Savory Pongal made with couscous and moong dal. A quick and delish alternative to savory pongal made with rice or millets.
Khara Pongal Recipe | Savory Pongal with couscous | Couscous khara pongal | Pongal with couscous | Ven Pongal with couscous | How to make couscous khara pongal | Quick and easy Ven Pongal recipe
Nothing beats a plate of warm Khara Pongal, combined with buckets of sambar and some white coconut chutney. At home Ven Pongal, is generally called as sleeping pill. Yeah, the carb overload from rice and moong dal, makes your eyelids so heavy, you definitely need a good 1-2 hours nap post your Pongal feast. So, we make it for Weekend brunch, and lunch is replaced with an amazing afternoon siesta.
Table of contents
What is Couscous?
Couscous, small steamed granules of rolled durum wheat semolina. Couscous is traditionally made from semolina, the hardest part of the grain of durum wheat. The semolina is sprinkled with water and rolled with the hands to form small pellets, sprinkled with dry flour to keep them separate, and then sieved.
I came across this What is Couscous article from food network while reading about couscous. If you love reading about food and its process, you should definitely check this article.
Why Couscous Pongal ?
Ven 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 usually served with sambar and white chutney.
It is the most popular dish served in marriage functions for breakfast. Since Pongal is a no onion and no garlic dish, it is preferred as offerings during pooja days.
I served this couscous khara pongal for lunch last week. I was worried how my teen and pre-teen would react ,but to my surprise both loved this delish couscous pongal. Taste wise, this couscous pongal tastes exactly like our rice ven pongal.
If you want to compare the nutritional value of rice and couscous, then the latter has less calories, little more protein and less carbohydrates when compared to Rice. These nutritional values usually go up and down depending on your serving size. Please note there is no good or bad food. All food groups consumed in moderation and regular workout is always healthy, so never blame the food.
If you are looking for a different pongal this festival, check the links below.
Ingredients to Make Couscous Khara Pongal
- Main Ingredients : Couscous and Moong dal are the hero ingredients. Couscous I have used the smallest size, widely available Moroccan couscous. This is instant, pre-cooked. Add boiling water and keep it closed for 8-10 minutes, you will get beautifully cooked, soft and fluffy couscous, that can be used in variety of recipes.
- Tempering : The regular Indian tempering ingredients mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and hing is used in this khara pongal recipe. I have also added one green chili in this Ven Pongal recipe.
- Flavorings : Lots of ginger and freshly pounded pepper adds the real flavor to khara pongal recipes. Since savory dish, salt goes without saying.
- Fat : Ghee is preferred but, I have used oil for tadka and added butter towards the end for richness.
- Garnish : Usually cashews are roasted in ghee and added. My younger one has sensitivity towards cashewnuts, so i have used roasted almonds.
How to make Couscous Savory Pongal
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions
- Measure and keep all the ingredients ready. Take the moong dal, add enough water and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until soft.
- While the moong dal is cooking, take couscous in a wide bowl, add twice the amount of hot water to this, mix well and keep it covered.
- Let the pressure of moong dal drop on its own, remove and mash it well with the back of the ladle.
- Now for the tempering, keep the ingredients listed ready. Heat a heavy bottom pan with ghee/oil, according to preference.
- Once hot, throw in mustard seeds, slit green chili, curry leaves and shredded ginger and cumin seeds.
- Now add the softly cooked dal to this and the beautifully swelled couscous. Add ¼ cup water to the moong dal vessel, wash and add that liquid to this. Let this boil and cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Add pounded black pepper powder and salt, mix and let it cook for 5 more minutes until saucy.
- Remove and serve it hot with chutney and sambar
Recipe Card for Couscous Khara Pongal
Couscous Pongal | Couscous Savory Pongal
- ¾ cup Couscous
- ½ cup Moong dal/Pasi paruppu
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 20 grams butter or ghee approximately 3-4 tbsp
- 4 tablespoon roasted almonds or cashews i used silvered almonds
- 3 tablespoon oil/ghee according to preference, I used groundnut oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds/kadugu
- ¼ teaspoon hing/asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
- 1-2 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 no green chili, chopped
- few curry leaves
- Measure and keep all ingredients ready on the counter. Wash moong dal 2-3 times with plain water.
- Take moong dal in a vessel that fits inside your pressure cooker. Add twice or thrice the amount of hot water and turmeric powder. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until soft. Let the pressure fall on its own.
- While moong dal is cooking, take couscous in a large bowl. Add 2 cups of hot water to this, mix well. Keep it covered until dal is ready.
- Couscous will absorb the added water and will become soft. It can be used as such used in any other recipe too.
- Once the pressure releases. Remove the dal from the cooker, mash it roughly with a ladle.
Let us Do the Tadka
- Heat oil/ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Once hot, splutter mustard seeds. Add hing, curry leaves, chopped green chili and ginger.
- To this sizzling tadka, finally add cumin and add the mashed dal to this. Add ½ cup water to the dal vessel and add it to the pan.
- Now dump the cooked couscous into this dal tadka mixture. Mix well. Add salt and let it boil.
- Let this cook for a good 8-10 minutes, turning nice creamy and saucy. To this add freshly pounded pepper, mix well.
- Finally add roasted almonds or cashews to this and the butter, mix well and take it off the stove
- Do not cook it until dry. 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.
- The tadka for Pongal can be done entirely with ghee also. I chose to do with groundnut oil and finally added butter. If Vegan, you can skip adding butter.
- We prefer to enjoy Pongal warm. So I would not recommend this for kids lunch box.
- It is good choice for adults, if packed in a hot pack.
- Pongal tends to become dry as it rest. When I say dry, I don't mean bone dry, i meant it sort of clumps and becomes like a mash. So remove it while it is still saucy, so it doesn't become clumpy as it rests.
- If you have made it ahead, just add 2-3 tablespoon water or milk mixed with water , mix and heat it. Serve it warm and enjoy.
I m not a Doctor or a Nutritionist The Nutrition information provided above comes from the plugin and is only an estimate.