ven pongal recipe, how to make pongal recipe | khara pongal

ven pongal recipe with step by step pics – ven pongal is a delicious south indian breakfast made with rice and yellow moong lentils. this porridge like savory dish is laced with cumin, asafoetida and black pepper. not to forget the lovely aroma of ghee, which is used for tempering these spices. the simplest version of ven pongal will have these spices as well curry leaves and ginger.

ven pongal recipe, pongal recipe

there are many variations possible. at times grated coconut is also added. you could even add some chopped veggies to make a mix veg pongal. ven pongal is also known as khara pongal. 

few more pongal recipes on blog are:

black pepper is one of the key ingredient added in ven pongal. the black peppercorns are added whole and when you eat ven pongal, you also bite into the black pepper. if you do not favor or like biting into a whole black pepper, then crush the black pepper coarsely and add. usually i add crushed black pepper, but since i wanted to share an authentic method, i did not crush black peppers for this recipe post.

pongal has always been a favorite with us. after having one of the best ven pongal in tirupati balaji temple, i have been looking out to make it at home exactly the way the temple served.

recently we got the chance to savor ven pongal in JW mariott hotel from their breakfast menu. it was a good one. though not like the one we had in tirupati temple, but yes a tasty one. the extra amount of ghee they added in the pongal made a lot of difference. they would also add grated coconut in the pongal.

so when i have been looking out for a homely yet a really good pongal recipe, i asked one of my very dear reader and friend, durga aunty about her method. durga aunty was quick enough to reply and even gave me her mother’s recipe and method to make ven pongal. she was detailed enough for me to understand the finer details of cooking pongal. durga aunty is in her 70’s and this recipe is from her mother. thus making this recipe almost a 100 year old family recipe. yes this is a really good pongal recipe and comes pretty close to the pongal we had at tirupati temple.

khara pongal recipe

thank you durga ji. this post is dedicated to you.

durga ji, suggests to use seeraga samba rice as it gives a good flavor. but if you do not get seeraga samba rice, you can use regular rice like sona masuri rice. wherever possible, i have mentioned tips and suggestions to make a perfect pongal.

usually we just have ven pongal plain and thats how we like it. but traditionally served with coconut chutney or sambar. durga ji suggests to have pongal with either onion gothsu or kathirikai gothsu or coconut chutney or idli sambar or kalyana gothsu.

preparing ven pongal does not take much time. you can also make pongal for lunch or dinner, especially if you are short of time or very busy. then serve khara pongal with some pickle or a side of curd or chutney or salad.

if you are looking for more south indian breakfast recipes then do check:

ven pongal recipe

Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes
Course:breakfasts
Cuisine:south indian,tamil nadu
Calories:292kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):3
4.82 from 16 votes
pongal recipe, ven pongal recipe, khara pongal recipe
khara pongal recipe is a popular south indian breakfast made with rice and yellow moong lentils.

INGREDIENTS FOR ven pongal recipe

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

main ingredients for ven pongal

  • ½ cup seeraga samba rice OR regular rice OR 100 grams seeraga samba rice
  • ¼ cup moong dal OR 60 grams moong dal
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) - lightly crushed
  • teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 inch ginger (adrak) - chopped OR 1 teaspoon heaped chopped ginger
  • 3 to 3.25 cups water or add as required
  • salt as required

for tempering pongal recipe

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, whole or crushed. you can also add ½ teaspoon black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (kadi patta) OR 10 to 12 small to medium curry leaves
  • 10 to 12 cashews (kaju) - whole or halved
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

HOW TO MAKE ven pongal recipe

roasting moong dal for pongal recipe

  • pick ¼ cup of moong dal first to get rid of stones if any. then heat a small pan or a small kadai and add the moong lentils.
  • on a low flame stirring often roast the moong lentils till they become aromatic.
  • the moong lentils only need to be roasted till they become aromatic. no need to brown them.
  • now take them in another bowl or you can use the same pan for rinsing.
  • add ½ cup rice in the bowl containing the roasted moong dal.
  • rinse both rice and roasted moong dal a couple of times with water.

cooking rice and lentils for pongal recipe

  • drain very well and then add them in a pressure cooker.
  • now add the following ingredients - ½ tsp cumin seeds, ⅛ tsp asafeotida/hing, 1 tsp heaped chopped ginger. also add salt as per taste. 
  • pour 3 to 3.25 cups water. the amount of water to be added depends on the consistency you want and also on the quality of moong dal.
  • pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 7 to 8 whistles or 11 to 12 minutes.
  • let the pressure settle down on its own and then you remove the lid to check the doneness and consistency. if the pongal has a consistency like that of pulao, then add ½ to 1 cup hot water and mix very well. 
  • both the rice and the moong dal should be cooked very well. if you want you can even slightly mash the cooked rice and moong lentils. if cooked well, then cover with the lid and keep aside.

