Breakfast, Pongal

Tri-colour Quinoa Pongal | How to make Quinoa Ven Pongal 

Pinterest Hidden Image

Quinoa Ven Pongal is a Gluten Free, Nutritious Pongal made with Quinoa and split green gram. Served for breakfast, brunch or dinner with Chutney or sambhar

A very healthy , Joyous and blessed 2023 to all my readers !  May this coming year be awesome in terms of whatever you have wished upon ! Amen

Each year around mid December when Margazhi (holy month for Tamil Brahmins) dawns , we start experimenting with a new version of Pongal to try out as a breakfast / dinner option. Margazhi is dedicated to worshipping Lord Vishnu, and Pongal is a very auspicious offering to the Lord.

Pongal, not unlike upma, has either a fan or hate club. My kids veer between the two extremes and we find that very amusing as we don’t know if that would be a hit or a miss. As for the adults, we LOVE Pongal and one variation of this family favourite is always on rotation in the weekly menu.  

Quinoa Ven Pongal is a Gluten Free, Nutritious Pongal made with Quinoa and split green gram. Served for breakfast, brunch or dinner with Chutney or sambharPin

What is Pongal ?

As explained in my earlier post on the 8 healthy pongal varieties you must try, for the uninitiated Pongal is a semi thick pudding of sorts with a grain and lentil combination, made in either savoury or sweet versions. 

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 or Chakkara 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 different taste. 

Other varieties of Pongal on the blog

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
Little Millet Pongal | Samai Pongal Recipe | GF Dishes
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 .  
Check out this recipe
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 .

are some of the popular savoury versions that we like at home. 

In terms of sweet Pongal variants:

  • Kalkandu Pongal (Rock Candy Pongal) 
  •  Oats Chakkara Pongal are also on this year’s menu. 
Brown Rice Chakkara Pongal | கைக்குத்தல் அரிசி சர்க்கரை பொங்கல்
Brown Rice Chakkara Pongal is a delicious Brown Rice – Jaggery pudding made in Southern India for festivals and special ocassions. Served as an offering to the Gods.
Check out this recipe
Brown Rice Chakkara Pongal is a delicious Brown Rice - Jaggery pudding made in Southern India for festivals and special ocassions. Served as an offering to the Gods.

We need to see which wins our hearts or do we revert to the Classic rice-based Chakkara Pongal .

Quinoa Ven Pongal, and how it happened. 

Quinoa is a regular in my pantry and we happen to use it in dosa, stew(soup), salads and thought why not make Pongal with this. I used Tri-colour Quinoa as I had that on hand, but you could always go with Single variant of quinoa

Quinoa Ven Pongal is a Gluten Free, Nutritious Pongal made with Quinoa and split green gram. Served for breakfast, brunch or dinner with Chutney or sambharPin

Recipes with Quinoa you may like on the blog

Quinoa Dosa (No Rice Dosa)
No Rice Quinoa Dosa is a dosa or Indian Savory Crepe made with Quinoa served for breakfast or brunch. This is diabetic friendly (made without rice) , Gluten Free, and Vegan.
Check out this recipe
No Rice Quinoa Dosa is a dosa or Indian Savory Crepe made with Quinoa served for breakfast or brunch. This is diabetic friendly (made without rice) , Gluten Free, and Vegan.
Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Lime & Chilli Vinaigrette
Watermelon Quinoa Salad is a quick gluten free, Vegan salad that is refreshing, light and appetising for summer brunch or potluck. 
Check out this recipe
Watermelon Quinoa Salad is a quick gluten free, Vegan salad that is refreshing, light and appetising for summer brunch or potluck.

Liked this recipe? SIGN UP FOR THE Sizzling Tastebuds Newsletter (No Spam, Promise!) for fresh, healthy and tasty recipes right into your inbox . Please consider leaving a star 🌟 rating on this recipe for us to get you the best recipes out there.   FOLLOW Sizzling Tastebuds ON Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest AND  Instsgram for fresh content, latest recipes and much more!

