Ven Pongal, Sambar, Coconut Chutney & Medu Vada my favorite breakfast combo ever. Also known as Khara Pongal is a popular South Indian family favorite. Ven Pongal recipe is made with rice, moong dal, which gets a tempering in ghee with ginger, cashews, black pepper, cumin seeds. This dish is offered as naivedyam in many temples during pooja and auspicious days. Ven pongal is served with coconut chutney and sambar and to make it even more special with crispy medu vada.
Pongal is a typical South Indian dish that is usually served with sambar or chutney. Apart from idli and dosa, this one holds it unique place in all home. And this is one dish which is made on any special occasions and auspicious day specially during sakranti festival along with sweet pongal.
About Ven Pongal
Ven pongal is made from raw rice (newly harvested short grain rice) also known as pacharisi which has more starch than regular ponni rice. Raw rice is mixed with yellow moong dal and made into this dish. Pongal is a well balanced dish to consume for breakfast since it has dals added it is rich in protein. Cooked rice and moong dal gets tempering which is made with ghee, whole spices, curry leaves.
Ghee imparts the main flavour for pongal. Fresh cow's ghee is used for making the tadka. Even though pongal is mild made with rice and dal the tempering adds the unique aroma to this breakfast dish.
Ven pongal makes the best baby food as well. if you are making this for babies, instead of raw rice use regular rice. Since raw rice (pacharisi) for babies can be hard to digest.
South Indian loves their ven pongal with all the accompaniments. If you want to make a healthy version of pongal. Check out my rava pongal, poha pongal, and millet pongal. If you are having Ven pongal for the first time and wondering how it taste. Think about khichdi, pongal is the basically South Indian dish of khichdi.
I have shared all the tips and tricks which I have learned over the years to make the best tasting ven pongal. Make sure you read the whole recipe post.
Watch Ven pongal Recipe Video
Ven Pongal Ingredients
Raw Rice - traditionally raw rice is used in making ven pongal. short grain rice combined with dal imparts the creamy texture to the pongal.
Moong Dal - yellow split moong dal is slightly roasted and cooked with rice. The ratio of dal to rice totally depends on you.
Milk - I add some milk to the cooked rice and dal to add more creamy texture as well as taste.
Tempering - spices like black pepper, cumin seeds, asafoetida, ginger, green chilli, curry leaves and cashews is fried in ghee and added to pongal which adds to the unique flavour.
Rice to Dal Ratio
Ven Pongal is served in the morning as breakfast. It is a protein rich one pot meal which is really nutritious. The ratio to rice and dal varies to each household. But I am sharing my recipe here.
I use raw rice (pacharisi) also known as short grain rice. For every 1 cup of raw rice I use ¼ cup of yellow moong dal (pasi paruppu). You can increase the dal and use upto ½ cup.
You can easily make ven pongal like hotel style easily at home too. All you need is to understand few steps and few tricks. Follow all these tips and tricks to get soft ven pongal at home.
Some people add moong dal roasted or unroasted. For best taste and aroma, I always prefer to dry roast moong dal before cooking.
Ratio of Rice and dal
Use raw rice for the best texture. raw rice has more starch compared to regular rice which gives a softer pongal. Ratio of rice and dal is up to you. You can half measure of dal to rice in making pongal.
Amount of ghee
Using generous amount for ghee is important. fresh desi ghee adds so much flavour to pongal. So don't be shy in using ghee.
Texture of pongal
Pongal is a comforting dish. It has a creamy and gooey texture. Cooking pongal with the right amount of water is important for achieving this texture. Usually for every 1 cup of rice and ½ cup dal, you need 5 cups of water. Once the rice and dal is cooked, I add extra milk to get the creamy texture. Pongal may look runny when you open the lid, but as it cools it will thicken.
How to Make Ven Pongal (Stepwise Photos)
1)Start by dry roasting moong dal in a pan till light golden. it should take around 2 to 3 minutes. I don't wash my dal before roasting.
2)Take raw rice in a pressure cooker.
3)Add roasted moong dal into the rice. now you can wash both rice and dal together.
4) Cover with water. I like to add 1 tsp of ghee into the rice and dal when cooking. You can add or skip if you want.
5)Add salt to taste.
6)Pressure cook for 4 whistle. Let the pressure release by itself. Now open the lid.
7)Pour in milk and mix well. The milk will make the pongal even more creamy and gives it the right texture.
8)Add a tbsp of ghee to the pongal at this point.
9)Mix it really well and set aside.
10)Now let's make the tempering for the pongal. Heat ghee in a pan.
