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Varaguarisi Venpongal | Millet Venpongal | Breakfast

Varagu arisi pongal, a savory breakfast dish made with millets and lentils. A south-indian breakfast dish, served with sambar and chutney.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Festive, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Indian, South-Indian
Keyword How to make pongal, Kodo millet, kodo millet recipe, Millet pongal, Savory pongal, Sirudhaniya pongal, Sirudhaniyam, Varagu pongal, Varagu recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2


  • Pressure cooker


  • 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.