Varagu Venpongal, a savory breakfast dish made with millets and lentils. A south-indian breakfast dish, served with sambar and chutney.Jump to Recipe
Table of contents
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 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. Today we are making the same delicious pongal with millets and lentils.
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.
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 .
There are many rice dishes that can be made with millets, when cooked properly, you won’t notice any change in taste or texture. Foxtail millet sarakarai pongal, a sweet pongal made with thinai arisi/foxtail millet, resembles the traditional sarkarai pongal in all aspects. Samai/Little sambar saadham or this flavorsome Mint rice with barnyard millet is another excellent recipe to try if you are new to cooking millets.
More Millet Recipes
How to make Varagu Venpongal
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. Dry roast the millet and the moong dal in a heavy bottom pan. Take care while roasting, do in a medium flame.
- Take the roasted ingredients in a pot that fits your pressure cooker and add equal amount of milk and water and cook for 4-5 whistles or until cooked soft.
- Let the pressure 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, curry leaves and shredded ginger. Next add cashewnuts, when it turns golden brown, add the cumin seeds.
- Now add the softly cooked millet and dal to this. Add ¼ water to the vessel, wash and add that liquid to this.
- Add pounded black pepper powder and salt, mix and let it cook for 10 more minutes until saucy.
- Remove and serve it hot with chutney and sambar.
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More Pongal Recipes
Millet Venpongal Recipe
A quick and easy south-indian favorite savory venpongal made with healthy millets.
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 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2-3 tablespoon ghee if vegan, use oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon shredded ginger
- 1 teaspoon 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 ¼ 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 tablespoon 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.
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An old recipe from 2014, updated with new content for better engagement.