Wishing all my dear readers A Happy and Prosperous Pongal / Makara sankaranthi
Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu (South India). For this festival two dishes are made namely ven pongal and sakkarai pongal. pongal. Traditionally ven pongal is made in an earthen pot in a specially decorated place in front of house. The rice is cooked with jaggery and milk and is offered to Sun God as tradition of thanks giving for giving a good harvest and also for the rest of the year to be prosperous and happy.
Amma used to clean the house and put kolam (a drawing using rice powder) and then cook pongal. She made two types of pongal, a sweet version called sakkarai pongal and a savory version called ven pongal. When I was staying alone I used to make ven pongal at least once a week, because it contains both rice and lentil and cooking this dish is easy. You need only a simple curry to go with it. It is a breakfast dish; however, I like to have them for lunch or dinner when I am lazy and not in a mood to cook. I think this is one of ultimate comfort food you can imagine.
We can use any rice such as long grain, Sona Masoori or basmati and cook it with yellow split peas. I used to cook them with water for savory version. Once it is cooked, then I would add seasoning like, cumin seeds, pepper corns, curry leaves, ginger are fried in ghee/clarified butter along with cashew nuts as garnish. Addition of asafetodia gives it an aroma which is hard to explain. It tastes great with any spicy curry. In northern part of India the same kind of preparation is called as khichdi /Kichuri etc. Some time one or more type of lentils is added to make this dish. As I mentioned earlier, every Indian dish has its own variation in the way of cooking from house to house.
I was amazed that the general idea of cooking rice with another component is enjoyed by people be it venpongal (South India), kichidi (North India). Here goes the recipe for venpongal.
One year ago: Sakkarai pongal
Print Recipe from here
What you need
Roasted split yellow peas: 1/3 cup
Salt: ½ to taste
Ghee/Clarified butter: 1 tablespoon
Pepper corns: 1/8 teaspoon
Cumin seeds: ½ teaspoon
Cashew nuts: 5 no
Ginger: 1 inch
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Asafetodia: ¼ teaspoon
Water: 2 ½ cup
How I made
Roast the yellow spilt for 3 minutes or until they become slightly pinkish in color and set aside.
Wash the rice and roasted yellow split peas in the running water and cook it in rice cooker with 2 ½ cups water for 27 minutes or until it cooked very well. If you want creamy consistency add ¼ cup water more.
In the meantime heat a tablespoon of ghee in small pan adds cumin seeds, curry leaves, pepper corns, asafetodia, and cashew and fry for 1 minute or until cashew nuts become slightly brown. Remove from fire and add it to cooked rice with salt and mix everything to incorporate well.
Enjoy with spicy curry or chutney.
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Yield: 2 serving
Will you make it again: Yes I will
Sending this to Pongal feast event