Instant Pot pongal step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Ven Pongal or Khara Pongal is a classic South Indian dish made with rice and moong dal (petite yellow lentils) as the main ingredients. It is similar to khichdi but is flavored mainly with cumin seeds and black pepper. This one-pot dish can be served for breakfast or lunch/dinner. It has a smooth 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.
It is called khara huggi in Karnataka and is a part of Makar Sankranti celebrations,which is a four-day-long harvest festival. Khara Pongal is an integral part of the Pongal festival celebrations in Tamil Nadu. It is also offered as "Prasada" in many temples in South India and is made during festivals and puja at home too. You can also find venn Pongal in any South Indian restaurant menu.
Making this rice lentil dish in an Instant Pot is really simple and needs no monitoring. It is usually made in a stovetop pressure cooker in most South Indian homes.
I have earlier shared how to make millet khichdi. Here is another easy khichdi recipe. Read on for ingredients, useful tips, and step-by-step instructions to make this hearty Instant Pot pongal. This is the recipe to make a savory version of Pongal and the sweet version is called sakkarai pongal or chakkara pongal. Clik here fortemple-style sweet Pongal recipe.
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.
Cashew: Cashew adds richness and a great nutty flavor.
Ghee: Use ghee for best tasting pongal. You can either use a store-bought one or make ghee at home.
Other ingredients: Curry leaves, ginger, green chili, and coconut.
Set Instant Pot in saute mode and add moong dal. Dry roast for one minute. Set it aside (step 1).
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 (steps 2 and 3).
Add the rice, yellow moong dal, turmeric powder, and salt (step 4).
Add 6 cups of water and mix well. Set the Instant Pot in pressure cook mode (high pressure) and put the vent in the sealing position for 8 minutes (steps 5 and 6).
Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Open the Instant Pot lid and add desiccated coconut and ghee. Mix well (steps 7 and 8).
Mix everything well with cooked rice and dal and serve hot.
Useful tips to make Ven Pongal
Ghee pongal tastes the best, however, for a vegan version, you may replace it with either vegan butter or any cooking oil.
This dish thickens when cooled. So it is best to add a little water before reheating. Add a small amount of water, mix well and reheat on low-medium heat before serving.
I use a 1:1 rice-to-dal ratio. You may adjust it as per your preference.
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.
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.
Always serve huggi hot and top it with some ghee just before serving.
You can also use brown rice to make this dish. In that case, adjust the cooking time to 15 minutes.
Replace rice in this recipe with quinoa to make healthy and delicious quinoa pongal.
Click here for more one-pot meal recipes.
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, differ in the spices used. Also, vegetables are used to make khichdi whereas they are skipped in Pongal.
This Instant Pot ven pongal recipe is:
- an easy one-pot dish
- ready in 20 minutes
- gluten-free and can be customized to make vegan
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Instant Pot Ven Pongal (Khara Pongal)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup moong dal (yellow lentil)
- 4 tablespoon 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