making ven pongal

  • in another small pan, heat 2 to 3 tbsp ghee. 3 tbsp ghee gives a good taste and flavor.
  • add 1 tsp cumin seeds. let them splutter.
  • then add 10 to 12 cashews. fry till the cashews become light golden.
  • once they begin to get light golden, then add 1 tsp black pepper and 10 to 12 curry leaves.
  • stir very well and fry till the curry leaves become crisp. the black pepper should also be fried well.
  • now pour this entire tempering on the pongal. mix very well.
  • cover with the lid (with the vent weight/whistle on the lid) and keep ven pongal aside for 5 to 6 minutes. this allows the tempering flavors to infuse with the pongal and the aroma to stay in.
  • then remove the lid and serve ven pongal hot with coconut chutney or sambar.

RECIPE TIPS

  • the pongal recipe can be doubled.
  • i get moong dal which takes a long time to cook. usually i cook the moong lentils for 7 to 8 whistles. so i added 3.25 cups water. if you get moong dal, which cooks quickly in 2 to 3 whistles, then add 2 to 2.5 cups water.
  • some mixed veggies can also be added. 
  • if you want you can add less or more ghee as per your requirements. 
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preparation to make ven pongal recipe

a) roasting moong dal

1. pick ¼ cup of moong dal first to get rid of stones if any. then heat a small pan or a small kadai and add the moong lentils.

dal for ven pongal recipe

2. on a low flame stirring often roast the moong lentils till they become aromatic.

making ven pongal recipe

3. the moong lentils only need to be roasted till they become aromatic. no need to brown them.

making ven pongal recipe

4. now take them in another bowl or you can use the same pan for rinsing.

making ven pongal recipe

5. add ½ cup rice in the bowl containing the roasted moong dal.

making ven pongal recipe

6. rinse both rice and roasted moong dal a couple of times with water.

making ven pongal recipe

cooking rice & lentils for ven pongal

7. drain very well and then add them in a pressure cooker.

making ven pongal recipe

8. now add the following ingredients – ½ tsp cumin seeds, ⅛ tsp asafeotida/hing, 1 tsp heaped chopped ginger. also add salt as per taste. crush the cumin seeds in the palms of your hands and then add. this gives a nice aroma.

making ven pongal recipe

9. pour 3 to 3.25 cups water. the amount of water to be added depends on the consistency you want and also on the quality of moong dal. i get moong dal which takes a long time to cook. usually i cook the moong lentils for 7 to 8 whistles. so i added 3.25 cups water. if you get moong dal, which cooks quickly in 2 to 3 whistles, then add 2 to 2.5 cups water.

making ven pongal recipe

10. pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 7 to 8 whistles or 11 to 12 minutes. for moong dal which cooks quickly, you can pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.

making pongal recipe

11. let the pressure settle down on its own and then you remove the lid to check the doneness and consistency. if the pongal has a consistency like that of a pulao, then add ½ to 1 cup hot water and mix very well. both the rice and the moong dal should be cooked very well. if you want you can even slightly mash the cooked rice and moong lentils. if cooked well, then cover with the lid and keep aside. the consistency of a pongal is like khichdi.

making pongal recipe

making ven pongal

12. in another small pan, heat 2 to 3 tbsp ghee. 3 tbsp ghee gives a good taste and flavor.

making pongal recipe

13. add 1 tsp cumin seeds.

making ven pongal recipe

14. let them splutter.

making pongal recipe

15. then add 10 to 12 cashews.

making ven pongal recipe

16. fry till the cashews start to become light golden.

making ven pongal recipe

17. once they begin to get light golden, then add 1 tsp black pepper and 10 to 12 curry leaves.

making ven pongal recipe

18. stir very well and fry till the curry leaves become crisp. the black pepper should also be fried well.

making ven pongal recipe

19. now pour this entire tempering on the pongal.

making ven pongal recipe

20. mix very well.

making ven pongal recipe

21. cover with the lid (with the vent weight/whistle on the lid) and keep aside for 5 to 6 minutes. this allows the tempering flavors to infuse with the pongal and the aroma to stay in. then remove the lid and serve ven pongal hot with coconut chutney or sambar.

