VEN PONGAL—THE SAVORY TWIN OF THE SWEET SAKARA PONGAL

HAPPY PONGAL/MAKARASANKRANTHI/LOHRI!!!

INGREDIENTS

Fox-tail Millet, Moong dal, Black pepper, Jeera, Cashewnuts, Ghee, Kadipatta.

RECIPE
1. In a skillet, dry roast 1 cup of millet +3/4 cup of moong dal till the aromas waft up and the dal turns a light brown.
2. Add this mixture to the rice cooker (or pressure cooker) and add 6 cups of water and salt to taste.
3. Cook till the rice the dal are completely soft and take a big spoon and mash the mixture up (I personally like to leave the dals a little chunky to provide it some texture, but it is a personal preference. Traditionally it is completely mashed).
4. In a coffee grinder, coarsely grind 2 tbsps of black pepper and 2 tbsps of jeera.
5. Heat up 3 tbsps of ghee* in a pan and add a handful of chopped cashewnuts and fry lightly till they are golden brown.
6. Turn off the heat and add the ground pepper/jeera mix to the cashews. Mix well.
7. Pour this on the pongal, tear up some curry leaves and mix well.
8. Serve hot with coconut chutney  or vatthal kozhambu.

Notes to the chef:

If you wish to go the vegan route, feel free to substitute ghee for vegan butter or oil. Ghee is the traditional fat used to temper the nuts and pepper and is what makes pongal authentic! 🙂

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