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VenPongal | Khara Pongal | How to make savory pongal

Venpongal, also called as khara pongal or savory pongal, a popular breakfast dish in Tamilnadu, served with sambar and chutney.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Festival
Cuisine Asian, Indian, South-Indian
Keyword Barley pongal recipe, How to make khara pongal, Khara pongal recipe, Pongal for breakfast, Pongal sambar, Savory pongal, Venpongal recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6


  • 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.