Monday, February 20, 2012

Pongal - Rice and lentil porridge

Thanks to my sister for designing the new header.Thank you sista. Flashback to childhood, I remember as a child I was always asked to go to my sister for homework help and seriously I always felt it was like timeout - some how, she made things look harder then it was. I don't now how when or where things changed and now when ever am in doubt I  reach out to her, somehow she makes things look so simple. It is amazing how perspective change with time.  And thank God they do.

 I have never been a picky eater but neither  the kind to be pleased with everything on the table and I was very vocal about my disappointments. It amazes me to think - pongal which was top on my list of  "what I don't want for dinner" has moved to the other side.I enjoy the one pot meal - it's a wonderful meal for a busy weeknight. Love the way it turns out in a crock pot.

For those of you who are new to this - pongal is a  savory rice and lentil porridge, a traditional South Indian delicacy, named after the festival Pongal -  It is a  four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature, which takes its name from the Tamil word 'pongal' meaning "boiling over" signifying abundance and plenty.  It is celebrated in the month of Thai (January-February) Jan 14th to be specific, during the season when rice and other cereals,  are harvested. 

There is a sweet version of pongal too, but for today savory is the flavor of the day !! Served with some tomato chutney . 

For Pongal 

1 cup Rice
3/4 cup Moong daal (split)

For seasoning
1/2 tbs crushed black pepper
3-4 cloves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 green chili split
3-4 curry leaves
2 tbsp ghee or more :)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste

Wash the rice and daal and roast it in 1 tbsp of clarified butter or ghee. In a crockpot add the rice and daal with 4 cups water and salt.

In a small sauce pan add the remaining ghee, add mustard - here it pop add the cumin , cloves, pepper crushed, green chili, curry leaves and asafoetida in the order. Add it to the crock pot and turn it on to high - 4 hrs !!  If you like your pongal more on the dry side reduce the water and the cooking time, I prefer mine, a porridge consistency. Serve how with a dollop of ghee and tomato chutney.

Finally spring seems like it is almost around the corner or is it ? Am yearning to get to the yard and get my hands dirty - literally. But for now I look at the frozen tomatoes from last season, this is the last batch I have, tucked away in my freezer. Frozen or fresh whatever you prefer.
2 large tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tbsp rasam powder
1 tbsp crushed jaggery or  brown sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp tamarind juice
salt to taste

In a sauce pan add the oil followed by mustard - here it pop, add cumin, green chili and curry leaves add the chopped fresh tomatoes or frozen along with salt and jaggery and bring to a boil. Close the lid and simmer for 10-15 min . Add the tamarind, stir and serve with pongal.

Submitting for the event - walk through memory lane  hosted by Gayathri. Thank you !!

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  1. growing up...when amma made pongal, we thgt ..oh my not again..but then college and growing up made us realize the value of this simple dish...your pics are awesome!

  2. Very delicious, love those pots with lids..

  3. My3
    I made pongal on Sunday for lunch. It is the best food to eat when you feel a cold coming on. I add ginger to the list and I prefer it slightly gooey. I don't have a crockpot and I am seeing more and more of my South Indian cooking being done in crockpots. Maybe, I should look into them.

  4. This is such a complete and beautifully flavoured meal which I simply love to have anytime...looks yuum!

  5. thxs all

    sudha : so right when we were younger, pongal was not something we would look fwd to...

  6. Delicious n healthy pongal,looks so inviting.

  7. Pongal looks absolutely delicious. Awesome snaps. Thanks for linking...


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