Ven Pongal

I think I’ve mentioned this earlier…we’re a two-State couple. I belong to U.P & the husband belongs to T.N, although neither of us fit the cookie-cutter personality moulds that are associated with these States. We met, fell in love & decided there could be no other way except to spend the rest of our lives with each other ❤️ 
Our diverse cultures brought fusion cooking to our kitchen. Rajma was savoured more with rotis than rice, dosas were paired often with chhole, I realised how much Mor Kozhambu was similar to Kadhi, and Pongal is almost the good old Khichdi! What a beautiful country we live in…diverse yet familiar, unique yet comforting. We now make a mix of everything…from Sambar to Dal Makhani, from Bisibele Bhaat to Kadhai Paneer 😊
This Ven Pongal was made by the husband, it was a part of a larger treat for us on Pongal. Although he did all the cooking himself (he doesn’t do that often), i did lurk around to see how he was making it. It’s a fairly simple recipe & can be assembled quickly with minimum ingredients. Ven (white) Pongal can be enjoyed with a bowl of piping hot Sambar & coconut chutney. It makes for a wholesome breakfast & is very popular in Tamil Nadu. If you haven’t tried it yet, do give it a go…it’s a pleasant change.

Ven Pongal

Course: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Pongal is essentially a breakfast dish made with a combination of rice & yellow lentils.


  • Rice: 1/2 cup

  • Yellow moong dal: 1/4th cup

  • Water: 2.5 cups

  • Salt to taste

  • For Tadka:

  • Oil: 1tbsp

  • Ghee: 2tbsp

  • Ginger: 1tbsp (finely chopped)

  • Cashew nuts: 6

  • Black pepper: 1tsp (freshly cracked)

  • Heeng: 2 pinches

  • Cumin seeds: 1tsp

  • Dried red chillies: 2

  • Curry leaves: 1 sprig


  • Dry roast moong dal in a pressure cooker till it releases a slight fragrance. Don’t overdo it.
  • Now add the rice, salt & water. Close the lid of the cooker & let the ingredients cook for 4–5 whistles. Once the pressure releases, the mix should be soft & mushy and you should be able to mash it easily with the back of a ladle.
  • Now is the time for tadka. Heat the oil & ghee in a tempering pan. Add heeng, freshly cracked pepper and cumin seeds. Sauté these till the seeds crackle & then add the chopped ginger. Fry for a few seconds before adding the dried red chillies, curry leaves & cashew nuts. Once the cashews change colour slightly, turn off the heat & add the tadka to the pongal.
  • Mix well, check for seasoning & serve.
  • It’s done…ta-da!


  • The consistency of the dish is important. It shouldn’t be too runny. If it feels so, cook out the moisture before adding the tadka.
  • Freshly cracked black pepper tastes amazing here. Please do not substitute it with regular pepper powder 🙏
  • Don’t skip the ghee 😋
  • Serve the Ven Pongal with Sambar or coconut chutney (or both!). It’s a nutritious & filling meal. It’s ok to snooze after eating this 😄

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