Pongal Recipe

Pongal Recipe

Pongal is a South Indian dish of rice and lentils cooked together. The rice and lentils are tempered with spices such as curry leaves, pepper cores and cumin seeds before being cooked. Clarified butter and cashews are added to make the pongal richer. Pongal can be cooked like normal rice or very soft and smooth. Traditional pongal recipe has moong dal as the lentil which makes it softer. I am using toor dal so that there is some texture in the dish.

Rice & Lentils

Rice and toor dal (lentils)

Pongal Spices

 For the tempering:Pepper, cumin and cashews

Pongal Tempering

The spices for tempering

Rice and Lentil Mix

Wash the rice and lentils together


Pongal is ready


  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Toor Dal: 1/2 cup
  • Pepper cores: 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Cashews: 10-12
  • Curry Leaves: 6-8
  • Clarified butter/ ghee: 2 tsp
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Salt



  • Wash the rice and dal together in water. Wash at least two times.
  • Add 3 cups of water and cook the rice-dal mix
  • Heat ghee in a wok
  • 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
  • Add salt
  • Add the cooked rice-dal and mix well
  • Serve hot with chutney or pickle


  • Oil can be used instead of clarified butter.
  • The pongal can be made very soft by adding in some more water. This will give a loose consistency.

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