Pongal is one of the easiest tiffin item prepared in Tamilnadu. Almost all the restaurants in Tamilnadu will have this listed (Ofcourse next to Idli and Dosa).
Pongal-vada is the most common combo.
Pongal in tamil means 'Boiling and rising'. Venn Pongal refers to Kara pongal and so called Venn pongal due to its color (Venn - White).
I always have the habit of keeping the pepper aside from pongal. So my mom used to grind it and mix with it. But then adding whole pepper renders a different taste compared to pepper powder.
It is best done using pressure cooker (easy and less time consuming), but be careful while using pressure cooker. I had a bad experience with it...I have a very small cooker which I use only for cooking dhal. I cook dhal directly without using any vessel. Once I added more dhal and water (forgot to add oil), the dhal got stuck in the steam nozzle and the boiled dhal started pouring out through the valve (just like a fountain). I turned off the stove and just ran out of the kitchen.
It was pouring out for 5 mins (spoiled my cooker hood) and then stopped. Luckily nothing serious. Cleaning the kitchen took whole of my time and we opted for 'Take away' that day.
And I happened to read safety tips about using pressure cooker in Asha's Foodies Hope on the same day. What a coincidence !
Do read the Safety tips posted by Jyothsna's Curry bazaar when you get time.
Thanks Asha and Jyothsna.
Always use a vessel with a lid while using Pressure cooker.
I was not comfortable to touch my cooker for next two days, that is the reason for not having used cooker while preparing Pongal (in this post).
I used Basmati rice instead of the usual raw rice just to check how it tastes. It did taste well.
Raw Rice - 1 cup
Moong Dhal - 1 cup
Water 6 - Cups
Ginger - 1 Inch
Black pepper - 2 Tsps
Cashew nuts 10 - 15
Curry leaves - Few
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp
Ghee - 4 Tsps
Salt - As required
- Wash rice and moong dhal.Drain the water.
- Heat 2 Tsps of Ghee in a pan.Fry the rice and moong dhal .
- Add water and salt. Allow it to cook. You can check the consistency inbetween. (You could alternatively use cooker to cook - leave 4 whistles)
- Chop ginger into small pieces.
- Once the rice and dhal gets cooked, heat 2 Tsps of Ghee, fry peppers, chopped ginger, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
- Add this to the cooked rice and dhal and mix well.
- Pongal is ready. Serve hot with coconut chutney.