Pongal vada is a popular breakfast in the south next to idli and dosas's. There is a sweet counterpart to this pongal called chakkara pongal ( made with jaggery) which is brown. Hence the savory one is called Ven pongal, or white pongal. Pongal is similar to khichdi of the north where rice and moong dal and cooked very soft and seasoned with black pepper corns, cumin, ginger and other spices. Some people like to add powdered black pepper. But I don't as it becomes too spicy. Adding whole pepper corns make it optional who want to bite into it or pick it out!
One of cousin was recently telling me how she just cannot do anything sweet in the morning as breakfast. She never eats, cereal, oatmeal, toast with jelly, muffins etc... You get the idea!
Pongal is perfect for those without a sweet tooth. It can be complete meal to serve at anytime! If you have a pressure cooker or rice cooker, it's easy to make. If not, don't fret it can be made in a heavy bottomed sauce pan too. all you need is to increase the amount of water needed to cook the rice and lentils.
The ratio of rice to dal is 1 and 1/2. The ratio for water is 3 cups water to 1 cup rice and 1 cup water for the half cup dal. Am I confusing a lot??
Get Ready: (serves 3)
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1/2 cup moong dal ( yellow)
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
- 1 green chilli slit lengthwise
- 1 tsp black pepper corn
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp asafetida
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp broken cashews
- salt to taste
- a few curry leaves
- Wash the rice and dal. Pressure cook rice with the required water for 4-5 whistles and set aside. If using a sauce pan, cook them till the rice and dal are very soft
- Add salt to taste in the rice and mix well, once the steam has released and you are able to pen the pressure cooker.
- In a heavy bottoemd pan, add the oil and ghee. Add the pepper corns, cumin, curry leaves, ginger, green chilli, cashews, asafetida and do the tadka. reduce the heat.
- Add the the rice dal mix to the tadka.
- Mix everything well,cover and cook for 2 mins or till pongal doesn't stick to the pan.
- Turn the heat off.
Serve hot with chutney or sambhar or jaggery!
PS: The more oil or ghee you add it tastes even better.