼ to ½ cup split yellow moong dhal (split green gram)
  3. 1 teaspoon jeera or cumin seeds
  4. 2 green chillies, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns (or ½ teaspoon black pepper powder and ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns)
  6. 1 inch piece ginger, grated or chopped fine
  7. ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder or haldi
  8. 2 tablespoons oil
  9. 1 tablespoon ghee
For the seasoning
  1. Few cashew nuts, halved or chopped
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. Few curry leaves
  4. 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  5. Salt to taste
To serve
  1. Extra ghee
Instructions
  1. Clean, wash and drain the rice and moong dhal together and keep aside.
  2. In a pressure pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of ghee and add the cumin seeds.
  3. When they start to sizzle, add the green chillies and peppercorns and fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the washed and drained rice and moong mixture, the grated ginger, salt and turmeric powder, mix well on medium and sauté for a few minutes; about 2 to 3 minutes till each grain of rice and moong dhal is coated with the oil and ghee.
  5. Add about 2 to 2 ½ cups of water, stir, check for salt, close the pressure pan and heat on high. After the first whistle, lower the heat to low and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  6. Once the pressure releases, remove the lid and mix well.
For the seasoning
  1. In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee, add the cashews and sauté till golden brown. Keep aside. Heat the pan again, heat another tablespoon of ghee, add the mustard seeds and when they start spluttering, add the curry leaves.
  2. Pour the mustard seasoning and the cashews into the cooked pongal, add addiditional ghee if preferred and mix well.
  3. Serve hot with coriander chutney and additional ghee (yes, ven pongal or khara pongal is always relished with lots of ghee!!)
Notes
  1. The amount of water used can be adjusted to how thick or thin you want the pongal to be. We like it a little thin, so I had additional water to get the consistency I want. Pongal thickens as it cools, so add water accordingly.
  2. Some people avoid the turmeric and the pongal gets a dull grayish look; so I add turmeric, this gives it a golden color which we all relish.
  3. If you do not like the whole peppercorns, you can crush and add it while cooking the rice or in the tempering.
beta
calories
555
fat
41g
protein
5g
carbs
45g
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Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/
To cook the rice and lentils:

IMG_2454

  • Clean, wash and drain the rice and moong dhal together and keep aside.

IMG_2455

  • In a pressure pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of ghee and add the cumin seeds.

pressure

  • When they start to sizzle, add the green chillies and peppercorns and fry for a few seconds.

pressure seasonings

  • Add the washed and drained rice and moong mixture, the grated ginger, salt and turmeric powder, mix well on medium and sauté for a few minutes; about 2 to 3 minutes till each grain of rice and moong dhal is coated with the oil and ghee.

fry

  • Add about 2 to 2 ½ cups of water, stir, check for salt, close the pressure pan and heat on high.  After the first whistle, lower the heat to low and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  • Once the pressure releases, remove the lid and mix well.

For the seasoning:

  •  In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee, add the cashews and sauté till golden brown.  Keep aside. 
  • Heat the pan again, heat another tablespoon of ghee, add the mustard seeds and when they start spluttering, add the curry leaves.
  • Pour the mustard seasoning and the cashews into the cooked pongal, add additional ghee if preferred and mix well.

pongal

  • Serve hot with coriander chutney and additional ghee (yes, ven pongal or khara pongal is always relished with lots of ghee!!)

Note:

  1. The amount of water used can be adjusted to how thick or thin you want the pongal to be. We like it a little thin, so I had additional water to get the consistency I want. Pongal thickens as it cools, so add water accordingly.
  2. Some people avoid the turmeric and the pongal gets a dull grayish look; so I add turmeric, this gives it a golden color which we all relish.
  3. If you do not like the whole peppercorns, you can crush and add it while cooking the rice or in the tempering.

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