Pongal is tridhātu sāmya, it balances all three doshas and is light to digest. White rice is recommended when preparing pongal.
Preparation: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 – 6
All measurements are heaped unless otherwise stated.
1 cup/200g white basmati or sona masoori rice
1 cup/200g split moong dāl
10 cups/2½-litres water
2¼ flat tsp fine rock salt
1 cup/80g dried shredded coconut
¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
½ cup/125ml melted ghee
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ flat tsp asafoetida powder
20 fresh curry leaves
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1. Over medium heat, dry-fry rice and dāl, stirring continuously until hot to touch – 5 minutes.
2. Wash rice and dāl until water runs clear – then drain.
3. Return to stove, add water, bring to boil, then lower heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. May need to add more water, depending on preferred consistency of your pongal.
4. Roughly grind peppercorns, measure remaining spices for the voggarane. Set aside.
5. Once rice and dāl are cooked, turn off heat, add salt, coconut and coriander.
6. In a small pan over medium heat, heat ghee, add peppercorns and fry – 2 minutes. Turn off heat, add cumin, asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for 30 seconds, swish or stir pan to fry spices evenly.
7. Add to rice and dāl, mix well.
8. Let sit for 15 minutes for flavors to develop before serving.
Twice a week, with tamarind gojju, chutney, kaseri bāth, carrot halva or fruit. Suitable morning or evening, in all seasons.