Monday, March 10, 2014

Ven Pongal

Ven pongal is one of the standard breakfast recipes in most of the south Indian homes. I m not a great fan of Pongal but M likes it. So I make it once in a while. I make sambar or chutney as side dish. The recipe takes some time for perfection, but once you have got it, you‘ll master the dish.
One thing that I like about pongal is the flavor and aroma of those peppercorns and cumin fried in ghee with those golden brown cashews studded here and there makes the pongal look and smell tempting. But the amount of ghee that my Amma adds usually makes me go crazy!!!So I restrain myself from getting too much tempted(S! I am KIND of diet freak).
Rice-3/4 cup
Moong dal-1/4 cup
Ginger-1tsp, grated
Asafoetida-1/2 tsp
Salt-as needed
Water-3 & ½ - 4 cups
Ghee-1 tsp
To Temper:
Cumin seeds-1tsp
Mustard -1/2 tsp
Urad dal-1/2 tsp
Cashews-5-10, roughly chopped
Curry leaves-1 sprig
How It Happened:
1. Heat a pan and dry roast the moong dal, until it starts smelling. It’s not necessary to roast until it changes colour.
2. In a pressure cooker add washed rice, dal, ginger, salt, asafoetida and 1tsp of ghee. Add 4 cups of water, cover with lid and pressure cook in medium flame for 2whistles, then simmer the flame for 2 minutes and switch off the flame.
3. Once when the pressure is released, remove the lid and mix well so that the rice and dal gets well blended.
4. Heat remaining ghee in a pan and add all the ingredients given under the ‘To temper’ list. When they splutter add it to the rice.
5. Mix well and serve hot with sambar and chutney.

*Raw rice (pacharisi) is generally used. But you can also use the boiled rice (pulungal arisi) as well.
*If you are using boiled rice adjust water level accordingly, as that variety of rice consumes less water.
*You can coarsely crush and add the peppercorns. Also if you want it to be spicy add finely chopped green chilies to the rice before cooking.
*I add a tsp of ghee while pressure cooking the rice, which gives a pleasant flavor combined with ginger also it prevents the pongal from sticking to the cooker or getting burnt..But you can skip that and use ghee just to temper.

*Dry roasting the dal adds a nice flavor but you can skip that as well.

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