Ven pongal literally translates to white pongal, a porridge made of rice and lentils. It is the ultimate comfort food for many in south India. Hot pongal with sambar, chutney and vada is a breakfast combination one can find in restaurant menus, wedding feasts and on festival days in many homes. This simple yet nutritious pongal recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See part 1. You can add milk for a creamier version or make it vegan without the addition of milk and clarified butter/ghee.
1 cup rice
1/2 cup moong dal
1.5 teaspoons cumin seeds
1.5 teaspoons peppercorns
1 one inch piece ginger grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup clarified butter/ghee( I used 1 tablespoon)
5 curry leaves
1. Dry roast the moong dal for 5minutes on medium flame. Wash and clean moong dal along with rice.
2. Add 3 cups of water or 2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk to rice and moong dal and pressure cook for four whistles. Alternatively, you can cook them on stove top till rice and dal are cooked soft and water is completely absorbed.
3. Grind peppercorns and cumin seeds to a coarse powder. You can skip this step if you prefer to add whole spices.
4. Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashews till they turn golden brown. Add pepper and cumin powder or whole spices and fry for 30 seconds. Add curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds.
5. Add above to cooked rice/lentil porridge and mix well.