Khara Pongal/Ven Pongal

Khara Pongal has come to be one of my favorite dishes to make given how unbelievably easy it is and also because, over time, I have devised my own method of making it. For starters, I use equal quantities of rice and moong dal (Traditionally, very little moong dal is added to the dish). Another big change I made to this dish is adding pepper powder instead of peppercorns. I love pepper but would always, like everyone else, sit and tediously pick out the peppercorns while eating this dish. It took away the pleasure of enjoying this dish for what it is. So I started using pepper powder instead. This way, people actually consume the pepper! And finally, the use of green chilli instead of dry red chilli. This is because of my father who always says fresh green chillies are healthier than the dry ones. So for pongal, I always make it a point to use them. And oh yes, I also fry a few cashew nuts in a teaspoon of oil and serve it along side. Believe me, it makes a lot of difference 🙂 It’s something I learnt from my aunt. 

All in all, this is a comforting dish and can never go wrong!

Be it Pongal, Sankranti, Lohri, Bihu, I’m thankful for the food we eat everyday and to those that make it possible for us to do so. Happy Festival and Happy Harvesting!

Khara Pongal/Ven Pongal


Raw rice – 1/2 cup
Moong dal – 1/2 cup
Water – 3 cups
Grated ginger – 1/2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 1
Curry leaves – 6
Salt to taste


  • Combine raw rice and moong dal in a cooker and wash well
  • Pour 3 cups of water (the ratio is double the quantity of water plus one cup)
  • Add salt and grated ginger
  • Pressure cook for 3 whistles
  • Heat a pan and add ghee
  • Add cumin seeds, pepper powder, green chilli and curry leaves and fry well
  • Add this to the cooked rice and moong dal mixture and mix well
  • Serve steaming hot with coconut chutney or eat as is!

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