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Ven Pongal

 Published 2008-Mar-27   Updated 2018-Feb-05

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Venpongal, Spicy Pongal, Kaara Pongal)

Ven Pongal

During our initial days of marriage, it was decided between us that we would take each other to all the important places of our lives. My hubby took me to see his school, college, the local playground, the common meeting point of friend, his 1st place of work and many more. My husband says that he loved his post graduation days the best and my curious mind wanted to know the reason behind it. On being asked, he said the breakfast is super tasty in the PG mess. It was only then I asked him his favorite cuisines and dishes and importantly which breakfast he relished the most in his PG days. My husband quickly replied with lot of pride that no one can ever match the taste of VEN PONGAL of his hostel. Now, that was kind of an open challenge on me and I had to prove him wrong. I knew deep within that it was not difficult and I told him I can make the best ven pongal for him.

Ven pongal is an authentic breakfast dish from Tamilnadu and is popular among all the south Indian states. This along with chakkara pongal (Sweet pongal) are the main dishes prepared on the Tamil harvest festival Pongal or Sankranti. Pongu in Tamil means boil over and “Ven” in Tamil means white. Ven pongal is made from rice and yellow lentil or the moong dhal which is boiled over and cooked completely that it has to be mashed easily. The tempering of pepper and cumin seeds in ghee, poured over the top gives pongal its unique aroma and taste. Ven pongal is also made as a prasadam or offering to god in temples and at homes during Varalakshmi puja and navratri.

After we returned from our short trip to my hubby’s college, I cooked pongal as a brunch (I usually do that) on the immediate Sunday. He relished it so much and finally had to beat his ego and say my pongal is the best. Happy pongal cooking!!!

Recipe for Ven Pongal

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 - 5


  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Green gram dal - 3/4 cup
  • Asaefoetida - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ginger - 1" piece (grated)
  • Water - 5 cups

For Tempering

  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Whole black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 6-7
  • Ghee - 2-3 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts - 6-7


  1. Soak the rice and dal in 5 cups of water for minimum of 10 minutes.
  2. Add required salt, grated ginger and asafoetida to this mixture and pressure cook for 5 whistles. (1-2 whistles more than making regular rice)
  3. Heat ghee in a small pan, splatter cumin seeds, black pepper, curry leaves.
  4. Add this to the cooked rice dal mixture after the pressure is released.
  5. Fry the cashews in some ghee and add that too.
  6. Mix everything together even when it is still hot. The rice and dal should be partly mashed up.
  7. Ven pongal is ready to be served.


  • Dry roasting the moong dal or the yellow lentil prior to cooking gives additional flavor to the dish.
  • Diet watchers can replace the white rice with brown rice or any type of millet. You can also increase the proportion of moong dal.
  • You could also add vegetables like carrot, beans, spinach and green peas and make vegetable pongal.

Serving Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal

More Pongal Recipes

Puli Pongal Puli Pongal Sweet Pongal Sweet Pongal Lapsi Kitchdi Lapsi Kitchdi Grits / Rava KichadiGrits / Rava Kichadi
See more...

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Comments (8)

Person   ()
Can you let me know the brand of rice used to cook. Also how you can avoid the spewing from pressure cooker when you cook this recipe.
Person   ()
I really don't stick to any particular brand. Any brand of raw rice will be good for this recipe.

To avoid spewing, cook on low heat.
Person   ()
i love this site..its awesome..
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
hello,,,, , This site having lot of simple indian recipes. whice are easy to make.
I like this recipes. It is best .
i want recipes to my email.
Person   ()
You can subscribe to the mailing list by giving your email id in the subscription box in the top right of the page. You will be alerted whenever a new recipe is added.
Person   ()
ven pongal. my favourite. but children they do not like because of the pepper init.
Person   ()
Oh. Even my daughter doesn't enjoy it.

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i just visited your site. The recipies are simple and easy to make with lots of varities.

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Comment by santhy renjith
         hello team
         I just visited your site.its wonderful having lot of recipes as simple as i like.Itries this item and it came out beautiful.
Thanks a lot
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Comment by Shalini Murthy
Hello Team,

I visited your site yesterday, your site is just amazing with loads of interesting dishes.

I am newly married so i have taken a note of the recipes and i tried Ven pongal today which came out pretty well.

Great Site, Simple and useful.

Please keep up the goodwork.

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         Thank You.

 Published by on and last updated on 2018-02-05.