Ven Pongal – A Quick and Easy popular SouthIndian breakfast recipe, made with rice & lentils and then tempered with ginger, pepper, cashew nuts, curry leaves in ghee.
This savory Pongal dish is light on the stomach and delicious with White Coconut Chutney & Sambar.
I’ll show you how to make this delicious protein-packed Pongal recipe in less than 30 minutes.
ABOUT KHARA PONGAL
Veg Pongal and Sakkarai Pongal are made during Pongal ( Sankranti festival). Although this is made on festive days, this rice lentil dish is really delicious and can be served for any meal of the day!
This savory lentil rice dish is quick and easy to make in Instant Pot or in a regular pressure cooker – either way, you can save a lot of time and avoid babysitting the stovetop.
To make Ven Pongal, you will need any short grain rice like Sona Masoori rice and Moong Dal ( yellow split peas ). If you don’t have access to any sona masoori rice, use Basmati rice.
Ghee – I prefer making ghee ( clarified butter from scratch ) at home although you can use store-bought ghee. Fresh ghee elevates the flavors to multifold in the Pongal.
WHAT IS VEN PONGAL?
Ven Pongal is a savory Rice & Lentil dish, prepared as an offering to God in the South of India, during the harvest festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
It is also known as Khara Pongal or Ghee Pongal.
This easy Pongal recipe is enjoyed as a comfort One Pot meal all through the year. It is often served as a breakfast along with chutneys and Sambar, but trust me – Khara Pongal is great to be enjoyed at Lunch/ Dinner time too.
A lot of people mistake Pongal for Khichdi, but let me clarify they are two different dishes with similar ingredients.
For Low-calorie Pongal, try Rava Pongal Recipe
YOU MIGHT LOVE TO TRY CHUTNEY RECIPES TO ACCOMPANY
TOP TIPS TO MAKE KHARA PONGAL
Ven Pongal is best made in a Pressure cooker or in an Instant Pot. It can also be made in a Rice Cooker / Open Pot but cooking times will vary.
Cooking this recipe fresh and enjoying it hot is suggested. However, Pongal can always be reheated if you have any leftovers.
Using Ghee is highly recommended for this recipe and hence this dish is also known as Ghee Pongal in restaurants.
Adding vegetables like carrots, peas & green beans is always a great option, but it is best enjoyed as it is with accompaniments.
Vegan Ven Pongal can be made too. Use Vegan butter or oil instead of ghee in this recipe.
WHAT IS PONGAL FESTIVAL?
Spending my childhood in Mumbai, the festival of Pongal was merely a name that I had heard from Amma. She made Ven Pongal and Sakkarai Pongal on this occasion. And the day after the Pongal celebrations is Kannu Pongal. I remember, Amma would wake me up early in the morning to follow a ritual of Kannu Pidi and have a shower immediately after this. No food was actually allowed to be had in between this. Subbu’s Kitchen has a beautiful post elaborating this tradition.
Well, time flew by, And we moved to the city of Chennai after a few years. This festival Pongal had a whole new dimension. PONGAL is 4 days long with all the pompous. This festival is celebrated on the 14th of January every year, dedicated to the Sun God.
Makar Sankranti festival is celebrated on the same day as Pongal, across various parts of India.
As years passed by, Khara Pongal is a regular affair for brunch at home. It is paired along with White Coconut Chutney and Sambar. Vegetable Gotsu also makes it an exciting combination for Pongal. For variation, you could try with some Red Bell Pepper Chutney, Onion Tomato Chutney
With a lot of Trials and Errors, here’s my perfect recipe for Amma’s Ven Pongal Recipe.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS PONGAL AND KHICHDI THE SAME?
Pongal and Khichadi are two different dishes with similar ingredients. Tempering is added on the top in Pongal, whereas the dish is cooked with tempering in Lentil Khichdi.
Is VEN PONGAL HEALTHY?
Ven Pongal is a healthy dish, made with rice and lentils. All the tempering ingredients in this savory Pongal are great for digestion and gut health. Add ghee in moderation and this dish can be enjoyed guilt-free.
VEN PONGAL RECIPE BELOW
- 1 Cup Rice I have used Sona Masoori Rice
- 1 Moong Dal
- Salt to Taste
- 7½ Cup Water
- ⅓ Cup Ghee
- 5 Tbsp Ginger ( About 30g) chopped
- ¼ Tsp Asafoetida
- 10-15 Curry Leaves
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Tsp Black Pepper
- 10 Cashewnuts broken
- Dry Roast Moong Dal in a pan until the color begins to change slightly and its fragrant.Set it aside. Once its cools down, wash it along with rice.1 Cup Rice, 1 Moong Dal
- Add the washed rice and moong dal to the pan along with 7.5 cups of water.¼ Tsp Asafoetida, 7½ Cup Water
- Cook for about 15 minutes. If you are cooking in Instant Pot, pressure cook for 6 minutes on High and Natural pressure release.
- Once the steam is released, open the lid and season with salt.Salt to Taste
- For Tempering, Heat Ghee in a small pan, add Black Pepper. Once they begin to crackle, turn off the flame. Add cumin Seeds, ginger, curry leaves followed by the addition of Cashewnuts. Fry until the Cashewnuts turn light brown. Add the tempering to the prepared Ven Pongal and give it a good mix.¼ Tsp Asafoetida, ⅓ Cup Ghee, 10-15 Curry Leaves, 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds, 2 Tsp Black Pepper, 10 Cashewnuts
- Serve Ven Pongal / Khara Pongal hot with Coconut Chutney and Sambar.