Ven Pongal or khara pongal is a classic South Indian dish made with rice and moong dal (petite yellow lentils). It has a porridge-like consistency and is mildly spiced. This hearty and comforting dish can be served with coconut chutney or sambar for breakfast, along with filter coffee.
Venn Pongal is called khara huggi in Karnataka and is a part of Makar Sankranti celebrations and also Pongal festival celebrations in Tamil Nadu. This is the recipe to make a savory version of Pongal, and the sweet version is called sakkarai pongal or chakkara pongal. Make temple-style sweet Pongal with this easy recipe.
Why you will love this recipe
- This tried and tested recipe balances wholesome ingredients and delicious flavors to create the most comforting meal.
- It is incredibly easy to make and requires minimal ingredients.
Rice: I make this dish with sona masoori rice, which is a short-grain rice variety.
Moong dal: Moong dal (mung dal) or yellow lentils is used here (similar to khichdi).
Spices: It is flavored with cumin seeds and whole black peppercorns, which are the main spices used. The powdered spice used is turmeric powder.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Set
Step 2: Next, add 3 tablespoons of ghee. Add cumin seeds and pepper. Let it splutter. Add cashew nuts and fry until it is golden brown. Add curry leaves, ginger, and green chili. Fry for one minute and deglaze the pot (images 2 and 3). Add the rice, yellow moong dal, turmeric powder, and salt (image 4).
Step 3: Add 6 cups of water and mix well. Set the
Step 4: Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Open the
Step 5: Mix everything well with cooked rice and dal and serve hot.
Ghee Pongal tastes the best; however, for a vegan version, you may replace it with either vegan butter or any cooking oil.
Don’t over-roast the moong dal, else it will take a long time to cook. At the same time, don’t skip dry-roasting the moong dal, or else it will become sticky.
I used sona masoori rice, which is a short-grain Indian variety of raw rice. However, any short-grain varieties like seeraga samba rice will also work for this dish. These varieties are easily available in any Indian grocery store.
You can also use brown rice to make this dish. In that case, adjust the cooking time to 15 minutes. Click here to see how to cook brown rice perfectly.
What to serve with ven pongal
Ven Pongal pairs perfectly with flavorful coconut chutney and tangy sambar, creating a well-rounded meal. You can also serve it with raita to add a cooling element. When served as breakfast, it is often paired with medu vada and chutney.
It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Add a small amount of water before reheating to adjust the consistency, and reheat it over low-medium heat in a saucepan.
They are both similar in terms of consistency; however, they differ in the spices used. Also, vegetables are used to make khichdi, whereas they are skipped in Pongal.
More khichdi recipes
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Instant Pot Ven Pongal (Khara Pongal)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup moong dal (yellow lentil)
- 4 tablespoon ghee (use store-bought or homemade ghee)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 10-12 cashew
- 1 inch ginger grated or 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped or as per taste
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- 6 cups water
- Wash the rice thoroughly. Soak them for 15 minutes. Drain the water and set it aside
- Set Instant Pot in saute mode and add moong dal. Dry roast for one minute
- Transfer it to a bowl and set it aside. At this stage, you can wash the dal thoroughly
- Next, add 3 tablespoons of ghee. Add cumin seeds and pepper. Let it splutter
- Add cashew and fry till the cashew is light golden
- Add curry leaves, ginger, and green chili. Fry for one minute and deglaze the pot
- Add the rice and moong dal. Add 6 cups of water
- Mix well and secure the IP lid
- Set the Instant Pot in pressure cook mode for 8 minutes. Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
- Open the lid and add desiccated coconut and 1 tablespoon of ghee
- Mix well and serve hot