Pongal – The Madarasi Khichdi

Pongal is a traditional South Indian dish made with rice, lentils, and spices. Here’s a recipe for a simple and delicious version of Pongal:


  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup moong dal (split yellow lentils)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp cashews and raisins (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Rinse the rice and moong dal in a sieve until the water runs clear.
  2. In a pressure cooker, combine the rice and moong dal with 4 cups of water, turmeric powder, and salt.
  3. Close the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until the first whistle. Then, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker cool down before opening it.
  5. Once the pressure cooker is opened, fluff the rice and dal mixture with a fork.
  6. In a pan, heat the ghee over medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, black pepper, and red chilies.
  7. Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the cashews and raisins (if using). Fry them until they turn golden brown.
  8. Add the Pongal to the pan and mix well.
  9. Cook for a few minutes, until the Pongal, is heated through and the spices are well-combined.
  10. Serve the Pongal hot, garnished with chopped cilantro or curry leaves if desired.
  11. This recipe is a simple, traditional version of Pongal that you can make at home. You can also add in other ingredients like ginger, green chilies, or curry leaves for added flavor. Adding some ghee on top of the cooked Pongal will give it a rich and aromatic taste.
  12. Another variation of Pongal is Ven Pongal, it’s also a popular south Indian dish, made with the same ingredients but with a different method of cooking, where the rice and dal are cooked separately and then mixed together with seasonings and ghee.
  13. You can also add some vegetables like carrots, peas, and potatoes to make them more nutritious.
  14. It’s important to use good quality rice and dal, and cook them until they are soft and fluffy. And also, it’s important to use enough water when cooking the Pongal so that it doesn’t turn out dry and hard.
  15. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to cook a delicious and authentic Pongal at home. Enjoy!

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