The hubby and I recently took a much needed vacation to the beautiful NZ. The food was absolutely amazing and we had no problems finding vegetarian food. However, after eating such rich foods and after a long flight I was craving a nice hot and hearty wholesome meal. As soon as we came back I wanted to make ven pongal, which is one of the easiest South Indian meals one can make and is the ultimate comfort food. (It is similar to kichadi.) Normally it is made with moong dal, but of course with my luck I had only a few tablespoons left of it. So I thought, why not create a new recipe with whatever I have? And so came about panchavati pongal!
- 3/4 cup of dhal (Make a mix of moong dhal, urad dhal, tuvar dhal, masoor dhal, channa dhal)
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 15 peppercorns
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
- Handful of cashew nuts pieces
- Dash of hing
- Soak rice and dhal for 20-30 mins (optional step)
- Rinse dhal and rice well
- Add rice, dhal, 5 cups water, hing, and ginger to pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. This really depends on your pressure cooker. It should come out nice and mushy. If it did not come out mushy continue to cook it (add water if necessary). If it is too watery, continue to cook it until some water boils off.
- Temper cumin seeds, crushed peppercorns, cashew nuts, ghee, curry leaves.
- Add tempering and salt to taste to the rice/ dhal mixture. Add more pepper and salt as needed. I like my pongal with a lot of pepper.
Like I said, ven pongal is normally made with just moong dhal. You can probably try this with any type of dhal.
This is usually served with chutney or gotsu (an eggplant/ tomato stew). I make my pongal with a lot of pepper kick and am quite happy just eating it plain or with yogurt. :-)
If you have leftovers, I would advise microwaving it with some added water to get back that mushy consistency.
On a side note, it's quite funny how your tastes change as you grow up. I used to HATE eating pongal as a child, especially when it was made with whole peppercorns. Now I can't get enough of it! :-)