Ven Pongal (Savory Pongal)

Ven Pongal is a savory made especially on Pongal (Sankranti). However, this is an easy dish that is tasty but not too heavy on spice. Comfort-food yummm J … it is the south-indian equivalent of the khichdi. 

It can be eaten as is or you can have it with varieties like sambar/rasam and/or coconut chutney. 


Rice (uncooked): 1 cup
Green gram split without skin (Moong dal): ½ cup
Cooking oil: 1 teaspoon
Ghee: 1 teaspoon (optional)
Chopped cashews: 1 teaspoon
Black pepper powder*: ½ teaspoon
Cumin powder*: ½ teaspoon
Asafoetida (hing): a pinch
Curry Leaves: a few 

*I use the black pepper and cumin powders as it helps me to control the spice level better and the pongal is evenly spiced. Traditionally, whole black peppers and cumin seeds are used. If you like the bite of whole black pepper, you may use whole spices instead. 


  1. Dry roast the rice and dal for about 2 minutes till you can smell the roasted aroma.
  2. Then, cook rice and dal in a pressure cooker with about 4 cups of water.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed vessel, heat the oil and ghee. When well heated, add the cashews and fry.
  4. When the cashews are slightly browned, add curry leaves.
  5. When they are slightly roasted, add asafoetida, black pepper powder, and cumin powder.
  6. When the cashews are nicely browned, add the rice and dal mixture.
  7. You may add a little water to make the pongal a little mushy.
  8. Turn the heat to low and stir well till the pongal ia a nice mushy mass.
  9. Take off the heat and serve J. I garnished the Ven Pongal with a few black peppers – you can choose your garnish.

3 Responses to “Ven Pongal (Savory Pongal)”

  1. Thank You — THIS RECIPE IS DELICIOUS!!! I posted a link to my blog.
    Best, Chaitanyo.

  2. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and web and this is really annoying. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it. edckaeecbccd

  3. your recipe is very simple to prepare and very delicious.

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