Varagu Venpongal, a savory breakfast dish made with millets and lentils. A south-indian breakfast dish, served with sambar and chutney.Jump to Recipe
What are Millets?
A group of cereals which are mostly tiny in size, round in shape. There are about 6,000 varieties of millet throughout the world in different colors too. Millets are gluten-free and rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. The bran layers of millets are good sources of B-complex vitamins. Varagu or Kodo millet is a millet variety.
I have tried to give the Millets name in English. hindi and tamil.
|Name of the Millet||Hindi||Tamil|
|Proso Millet||Barri||Pani Varagu|
Since the millets are small grains, they are called as Sirudhaniyam, in tamil,literally meaning small grains.
What is VenPongal?
Venpongal 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. Today we are making the same delicious pongal with millets and lentils. Millets
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.
Many people have to restrict their white rice intake due to many health factors. Millets are great alternate to rice. Millets helps to lower blood glucose levels and improves insulin response. They have a low Glycemic index,which increase the satiety by decreasing hunger and slows the rate of digestion. You can read more about its health benefits here .
How to make Varagu Venpongal
To make Varagu Venpongal, we start by dry roasting the millet and the lentil separately to golden brown. Then take them together in a container, add double the amount of water and milk mix or plain water and cook for 4-5 whistles.
Once done, heat a heavy bottom pan, add ghee, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, cumin, cashewnuts, add the cooked millet-lentil mix, add pepper and salt.
Let this 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 varagu venpongal, warm with sambar and chutney.
Varaguarisi Venpongal | Millet Venpongal | Breakfast
- Pressure cooker
- ⅓ cup varagu arisi/Kodo millet Barnyard millet can also be used
- ¼ cup moong dal
- 1 cup milk If vegan,use plant based milk, or skip and use water
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 2-3 tbsp ghee if vegan, use oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp shredded ginger
- 1 tsp freshly pounded black pepper
- 3 tbsp broken cashewnuts
- a sprig of curry leaf
- In a heavy bottom pan, add varagu arisi and moong dal and roast them until they turns golden brown.
- Once roasted, let it rest for 5 minutes, then take them in a container that fits the pressure cooker. Add milk and water , mix well and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles. I always prefer to use Pot in pot method while pressure cooking, as it avoids spilling or splutters while cooking.
- Once pressure cooked, let the pressure release on its own.
- In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee, when it is hot, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, cashewnuts, and ginger. Let the cashewnuts turn golden brown.
- Finally add the cumin seeds to the tempering and immediately add the cooked millets and lentils mix. Add 1/4 cup of water to the vessel, wash it and add it to the pan.
- To this now add salt and pepper powder. Mix well. 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 varagu venpongal with sambar and chutney for a filling and comforting breakfast. This pongal can also be enjoyed as brunch or dinner.
More Millet Recipes
If you have tried this recipe and like it, give it a star rating or let me know in the comments below. You could also share it with me on Instagram using #icampinmmykitchen and tagging me @priyasrinivasan.
You could follow me and my recipes on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | twitter
Do you like the recipe? PIN IT
An old recipe from 2014, updated with new content for better engagement.