Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Venn (White) / Milagu (Pepper) Pongal

Pongal and Sambar

Venn Pongal is prepared along with Charkkarai / Sweet Pongal during Pongal festival. But this is also a special breakfast in every Tamil Home. This is a perfect recipe if you get more guests at home as this can be prepared faster.

This is my 25th Post. I am happy that it happened to be my Favorite Pongal. This is my son's favorite too.

Whenever I prepare this, he becomes restless. He doesn't like to wait until it cools. I make him touch Pongal and realise that it is hot. Only then he understands and waits to eat. I like to serve him this as he eagerly opens his mouth for every spoon of Pongal. There is nothing special for a Mother other than seeing her child eating well.

Here is the Recipe.


Raw Rice 1 cup (200ml cup)
Pasiparuppu /  Split (Yellow) Moong Dhal ½ cup (200 ml cup)
Pepper Corns  1 ¼ tsp
Cumin / Jheeragam  ¾ tsp
Finely cut Ginger 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 6-8
Cashew nuts (Optional) Few
Vanaspati/Dalda  3 tsp
Oil  2-3 tsp
Water 3.5 cups

Cut Ginger into fine pieces. Cut Cashew nuts into two.
Heat Dalda and Oil. When hot, add Ginger and Curry Leaves. Few seconds later, add Pepper Corns, Cumin and Cashew nuts. Fry on a low flame till they turn slightly brown and Ginger turns soft.

Add Raw Rice and Dhal. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Now add water and Salt. Stir well. Cook for 3-4 whistles.

Serves: 2
Serve with Coconut Chutney and/or Sambar.

Do not over fry the spices. Add cashew nuts, the last while frying. You can also use Ghee instead of Dalda.
Use 1 cup more water than you use usually to cook rice. Allow one more whistle than usual. For example, I use 2.5 cups of water and 3 whistles for cooking normal white rice of 1.5 cups. So for Pongal, I use 3.5 cups of water and 4 whistles for 1.5 cups (Rice + Dhal).
If hard water is used for cooking, like me, soak Dhal for one hour and Rice for half an hour. Traditionally, Raw Rice is used to prepare this Pongal as it can be cooked mushy or too soft.
I used less Cumin as I am feeding my toddler son. You can include upto 1½ tsp according to your taste.

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