Breakfast, One Pot Meals, Pongal

How to make Ven Pongal | வெண் பொங்கல் | Khara Pongal recipe

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. 

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 dish stay the same across households, the method (process) of making it varies along with the ratio of dal to rice.  


What is 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.  

Ven Pongal can be had with Tiffin Sambhar/ anychutney or even Avial (mixed veggies in a spiced gravy).



Other savoury and sweet Pongal varieties you may like. 

Rava Pongal (Semolina – Moong dal Pongal) 

Kalkandu Pongal (rock candy sugar pongal)
Chakkarai Pongal – ver 2 
Thinai Khara Pongal (foxtail millet Pongal)
Oats Pongal (savoury version)
Oats Chakkarai Pongal
Chakkara pongal  – ver. 1

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



  • Raw Rice (short grain rice)  – 1 cup 
  • Split Yellow Gram / Moong Dal – 1/3 cup + 2 TBSP
  • Ghee – 4 tbsp (if vegan, sub with 
  • Cashew – 2 tbsp (broken into bits)
  • Minced Ginger – 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp (simply skip for GF)
  • Cumin / jeera – 1 tbsp
  • Black Pepper / Milagu – 1/2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 2 or 3 sprigs
  • Turmeric – a dash (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 in 1 tbsp of ghee till fragrant.

3) Cook this mixture with 5 cups of water and a pinch of turmeric for 5 whistles.Cool.Mash this up with a wooden ladle till mushy.  

4) In a pan, heat ghee.Prepare tempering of crushed jeera, black pepper, ginger, asafeotida, 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.


Updating this post for Foodies_Redoing Old Posts#22 where we revisit / revamp old posts with new pics / recipe updates etc. 





  1. i love pongal with sambar and chutney

  2. pongal looks good 🙂

  3. Priya Suresh

    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. Mélange !

    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. vaishali sabnani

    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. Sensible Vegetarian

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

  9. MySpicyKitchen


    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. Suma Gandlur

    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. Aparna Vijay

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

    Aparna Vijay

  14. Archana Vivek

    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..

  17. mildly indian

    Nothing more comforting than the smooth venpongal and the sambhar. I love this anyday.

  18. Mayuri Patel

    It was about 15 years ago, I had pongal for the first time and was really surprised how similar it tasted to khichdi. Love pongal but have not tried making it at home. Your recipe is tempting me to try.

  19. One of my favorite comfort food and we call it khichdi, though a bit different in proportions. I like it with curd and papad. Absolutely delicious.

  20. Poonam Bachhav

    I love pongal and can have it any day. With curd,pickle and papad it is a soulful meal.

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