My 41st recipe “Ven Pongal”, a classical South Indian breakfast. Just hearing this word brings me pleasant memories of Chennai. There is probably no other south Indian breakfast that would ring in such nostalgic memories. To be honest, my mom used to prepare pongal at home rarely. Then you are wondering how come those nostalgic memories right ? When I was in chennai, on Saturdays mornings, I used to visit the nearby hanuman temple.
Most of the times along with the Lord, this delicious Ven Pongal used to welcome me there. A divine breakfast indeed. There is no match to the taste and fragrance of that authentic pongal topped off with ghee. I tried to bring the same taste to my kitchen. After several failed attempts, I finally managed to get close to the original one 🙂 After moving to US, a scoop of hot ghee pongal, medu vada, sambar and chutney is the perfect breakfast I always dream off 😉
Happy Bogi !!! A Tamil festival which celebrates discarding old and derelict things and focusing on new belongings, getting ready to celebrate the Harvest season. It is traditionally celebrated by lighting a bonfire early in the morning and throwing in derelict items. Kids would enjoy dancing round the bonfire beating drum.
Ven Pongal is a dish which is an essential of any traditional South Indian breakfast. Made with rice, lentils and tempered primarily with black pepper.
- Raw rice - 3/4 Cup
- Yellow moong dal - 1/4 Cup
- Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
- Milk - 1/4 Cup (Optional)
- Water - 4 Cups
- Ghee - 1 Tbsp
- Ginger - 2 tsp (Finely Chopped)
- Cashews - 10
- Black peppercorn - 1 Tbsp
- Jeera - 2 tsp
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- First, wash the rice and moong dal. Then add them to the pressure cooker along with salt, asafoetida, water and cook for 3 whistle. Turn off the flame. Once the pressure totally subsides from the cooker, remove the whistle and open the lid.
- Roughly mash the rice and dal mixture using a ladle. Turn on the flame, set it to low and add milk to pongal and mix thoroughly. Cook for about 2 minutes with constant stirring. Turn off the flame.
- Now heat a separate pan with ghee, add the ingredients under "To temper" and saute till the cashews turns golden brown.
- Add the tempering items to the pongal and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Enjoy hot with sambar and chutney.
Notes- While cooking rice and dal in pressure cooker, do set the flame in low-medium and cook. You might over cook the rice and end up with a burnt bottom.
- Vegans can replace ghee with oil. But you will miss the authentic taste of the pongal.
- If you feel your pongal is too thick, you can adjust the milk quantity accordingly in step 2.