Ven Pongal / Savory Pongal

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal and gothsu is such a classic combination. Weekends are meant to relax, but with young kids, our weekends are crazier than the week days. Most of the weekends, we skip the breakfast and have an early lunch. This is one of the comforting brunches that I make often as it is very filling and perfect to keep us going for the whole day.

My boy’s grew up eating Ven Pongal / kichdi. This is one of the earliest foods they were exposed to and they love the pepper cumin combination. The minute, my little one smells the pepper, he comes to me asking if I am making Milagu rasam or Ven Pongal.

I usually serve Ven Pongal with coconut chutney or peanut chutney, but this time wanted to try it with the famous mixed vegetable gothsu also known as the Kalyana gothsu. The combination was awesome and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Do check out my gothsu recipe that I made along with pongal.

Pongal and Kalyana Gothsu

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • Rice – 1 cup (I used Sona Masoori rice)
  • Payatham paruppu / Moong dal – ½ cup
  • Black pepper / Milagu – 2 tsp + ½ tsp
  • Cumin seeds / Jeeragam – 2 tsp
  • Ginger – 2 tsp (finely grated)
  • Ghee or oil or a mix of both – 3 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Asafetida – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Cashew nuts – 3 tbsp (optional)
Pongal and Kalyana Gothsu

Procedure –

  • 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.
Pongal and Kalyana Gothsu
  • 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.
Pongal and Kalyana Gothsu
  • Meantime, grind the black pepper and cumin seeds to 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.
Pongal and Kalyana Gothsu
  • 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 tsp 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 tbsp more of ghee on top and serve steaming hot with Gothsu or Chutney.
Pongal and Kalyana Gothsu
Pongal and Kalyana Gothsu


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