Tips to make a great Quinoa Ven Pongal

  1. Make sure to wash the Quinoa thoroughly and soak it for at least 15 mins prior to cooking
  2. You may cook the quinoa and moong dal together in a pressure cooker, but I prefer the quinoa separately and then add to the cooked moong dal – that way it didn’t turn pasty and gooey.
  3. Ratio of water to cook quinoa is generally 1:3 (on open stove), but I used 3.5 cups of water as I needed it to be slightly mushy yet have a slightly nutty taste.
  4. Don’t skip on ghee to make this pongal. If you are vegan, try with plant based subs for ghee, and do let me know in the comments below how you liked it. 

What can I serve with Quinoa Ven Pongal

Quinoa Ven Pongal is a Gluten Free, Nutritious Pongal made with Quinoa and split green gram. Served for breakfast, brunch or dinner with Chutney or sambhar

This month at Sshh Secret Challenge, Priya Vijay gave us Festive Theme. My paired blogger Priya Iyer has made this delish VElla Payasam while I made this Tri-colour Quinoa Pongal with the ingredients we exchanged (milk’ and ‘rice’ for the kheer and hing + ginger for pongal).

Priya Vijay’s recipe for Chakkara Pongal is so apt for the upcoming 4-day Pongal festival.

PIN FOR LATER

Quinoa Ven Pongal is a Gluten Free, Nutritious Pongal made with Quinoa and split green gram. Served for breakfast, brunch or dinner with Chutney or sambharPin

Prep time – 5 mins, Soak time – 15 mins, Cook time – 20 mins

Serves – 3 ; Cuisine – Tamil / South Indian ;  Course – Breakfast / Dinner

Ingredients you need to make Quinoa Pongal

  • 1 cup Quinoa (single or tri-colour quinoa) 
  • 1/2 cup Split green Gram (Paasi paruppu/Moong dal)
  • 3 TBSP Ghee (split use)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)

Tempering:

  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera / Jeeragam)
  • 1 TBSP Cashews (skip for nut allergy)
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida (Hing / Perungayam), skip for Gluten Free
  • 1 tsp Black pepper (Milagu, Kaali mirch – slightly crushed)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

How to make Quinoa Pongal

  1. Wash and soak quinoa in warm water for 15 mins. 
  2. Roast moong dal in 1 tsp of ghee and soak for 15 mins with 1 cup of hot water
  3. After 15 mins, cook Moong dal with the soaked wate, 1 tsp Ghee and turmeric, adding 1/2 cup more water for 3 whistles till done.
  4. Wait till the pressure drops
  5. Meanwhile In an open pan, drain the soaked quinoa and cook till done but not mushy.
  6. In a pan, add the cooked moong dal and quinoa, salt and mix throughly. 
  7. Let it simmer for 3-4 mins till slightly mushy.
  8. In another small pan, add remaining ghee, fry cashews till golden brown, set aside. 
  9. In the same ghee, Splutter curry leaves, cumin, asafoetida, ginger and rest of the tempering ingredients.
  10. Add this tempering along with the cashews to the pongal.
  11. Switch off. 
  12. Serve hot with Avial, Coconut Chutney or eat it plain. So yum!!

Nutrition information for Quinoa Pongal (per serving)

Calories: 487kcal Carbohydrates: 60g Protein: 18g Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 10g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 38mg Sodium: 790mg Potassium: 382mg Fiber: 8g Sugar: 1g Vitamin A: 117IU Vitamin C: 14mg Calcium: 60mg Iron: 5mg

Quinoa Ven Pongal is a Gluten Free, Nutritious Pongal made with Quinoa and split green gram. Served for breakfast, brunch or dinner with Chutney or sambharPin

Tri-colour Quinoa Pongal | How to make Quinoa Ven Pongal 

Kalyani
Quinoa Ven Pongal is a Gluten Free, Nutritious Pongal made with Quinoa and split green gram. Served for breakfast, brunch or dinner with Chutney or sambhar
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner Ideas
Cuisine South Indian, Tambrahm, Tamilnadu Cusine
Servings 3 servings
Calories 487 kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • pan
  • Ladle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Quinoa single or tri colour quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Split Green gram Paasi paruppu / Moong dal
  • 3 TBSP Ghee split use
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric optional
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Tempering:

