Breakfast, Millets, One Pot Meals, Pongal

Little Millet Pongal | Samai Pongal Recipe சாமை வெண் பொங்கல்

What is Little Millet Pongal / Samai Pongal?

Pongal is a South indian Breakfast dish made with a combination of lentils and rice -its trademark taste and consistency is gooey creaminess redolent with the mild spice and ghee (clarified butter) that’s used . Ven Pongal is also served as Prasadam (Prashad ) in a few South Indian temples. Usually only Moong dal (split green gram) and short grained rice is used. Other variations that are now the rage are millets in place of rice. Furthermore, Rava / Semolina or godhuma rava (broken wheat / lapsi) are also used sometimes, with varying ratio of rice:lentils and dfferent taste. 

Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar . 

Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar .Pin

Millets in everyday cooking

Another Millet after Foxtail (Thinai) that lends itself beautifully in place of Rice for Pongal is Samai or Little Millet. Samai is different from Sama (or Barnyard Millet that’s used for fasting recipes during Navratri / Shivratri). Samai is a versatile grain that we loved making Upma with too.  Much to my surprise (and welcome relief!) , the husband has also started liking millets in place of rice, and so like the Dalia Bisibelebhath featured earlier, this Samai Pongal was our Sunday brunch for just the two of us. Mom who had a bit of this, also appreciated how soft and light this pongal was. Considering my unyielding love for perfectly made Pongal, I think this dish will be made very often even on weekday mornings as its so perfect and light   

I was surprised to find how much Pongal it yielded, so the leftovers warmed up beautifully for  my Monday breakfast too ! This pongal can be served with Chettinad Khara Chutney/ Coconut Coriander Chutney or even Hotel Sambhar

But considering the kitchen was like a furnace, we had this with Daangri Pachadi (Urad dal – roasted ground and the spicy paste mixed with yoghurt and tempered – Recipe soon! ).

Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar .Pin

Pro Tips to make the best Samai Pongal

  1. Roasting the moong dal gives it additional aroma
  2. dont skip the ghee and asafoetida (diet permitting) , Pongal is primarily highlighted by the duo
  3. If short of time, soak millets in hot water for 10 mins before cooking, it turns out perfect.

Other Quick and filling Breakfast / Dinner Options you may like on the blog!

Instant Ragi Oats Dosa | Calcium Rich Dosa
Instant Ragi Oats Dosa is a quick and filling Gluten Free Vegan dosa made with finger millet and Oats. Can be served for breakfast or snack, even dinner.
Check out this recipe
Instant Ragi Oats Dosa is a quick and filling Gluten Free Vegan dosa made with finger millet and Oats. Can be served for breakfast or snack, even dinner.
Instant Pot Godhuma Rava Pongal
A savoury pongal (or pudding) made in Instant Pot with broken wheat grits and lentils. Served as breakfast with chutney and sambhar
Check out this recipe
A savoury pongal (or pudding) made in Instant Pot with broken wheat grits and lentils. Served as breakfast with chutney and sambhar
Thinai sevai | Foxtail millet vermicelli veg upma 
Thinai Sevai is a quick, nutritious breakfast made with Foxtail Millet vermicelli and veggies. Can be served as a snack or light dinner too.
Check out this recipe
Thinai Sevai is a quick, nutritious breakfast made with Foxtail Millet vermicelli and veggies. Can be served as a snack or light dinner too.
Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar .Pin

Other Savoury Pongal Varieties on the blog:

Samai Pongal – Gluten Free One Pot meal | Can be vegan too ! 

Cuisine : South Indian ; Course : Breakfast / brunch/ dinner ; Difficulty level : Easy

Prep time – 5 mins, Cook time – 15 mins, Serves : 2 ~3 adults generously

PIN FOR LATER

Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar .Pin

What you need to make Samai Pongal:

  • 1 cup Little Millet (Samai (1 cup = 240 ml)
  • 1/3 cup split green gram (Moong dal / Pasiparuppu)
  • 2 TBSP Ghee (split use) – skip for vegan version or use vegan butter
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt

Tempering

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida ( Hing,a generous pinch, skip for GF)
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger (Grated)
  • 1 tsp cashewnuts (opt.)
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 1 Dry red chilly (broken)
	Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar .  Pin

