Venn Pongal

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Pongal- Drawing the kolam patterns, cooking rice in a new pot, these are the features of this special festival. Pongal is always a special time - be it in the countryside or in the city, Pongal, like the other festivals, has always been celebrated with great gusto. Buying sugarcane, new rice, new clothes and eating hot, delicious pongal has always been a regular feature.

Appa who always discouraged us from celebrating Deepavali (he was against child employment in Sivakasi), was very particular in Pongal celebration. The house was spotless after the cleanup on Bhogi. On Pongal day, Amma with her two daughters drew kolam to win the undeclared competition. Sakkarai and Venn Pongal was made and shouting out 'Pongal-o Pongal!' during the overflowing of rice was a joyous occasion, we waited to be served the delicious Pongal until offered to God.
In Tamilnadu, Venn Pongal is made for breakfast and it is usually features in the breakfast menus of the Restaurants. The rice and paruppu/Dhal mixture is cooked and mashed well, added with seasonings and served with chutney and sambhar. Venn Pongal is a comfort food especially during winter.
This is again my Amma`s recipe. Caution-Do not attempt to make this pongal if you do not have Ghee/Clarified butter.

Venn Pongal

List of ingredients:
  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1/2 cup broken green gram dhal (pasiparruppu)
  3. 1/2 tablespoon whole pepper
  4. 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies
  6. 1 tsp chopped ginger
  7. a pinch asafoetida
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 tablespoon oil
  10. 2 tablespoon ghee
  11. few cashewnuts(optional)
  12. few curry leaves
Cooking procedure :
  1. Heat the kadai and fry the dhal for few minutes untill the dhal is hot.Mix the rice to the dhal,wash and pressure cook with 4 sups water.
  2. When cool remove the lid and mash and keep aside.
  3. Heat the kadai and add the oil.When the oil is hot add the ingredients for seasoning one by one in the order given.
  4. Add to the rice and mix well with ghee and salt. Serve hot with sambhar and coconut chutney. Add fried cashewnuts to the pongal while serving.
TIPS: Crushed pepper and Cumin can be used instead of seasoning with whole pepper and cumin.


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