pongal recipe


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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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43 comments/reviews

  1. Have been following your recipes for years now, they always turn out fabulous. A big fan of your yours.5 stars

  2. Hi mam, I m preethi, I always follow your recepies when I am cooking veg. It’s really great mam5 stars

  3. Thank you so much!!
    I have this unexplainable utter liking for South Indian cuisine from as long as I can remember. It has always been my comfort food. So subtle yet so flavourful. I had Pongal at the Murugan Idli Shop in Chennai, and that taste just got stuck!! And then I happened to stumble upon this recipe from you, and voila!! It was soooo close to that!! I can safely say, even better!! Thanks a tonne Dassana. You’ve earned yourself a huge fan and an ardent follower today. 😊5 stars

    • welcome neha. i am glad that you loved the pongal recipe. so delighted to read your comment. i have been to chennai a couple of times but never had anything from murugan idli shop. maybe next time i should try. thanks again.

  4. Tooooooo good. Came out so well. You can also try adding milk with the water to enhance the flavour.5 stars

  5. Loved it. Made it today and I was yummily surprised to taste the black pepper that turned out to be so crunchy in the tempering. Coz honestly I was looking forward to the flavour of it the way it was used in the recipe. And I am totally loving it now.5 stars

  6. Hi !
    Tried this recipie for breakfast today.Came out yummilicious
    Served with Sambar and Onion Chutney.
    Can’t find an option to upload pic, elsewhere would have done that.
    Thank you !5 stars

    • Welcome Aruna. Nice to know that you liked the ven pongal recipe. We don’t have the option to upload photos. However I am glad to read your positive feedback.

  7. Hello
    I’m an ardent fan of your recipes and they are awesome. Can’t you make an app for your recipes? People like me who are learning from you can make more of it.just a thought.

    • you can use any regular variety of rice like sona masuri or parmal etc. avoid using basmati rice, but any other regular variety of rice can be used.

  8. I use to make pongal before. I was not very happy with the taste..But recently I followed your steps and it turned out to be very tasty.. thank you so much for sharing a perfect recipe..5 stars

  9. I’m just amazed how perfect your every recipe turns out to be… Though I’ve tried many recipes of yours this is the first time I’m leaving a comment. I can blindly trust your recipes and they turn out just so perfect to our taste! Thank your very much ☺️5 stars

  10. Your recipe on Pongal states that you do not get the Tirupati flavour. Let me tell you that even if made with the choicest ingredients, no flavour of the temple can ever be replicated in any home. There is something beyond mere kitchen ingredients in the temple. Bhakti is enigmatic indeed!4 stars

    • sarada, i do not agree with you in this regard. obviously the temple food always tastes great. but if your home is a temple and your heart is the abode of the divine, then any food that you prepare will have some divine qualities in it. it all depends on your inner being and qualities that you have when you cook. if food is cooked with utmost love, devotion, bhakti and meditation than the food will have a great taste.

  11. I’m married to south indian guy your tevopirs have saved from e.nattesment multiple times when my in laws visit they all get pleasantly surprised when I cook for them following your receipie

  12. hi.. love dis pongal.. n iam regular follower of ur blog..love da recipes da way u present here..

  13. I had pongal many times in A2B during my stay in Bangalore and always liked it. Made it at home today for the first time and happy with the result as it reminded me of good times in Bangalore. Thanks.

  14. My mom usually add milk once she opened the cooker and keep stove in sim & COntinuously stir. It will taste divine and creamy.

  15. Hi, I am a Tamilian whose a hard core fan of ven pongal n of course yr blog.. For ven pongal we don’t use jeeraga chamba rice. It’s only the regular raw rice we use… also try this proportion, 3/4 cup of rice and 1/4 cup of moong dal…. It tastes much better. Reduce the qty of water by half cup and add milk instead. Tastes awesome…. also, we add ginger, hing, black pepper and cumin seeds to the tadka not while cooking the rice n dal…..

    • Thanks preethi for the suggestions. Every family has its methods and variations for a recipe and this pongal recipe is no different. Seeraga samba rice is a suggestion from Durga ji’ s mother and they have been making pongal this way. Thats why i have mentioned it in the post. I have made pongal with regular rice too. About the addition of milk, i know. But never tried. I will try using the proportions you have mentioned. I also know about the ingredients for tadka. And i make tadka this way too. But, I wanted to be true to the recipe and hence I have not made any changes to the tadka from the original recipe.