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 TBSP Cashews skip for nut allergy
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida Hing / Perungayam, skip for Gluten Free
  • 1 tsp Whole Black Pepper slightly crushed
  • 1 tsp Ginger grated
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves

Instructions
 

  • Wash and soak quinoa in warm water for 15 mins.
  • Roast moong dal in 1 tsp of ghee and soak for 15 mins with 1 cup of hot water
  • After 15 mins, cook Moong dal with the soaked wate, 1 tsp Ghee and turmeric, adding 1/2 cup more water for 3 whistles till done.
  • Wait till the pressure drops
  • Meanwhile In an open pan, drain the soaked quinoa and cook till done but not mushy.
  • In a pan, add the cooked moong dal and quinoa, salt and mix throughly.
  • Let it simmer for 3-4 mins till slightly mushy.
  • In another small pan, add remaining ghee, fry cashews till golden brown, set aside.
  • In the same ghee, Splutter curry leaves, cumin, asafoetida, ginger and rest of the tempering ingredients.
  • Add this tempering along with the cashews to the pongal.
  • Switch off.
  • Serve hot with Avial, Coconut Chutney or eat it plain. So yum!!

Notes

Tips to make a great Quinoa Ven Pongal
  1. Make sure to wash the Quinoa thoroughly and soak it for at least 15 mins prior to cooking
  2. You may cook the quinoa and moong dal together in a pressure cooker, but I prefer the quinoa separately and then add to the cooked moong dal – that way it didn’t turn pasty and gooey.
  3. Ratio of water to cook quinoa is generally 1:3 (on open stove), but I used 3.5 cups of water as I needed it to be slightly mushy yet have a slightly nutty taste.
  4. Don’t skip on ghee to make this pongal. If you are vegan, try with plant based subs for ghee, and do let me know in the comments below how you liked it. 

Nutrition

Calories: 487kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 18gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 790mgPotassium: 382mgFiber: 8gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 117IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Millet Pongal, Pongal, Pongal Varieties, Quinoa, Quinoa Pongal, Ven Pongal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Tried this recipe?Follow @sizzlingtastebuds or tag #sizzlingtastebuds!

SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER

16 Comments

  1. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    A healthy and filling dish not only for the festive season but to enjoy as a regular meal too. Love savoury pongal and this quinoa pongal is bookmarked to try as soon as possible.

  2. 5 stars
    Replacing rice with quinoa in this traditional recipe makes it good as well as protein rich. A good idea to add some quinoa to your diet.

  3. 5 stars
    I love the way you give healthy twists to several dishes, and this one is no exception. The tri-colour quinoa pongal looks and sounds absolutely delicious – I had no idea there’s something called tri-colour quinoa available in the first place! This is a great way to cut down consumption of rice. Will definitely try!

    • awww, thanks so much Priya! the tri colour quinoa is available in upmarket supermarkets like NAtures basket / Food Hall, and was gifted to me by a foofie:-)
      but the white one (beige) coloured quinoa works as well

  4. 5 stars
    Tri colour Quinoa pongal is so wonderful . It can be enjoyed anyday . Lovely the healthy twist to the regular Pongal.

  5. 5 stars
    Awesome twiist to the suda suda ven Pongal. Love how you have replaced rice with quinoa and it is holding the same texture and consistency of our traditional ven Pongal.

  6. 5 stars
    This looks like a great idea to replace rice with quinoa. I believe there wont be much difference in the taste, but nutrition wise it is much better than rice. I would definitely want to try this recipe.

  7. Jayashree T Rao

    5 stars
    Quinoa pongal looks good, will be making it for our dinner tonight. .It is a healthy twist to the usual one

  8. Sasmita Sahoo

    5 stars
    A healthy dish for the festive season………replacing rice with quinoa is a lovely idea !

Thanks so much for dropping by.
We would love to hear how you liked this recipe.
Do take a moment to rate this recipe and leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Recipe Rating