How to make Samai Pongal

  1. In a bowl, wash and rinse the Samai several times. In a pressure cooker, add half of the 1 TBSP ghee, roast moong dal for a min or two, then add the samai, turmeric, half of the jeera + pepper mix, 3.5 cups of water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Close and pressure cook for 2 whistles (Samai cooks very quickly, you don’t want it too mushy). 
  3. Once the pressure is released, mash it up a bit. Add water if you want a really runny consistency. Add salt and mix once. 
  4. Prepare a tempering with the tempering ingredients + remaining half of the jeera+pepper mixure in the rest of the ghee. Pour on top of the cooked pongal. Adjust for salt and spice. Mix well and serve hot with any Chutney or Sambhar. 
Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar .Pin

Little Millet Pongal | Samai Pongal Recipe | GF Dishes

Kalyani
Samai or Little Millet Pongal is a quick, nutritious and filling Gluten Free breakfast or dinner made with Little Millet and Moong dal. Served hot with Chutney and / or sambhar .  
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Tiffins
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 3 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Pressure Cooker
  • pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Little Millet Samai (1 cup = 240 ml
  • 1/3 cup Split Green gram Moong dal / Pasiparuppu
  • 2 TBSP Ghee split use – skip for vegan version or use vegan butter
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt

Tempering

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Whole Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida Hing,a generous pinch, skip for GF
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Grated
  • 1 tsp Cashewnuts opt.
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 1 Dry red chilly broken

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, wash and rinse the Samai several times. In a pressure cooker, add half of the 1 TBSP ghee, roast moong dal for a min or two, then add the samai, turmeric, half of the jeera + pepper mix, 3.5 cups of water and bring to a simmer.
  • Close and pressure cook for 2 whistles (Samai cooks very quickly, you don’t want it too mushy).
  • Once the pressure is released, mash it up a bit. Add water if you want a really runny consistency. Add salt and mix once.
  • Prepare a tempering with the tempering ingredients + remaining half of the jeera+pepper mixure in the rest of the ghee. Pour on top of the cooked pongal. Adjust for salt and spice. Mix well and serve hot with any Chutney or Sambhar.

Notes

Pro Tips to make the best Samai Pongal
  1. Roasting the moong dal gives it additional aroma
  2. dont skip the ghee and asafoetida (diet permitting) , Pongal is primarily highlighted by the duo
  3. If short of time, soak millets in hot water for 10 mins before cooking, it turns out perfect. 
Keyword Breakfast, Dinner Alternatives, Gluten Free, Healthy Millets, Millet Pongal, Millet Recipes, Millets, Pongal, Tiffins, Ven Pongal
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23 Comments

  1. Suma Gandlur

    Even small quantities of quinoa and millets are quite filling compared to rice and the pongal looks very inviting. I am sure that it was quite delicious.

  2. Gayathri Kumar

    I am literally drooling here Kalyani. The pongal looks fantastic and the pachadi sounds awesome. Waiting for your recipe for that.

  3. Millets are quite filling .. looks so tempting.. I really like how you adapt the traditional recipes with healthy grains.

  4. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    An easy to make, healthy and delicious recipe. Love that samai pongal is gluten free. Would make a perfect light lunch option.

  5. srividhya

    5 stars
    Samai IMO is the great rice replacement among the millets. It took us sometime to get used to barnyard and kodo but little millet was super easy. This venpongal with samai sounds absolutely delicious.

    • couldn’t agree more Vidhya. Samai was the easiest and yummiest transition to millet pongals. Barnyard n Kodo are used in Dosa at home, not pongal 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I love to have millets and try to have it alteast 2-3 times a week. This millet pongal with samai looks like an easy recipe with all the goodness in it.

  7. 5 stars
    Beautifully made little millet pongal. Looks so very soft and of course it is filling. That it is gluten-free is an added bonus.

  8. Jayashree T Rao

    5 stars
    The best thing about Pongal is the many different ways we can prepare it. Loved it Kalyani, will make it sometime.

  9. Seema Sriram

    5 stars
    Making samai pongal tommorow, I am glad I spotted your recipe. I love the ease of making this.

  10. 5 stars
    I could survive on pongal for days on end. Very nutritious and filling as well. I make pongal with all kinds of millets 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe Kalyani. Ever since we started using millets, we have been replacing it in all possible ways!

  12. 5 stars
    Millets are very healthy and we make millet pongal often here. We make it for any meal. You pongal looks divine!

  13. 5 stars
    Millets are nice substitute for rice. Pongal is so creamy and gooey. Pongal was so delicious and we enjoyed it a lot.

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