Pongal or Pongali is very simple yet quite a special dish for many South Indians. This is a very versatile dish which can be served as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is a one pot meal, which makes it ideal for those busy days too. At least I make it that way. I use electric rice cooker to cook the rice and moong daal together, and it works perfectly. I adopted this way of preparing for two reasons: one being lightly roasting the daal, cooking it half way through and then adding the rice to cook is not making much difference to the taste as opposed to cooking the rice and daal together, and the other reason being it is much faster. I make up for the taste by using fresh ghee.
Rice – 2 cups
Moong daal – 1 to 1 ½ cups
Salt – as required
Oil and/or ghee – 2 tbsps
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Green chillies – 4 to 5
Ginger – small piece
Curry leaves – few
Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
Jeera – 2 tsp
Black pepper – 2 tsp (crushed or powdered)
- Wash 2 cups of rice and 1 ½ cups of moong daal (Daal can be reduced to 1 cup, and adjust water accordingly).
- Add about 10 cups of water, (for every 1 cup of rice and daal mixture i.e., dry ingredients add 3 cups of water. My rice and daal combination is 3 1/2 cups, so I am adding about 10 cups of water), salt, ghee+oil and cook until the rice and daal are soft.
- Once the rice/daal is cooked, prepare the tempering and add to the rice mixture. This is how you prepare the tempering…Heat ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, jeera, curry leaves, crushed black pepper, ginger, and chopped green chillies. When everything looks fried add this to the rice/daal and mix well.
- Serve hot with any chutney (like bengal gram chutney) or sambaar.