Growing up, mom was the only one who made Pongal and it was and still is delicious. None of my friends’ folks or my neighbors made it so, for me, it was on the list “stuff made only at home”. Of course I learnt it from mom & they way we make is not as soft as the one you get in most places. It is still slightly grainy in texture but has a good spicy punch. At home, Pongal is served with some pickle or chutney. My personal fav is the sweet ginger chutney. Amazing with piping hot Pongal.
Pongal is a traditional South Indian dish made of rice and lentils cooked together and then tempered with spice. The spices that are generally used are curry leaves, pepper cores, ginger and cumin seeds. Ghee or clarified butter and cashews are added to make the Pongal richer. It can be cooked with a very soft gooey texture or it can be a little grainy. Chutneys go great with Pongal. Coconut chutney, ginger chutney or peanut chutney.
Making pongal is really simple. It is just Cooking & Tempering.
Cooking: Rice and moong dal (split green gram) pressure cooked
Tempering: Cumin seeds, pepper cones, ginger and curry leaves tempered in hot ghee (clarified butter)
The detailed recipe is available below
Rice and toor dal (lentils)
- Rice: 1 cup
- Moong Dal / Split Green gram: 1/2 cup
- Pepper cores: 1 tsp
- Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp
- Cashews: 10-12
- Chopped Ginger: 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp (optional)
- Curry Leaves: 6-8
- Clarified butter/ ghee: 2 tsp
- Water: 3 cups
- Wash the rice and dal together in water. Wash at least two times.
- Add 3 cups of water, asafoetida, ginger pieces and pressure cook the rice-dal mix for two whistle count on low heat
- Heat ghee in a wok for tempering
- Add the cumin seeds,pepper cones and curry leaves. Reduce the heat, mix and let it be for a minute
- Split the cashews and add them to the spice mixture. Allow the cashews to turn slightly brownish in color
- Sprinkle salt over the cooked dal-rice and pour the tempering over it. Mix throughly
- Oil can be used instead of clarified butter for tempering
- The pongal can be made very soft by adding in some more water. This will give a loose gooey consistency.