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Ven Pongal in a bowl
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Ven Pongal | Savory Pongal

Ven Pongal is a classic breakfast dish in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu. This with medu vada is a common menu for breakfast in restaurants. It is very filling and can also be a lunch or dinner item as well.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Entree, Festival Recipes, One Pot Meal
Cuisine: Indian, Tamil Nadu
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 408kcal


  • Pot
  • bowl
  • spatula


  • 1 cup Rice I used Sona Masoori rice
  • ½ cup Payatham paruppu / Moong dal
  • 2 ½ tsp Black pepper / Milagu
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds / Jeeragam
  • 2 tsp Ginger finely grated
  • 3 tablespoon Ghee or oil or a mix of both
  • few Curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafetida
  • to taste Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder optional
  • 3 tablespoon Cashew nuts optional


  • In a heavy bottom pan, roast the moong dal without any oil until it aromatic and light brown. Now add the rice as well and give it a mix. Fry for about 2 minutes until the rice is heated through.
  • Transfer this rice/dal mixture in a vessel that you are going to use to cook it (I use the cooker vessel that I place inside the cooker), and wash it well.
  • Add enough water (I use about 5-6 cups of water) and cook it along with turmeric powder in a pressure cooker until the rice/dal is cooked very well and mushy.
  • I usually let it cook for 4-5 whistles in the cooker. Also, the amount of water I use is more than what I would use normally. This ensures that that the rice is cooked well.
  • Meantime, grind the black pepper and cumin seeds into a coarse powder in a spice grinder. You could add everything whole and not grind, but in that case everyone picks through the pepper and do not eat it. When they are in the ground form we eat it and the goodness of it is utilized.
  • Once the rice is cooked, mash it well with a potato masher or a heavy spoon. Heat the ghee in a pan and add the ½ teaspoon of black pepper, curry leaves, asafetida, ginger and cashew nuts and fry for a minute. Now add the ground cumin/pepper mixture and mix well.
  • Add the cooked rice/dal along with salt needed and mix well. Adjust the consistency by adding a little water if needed. I usually have my pongal on the thinner side as it hardens upon cooling. If preferred, add a tablespoon more of ghee on top and serve steaming hot with Gothsu or Chutney.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg