Last Sunday, me and my friends were discussing about Makar Sankranti and Pongal celebrations. As the festival is on a weekend, we have planned a Potluck and a nice get together of families. We plan to celebrate it in an authentic Tamil way i.e. Pongal with all its root dishes like Chakkara Pongal (Sweet Pongal made up of Milk, Jaggery and newly harvested Rice), Venn Pongal (made from lentils, spices and Rice flavored with Clarified butter), Medu Vada, Avaiyal, Payasam and of course the best Southern accompaniment of Sambar and Chutney.
I love South Indian food and I’m kind of attached to it. The amalgamation of spices is an art and the cuisine has proved its worth for its amazing play of spice and extreme hotness. Coming to the potluck, there were so many pros in front of me that I hardly wanted to pick any of the prime players in it. Rather, I settled with Sambar and Plain rice. However, in the midweek I am already in Pongal mood and I prepared Venn Pongal for my lunch.
Here goes the recipe:
Ingredients for Venn Pongal:
- Sona Masoori Rice – 1/2 cup
- Moong Daal – 1/4 cup
- Water – 3 cup
- Ghee or clarified butter – 3tbsp
- Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1 pinch
- Cashew nuts – Handful
- Black Peppercorns – 1 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
- Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
- Salt – according to taste
Steps of Preparation:
- Pressure cook the Moong Daal, Rice, Asafoetida and Ginger with salt and 3 cups of water for 7-8 whistles to a consistency similar to mashed Khichdi.
- Heat a pan, shallow fry the cashew in 3 tbsp of ghee till golden brown.
- Use the ghee for tempering, add cumin seeds, black peppercorns and curry leaves and let it splutter for 1 min.
- Add the tempering to the cooked rice and lentil and mix it evenly.