Ven Pongal Recipe: A Delicious South Indian Comfort Food

Ven Pongal, also known as Khara Pongal, is a traditional South Indian dish that is not only delicious but also comforting. Made with simple ingredients like rice and lentils, seasoned with pepper, cumin, and ghee, Ven Pongal is a staple in many South Indian households. In this blog post, we will explore the step-by-step process of how to make this flavorful and satisfying dish at home.


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup split yellow moong dal (lentils)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 8-10 cashews
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2-3 green chilies, chopped
  • Salt, to taste


  • Rinse and Soak
    • Begin by rinsing the rice and moong dal under cold water until the water runs clear.
    • Soak the rice and lentils in water for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Cooking the Pongal
    • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked rice and lentils along with 4 cups of water.
    • Cook until you get 4-5 whistles or until the rice and lentils are soft and well-cooked.
    • Mash the cooked rice and dal mixture to a smooth consistency.
  • Tempering
    • In a separate pan, heat ghee and oil together.
    • Add cumin seeds, crushed black pepper, chopped ginger, cashews, asafoetida, chopped green chilies, and curry leaves. Sauté until the cashews turn golden brown.
  • Combining the Tempering with Pongal
    • Add the prepared tempering mixture to the mashed rice and lentils.
    • Mix well, ensuring that the tempering is evenly distributed.
  • Seasoning and Final Touch
    • Add salt to taste and mix thoroughly.
    • Let the Pongal simmer on low heat for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
    • If desired, you can garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve Hot
    • Once the Ven Pongal has absorbed all the flavors, serve it hot with a side of coconut chutney or sambar.


Ven Pongal is not just a dish; it’s a comforting bowl of warmth that brings joy to the table. With its simple yet aromatic preparation, this South Indian delicacy is perfect for breakfast or lunch. Whether you are familiar with South Indian cuisine or trying it for the first time, making Ven Pongal at home is a delightful culinary experience that is sure to become a favorite comfort food in your household. So, gather the ingredients, follow the steps, and savor the deliciousness of homemade Ven Pongal!

  1. Q: Can I use brown rice instead of white rice for Ven Pongal?
    • A: While traditionally made with white rice, you can experiment with brown rice for a healthier twist. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
  2. Q: Is it necessary to use ghee in the recipe, or can I substitute it with oil?
    • A: Ghee adds a rich flavor, but you can use a combination of ghee and oil or just oil if you prefer a lighter taste.
  3. Q: Can I prepare Ven Pongal without a pressure cooker?
    • A: Yes, you can cook the rice and lentils on the stovetop, but a pressure cooker significantly reduces the cooking time.
  4. Q: What are some recommended side dishes to serve with Ven Pongal?
    • A: Coconut chutney, sambar, and a dollop of ghee are classic accompaniments that complement the flavors of Ven Pongal.
  5. Q: Can I make Ven Pongal ahead of time?
    • A: Yes, Ven Pongal reheats well. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and warm it up on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top