Venpongal, also called as khara pongal or savory pongal, a popular breakfast dish in Tamilnadu, served with sambar and chutney.Jump to Recipe
What is Venpongal/Khara Pongal ?
Venpongal or Khara pongal is a popular south-indian breakfast dish. A savory dish made with rice and lentils, tempered with curry leaves, ginger and loads of black pepper and cumin. Pongal is served with sambar and white chutney.
It is the most popular dish served in marriage functions for breafkast. Since pongal is a no onion and no garlic dish, it is prefered as offerings during pooja days.
Whenever amma makes Pongal for breakfast, we hog and sleep the whole day. None in the house, would bother to getup and ask when is lunch? Our Maid, who comes around 11 am, would immediately guess that the day’s breakfast was Pongal, as the whole house would be dozing and dreaming in their own world’s.
A well made pongal is a hearty dish, it fills you up for the whole day. It is made with rice and moong dal, a delicious mix of carbs and protein, which is tempered generously in ghee with curry leaves and loads of cumin, pepper and ginger. When served with delicious sambar and chutney, it is the ultimate comfort on your plate.
How to make VenPongal/Khara Pongal
To make Venpongal/khara pongal, first dry roast rice and lentils separately until golden brown.
Take the roasted ingredients in a pan, that will fit inside your pressure cooker. Add milk and water mixed to it. Pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles. . Cooking rice and lentils in milk water mix gives it richness. But if you are allergic to milk and milk products, you can cook it entirely in water.
Once the pressure releases normally. Heat a heavy bottom pan with ghee, temper it with mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, cashewnuts and cumin seeds. Once the cashewnuts turn brown, tip the pressure cooked rice and lentil mix to it. Add 1/4 cup of water to the vessel it was cooked, wash it and add it back to the pan.
Add salt and freshly pounded pepper powder. Mix well and let it cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Do not cook until dry, as pongal tends to thicken as it cools. Take it off when it is a bit saucy. Serve this venpongal warm with sambar and chutney.
VenPongal | Khara Pongal | How to make savory pongal
- Pressure cooker
- 1 cup raw rice
- ½ cup moong dal
- 1 no green chili optional
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1.5 cups water
- 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 tbsp broken cashewnuts
- 2 tsp shredded ginger
- 1.5 tsp freshly pounded black peppercorns
- a sprig of curry leaf
- In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast rice and dal separately until it gives out a nice aroma. Take care not to burn, keep the flame simmer while roasting.
- Take the roasted ingredients in a pan/bowl/vessel that fits inside your pressure cooker. Add water and milk to this, mix well and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
- If vegan or allergic to milk or milk products, skip the milk and cook it entirely in water.
- Heat a kadai with ghee, when hot, splutter mustard seeds, add ginger, curry leaves and cashew-nuts. When the cashew-nuts turn golden, tip in the cumin seeds.
- Immediately tip in the cooked rice and dal mix to this tempering. Add 1/4 cup of water to the vessel in which the rice and dal was cooked, wash it and add it back to the pan. Add salt and pepper to this and mix well.
- Let this mix cook until the liquid is absorbed. Let this sit on the stove until it becomes saucy. Do not cook it until dry. It will take 10 minutes for it becomes saucy
- Pongal tends to become dry as it rests. So make sure you remove the pongal when it is saucy, not watery, not dry, just saucy.
- Remove it from heat and serve it warm with chutney and sambar
- Pongal usually thickens as it rests, so do take it off when it is a bit saucy not watery, a bit saucy.
- Serve it warm, even if you have made it ahead, just add 2-3 tbsp water or milk mixed with water , mix and heat it to become warm and enjoy.
Serve this delicious khara pongal with sambar and chutney for a comforting meal. Pongal can also be served for brunch or dinner.
More Pongal Recipes
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An old post from January 2012, updated with new pictures and content for better engagement.