11)Add in cashews and roast lightly. Once cashews turn light golden, add in cumin seeds and black pepper.
12)Roast the spices in ghee.
13)Add in chopped ginger and green chillies. Make sure you chop them finely. You can grate ginger.
14)Add in asafoetida and curry leaves.
15)Fry this for 2 minutes till it gets toasted.
16)Pour the tempering into the cooked rice and dal.
17)Mix well. Your ven pongal is ready to serve.
How to Make Ven Pongal in Instant Pot?
Ven pongal can be made at home in either pressure cooker or on instant pot. Either way the ingredients are same but the method of making may vary. Recently instant pot is widely used in making pongal. Making ven pongal in instant pot is very similar to making it in pressure cooker.
- Follow the same process as pressure cooker.
- Set the instant pot to pressure cook mode and set for 12 mins.
- Once the timer is up, leave it for 10 mins. Then manually release the pressure.
- Do the tempering as given and pour over the pongal. Mix well and serve.
- Another method of making pongal in instant pot is given in the recipe card.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pongal healthy?
There is a huge debate whether pongal is healthy or not. Ven pongal has rice and dal used to make it. Dal is one of the healthiest grain to use with. It is rich in protein. pongal is one of the wholesome dish and very healthy.
Is pongal and khichdi same?
both are very similar in texture and look wise. but in khichdi we usually use onions which we won't use in pongal.
what is ghee pongal?
ghee pongal is same as ven pongal. As mentioned in this recipe post pongal gets it main flavour and taste from the modest amount of ghee we use while making it.
What type of rice is used for pongal?
Ven pongal is made from raw rice (newly harvested short grain rice) also known as pacharisi which has more starch than regular ponni rice. Raw rice is mixed with yellow moong dal and made into this dish.
Difference between ven pongal and sakkarai pongal?
Even though both the recipes are made with common ingredients like rice and dal. Ven pongal is tempered with whole spices, ginger and green chillies. sakkarai pongal has jaggery, cardamom powder, cashews and raisins. Both pongal is made with generous amount of ghee.
For specially occasions like sakranti festival, we make both ven pongal and sakkarai pongal together. You can cook both pongal together at the same time. Cook double the amount of rice and dal in a pressure cooker. Remove half of the cooked rice and dal to make ven pongal and other half you can make into sweet pongal (sakkarai pongal) following the recipe.
More Pongal Recipes to Try
📖 Recipe Card
Ven Pongal Recipe (Khara Pongal) | Ghee Pongal Recipe
- Pressure cooker
- 1 cup Raw rice (short grain rice)
- ½ cup Split yellow moong dal
- Salt to taste
- 5 cups Water
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- ¾ cup Milk
- Dry roast moong dal in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes till it gets roasted a little. It will turn slight aromatic and light golden in colour.
- Take rice and dal in a pressure cooker. Rinse both rice and dal together and Strain the water. Pour in 5 cups of water into the pressure cooker. Add 1 tsp of ghee which is optional. Season with salt to taste. Now cover the pressure cooker and cook on medium heat for 4 whistle. Turn off the heat and Let the pressure release by itself.
- Once pressure is released, Open the pressure cooker and give a gentle mix. Add in 1 tbsp of ghee and ¾ cup of milk gradually and mix gently.
- Heat ghee in a kadai and add in cashews, cumin seeds, pepper, ginger, asafoetida, green chilli, curry leaves and sauté this for a minute. Pour this tempering into the rice and dal mixture and mix well. Let the rice absorb all flavours.
- Serve hot, add extra drizzle of ghee with sambar or chutney.
- Ratio of rice and dal is up to you. You can use ½ cup of dal to rice when making pongal.
- Use raw rice for the best texture. raw rice has more starch compared to regular rice which gives a softer pongal.
- Using generous amount for ghee is important. You can use equal amount of ghee and oil.
- Usually for every 1 cup of rice and ½ cup dal, you need 5 cups of water. Pongal may look runny when you open the lid, but as it cools it will thicken.
- If you feel your pongal is too thick, you can add some extra hot milk to adjust the consistency.
Instant Pot MethodSet instant pot to saute mode. Add in ghee along with all seasoning and let them sizzle. Add in rice and dal along with water, salt. Cover the instant pot and pressure cook for 9 minutes. once pressure is released, give it a stir. keep covered for another 10 mins. Serve hot with some ghee drizzled on top.
If you have any questions not covered in this post and if you need help, leave me a comment or mail me @[email protected] and I’ll help as soon as I can.
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