Recipe: Brown Rice Savory Pongal aka Ven Pongal

IMG_5277Last week, I blogged about the sweet Pongal recipe which I made as a neividhyam or offering to the Lord on the occasion of the festival of Pongal. That evening, I made the salted version for dinner. The method for both is quite similar and you can make both at the same time with little extra effort.

This is often eaten as a breakfast dish, especially in the southern parts of India. This combination of rice and dal will really fill you up and if you, like me, plan on having this for dinner, then go a bit easy as you tend to feel really full sometime after your meal!

Brown Rice Ven Pongal

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice (traditionally made with white rice)
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 2-3 tbsps ghee
  • 2 tsps whole black pepper
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 4-5 leaves of curry leaves
  • A handful of broken cashew nuts
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash the rice well, drain and keep aside. In a pressure cooker, lightly pan fry the dal till a nice aroma comes.
  • Add the rice, water, milk, salt, peppercorns and cook under pressure for 4-5 whistles.
  • In another pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee and fry the cashewnuts until they brown nicely. Remove and keep aside and in the same pan, fry the cumin seeds, and when it begins to splutter, add the curry leaves, grated ginger and pepper powder and fry for a few seconds. Remove from the flame and keep aside.
  • When the pressure reduces, open the cover of the pressure cooker and check if the rice and dal mixture has become mushy (it should look like a risotto at this point). If no, add more water and/or milk and cook it further till it becomes mushy.
  • Add the remaining ghee here and stir well. When it has achieved the right consistency, add the fried cashewnuts and the seasoning (cumin seeds, ginger, curry leaves and pepper powder) and mix well checking for salt.
  • Serve with sambar or coconut chutney

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