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Ven Pongal

Written By FewMinute Wonders on Thursday, November 13, 2008 | 6:43 AM

Ven pogal is very popular in the south. They serve it at all weddings for breakfast and also made as prasadham during pooja times. The truth is I never liked ven pongal until Dec of 1998. I was visiting my sister that Christmas and she had 2 other families there. It was a task to decide on what to prepare for lunch, breakfast or dinner. My sisters mother in law Mrs. Viswanathan was the main chef there and decided on ven pongal for the day becasue most of them liked it. But she did not know that I did not relish it. I decided to avoide her that morning with concern that she would ask me to taste the pongal. But then the inevitable happened. It was lunch time and I was thinking of having some snacks and escape from the kitchen. I thought no one would notice as there were so many people there. To my luck my sisters mother in law saw me and she asked me to have lunch. Since I usually enjoy all the food she prepares she could not understand why I was not interested in having the pongal. I decided to tell her the truth. She suggested that I give it a try and out of respect I agreed. Well! I was hookedand since then I have made it so many times.

Little did I know that my amma did not like ven pongal like me. When she visited me I told her I will make ven pongal and guess what she kept giving me other options. With a knowing smile I asked her if she disliked ven pongal and she said yes. I told her my story and asked her to try it and she was ready to taste it and became a convert like me.

So if there is anyone out there who does like ven pongal please give it a try and let me know if this recipe converted you.


Pressure cooker
Measuring cups and spoons


Rice (long grain, basmati or any other kind) - 1 cup
Moong Dhal - 1/2 cup lightly roasted
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Pepper (whole) - 1 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Water - 1 cup
Cashew nut- 1/4 cup cut into smaller pieces
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few


1. Dry roast the moong dhal in the wok until it is roasted a little to remove the raw smell.

2. Measure 1 cup of rice and wash it well. Add the roasted moong dhal and soak them in 3 1/2 - 4 cups of water for 15 minutes.

3. Place the rice in the pressure cooker after adding some salt and cook it on medium heat for 3 whistles.

4. Open the pressure cooker and using a potato smasher mix the rice well.

5. Heat the wok add the oil and ghee. When it warms up add cashews and whole peppers. The pepper will pop so please cover it with a lid and then add the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add 1 cup of water once the cumin seeds are roasted.

5. Add the rice and mix well. Grate the ginger and mix well. Taste for salt and serve it hot with a dab of ghee and coconut chutney and some tomato sambar.


  1. We enjoy venn pongal and I make almost like this, except that I add milk and no ginger.
    Welcome to the Venn Pongal fan club. :)

  2. Finally made this pongal today. Came out super. good was easy to make also... pretty straightforward and perfect instructions.

  3. Made this Pongal for my mom. She had her version but I was so adamant to make this one. the consistency was super and we thoroughly enjoyed with almond chutney


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