June 17, 2011

Ven Pongal / Khara Pongal, and an Ode to this wonderful dish :)

One of the finest breakfasts in South Indian Cuisine has to be Ven Pongal (Tamil) / Khara Pongal (Kannada) .. We love to have Pongal - Avial combo on Sundays and make this almost twice a month. A typical Tamilnadu breakfast, tomes have been dedicated to Saravana Bhavan's version of Ven Pongal. This dish goes to Day 2 of BM (Ingredient : Moong Dal) and also to my own event - One Pot Meals 

Like I mentioned, my best memory of some amazingly good Ven Pongal is at this non descript village shack somewhere between Madurai and Coimbatore at 6am while I travelled between these two cities.. The glistening pongal with fiery hot coconut chutney was too good to resist, and I did help myself to, well a second helping !! Well, I almost (?) got carried away in the poetry of food, rather share the ingredients with you.. Although the ingredients of this dsh stay the same across households, the method (process) of making it varies along with the proportion.  Ven Pongal can be had with Coconut chutney or even Avial (spiced veggies in a curd gravy).

Preparation time : 10 mins. Cooking time : 10 mins. Serves : 3


  • Raw Rice - 1 cup
  • Split Yellow Gram / Moong Dal - 3/4 cup
  • Ghee - 4 tbsp
  • Cashew - 2 tbsp (broken into bits)
  • Minced Ginger - 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin / jeera - 1 tbsp
  • Black Pepper / Molagu - 1/2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - 2 or 3 sprigs
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp (opt)
  • Boiled milk - 1/8 cup (opt)
For Avial, please refer Recipe here.


1) Wash Dal and Rice separately in several changes of water. Drain.
2) In a pan, fry the dal and rice in 1 tbsp of ghee till fragrant.
3) Cook this mixture with 5 cups of water and 1/8 cup of Milk and a pinch of salt for 3 whistles.  Cool.
4) In a pan, heat ghee. Prepate tempering of jeera, black pepper, ginger, hing, curry leaves, turmeric one by one.
5) Add the cooked dal mixture and adjust salt. Garnish with fried cashew.
6) Serve hot with a dollop of ghee along with Coconut Chutney / Gothsu (Tamarind spicy gravy)/ Avial.

Do check out what my fellow Marathoners are upto...


  1. i love pongal with sambar and chutney

  2. pongal looks good :)

  3. Can have pongal and sambar atleast twice a week without any hesitation,but somehow i wasnt able to make them quite often,coz of my teddies,yep they dont like this..

    Btw regarding ur qn about my clicks, usually i try to take them in day light that y they looks very bright apart from that i dont take special care, also i use mostly white background, hope this helps a bit for u..

  4. Pongal for breakfast is an acquired taste.....I know many people who balk at the idea of eating rice for breakfast even though they don't mind idli/dosa.

  5. You are right there.Pongal is something we all love! It's an amazing dish and you have come with a nice version of the Ven pongal..Thanks for sharing.
    (Btw,why when I try to add you in google reader,it shows the feed can't be found ? I am trying for the past two days dear)

  6. @ Jayashree - you are absolutely right.. Somehow people detest from eating rice for breakfast, but dnt mind processed food for cereals. I remember years ago how my aunt used to have thayir saadam at 6am to leave for her workplace that was 30 kms away,and she was absolutely fine:)
    @ Dhyuthi - Thanks for letting me know, I shall try to rectify it.
    @ Priya - Yes, getting kids to eat this is quite a task, even as a tiffin ! But as Jayashree says, its an acquired taste

  7. can u bel..I had pongal for the first time recently......my daughter who is in chennai made it for us..n we all loved it...n now i have the rt recipe...looks grt...thnx:)

  8. Love this delicious platter, making me hungry in the morning.

  9. Yummy!

    I like ven pongal with pacchi pulusu, tempered raw tamarind water seasoned with onion, green chilies and ginger.

  10. Our fav comfort food too!! Next time I shall try adding some milk as you suggested.

  11. We love this dish too. My MIL used to serve this with a tangy - sweet ginger gojju and that remains my favorite side dish to go with this.

  12. Pongal and avial what a combo. looks so tempting

  13. Pongal looks Yummy...You have a wonderful blog with yummy recipes..Do visit my blog whenever time permits..

    Aparna Vijay

  14. I used to hate when i was young. But these days just make them quite very often and my hubby also loves this dish.

  15. @ Aparna - Thanks for dropping by !

  16. Love pongal, but I hardly ever make sambar with it, though I lover that combo..loves very nice..


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