In South India, two dishes that are a must have during Sankranthi/Pongal is the Khara Pongal Sweet Pongal using Jaggery also known as Huggi in Kannada.
This time around, I didnt make the sweet version as me & my husband aren't really fond of jaggery based sweets, But, We do relish the savoury version quite often.
Khara Pongal or savoury Pongal is what I call the South Indian version of Khichdi. A mixture of rice & lentils simmered to a semi-solid consistency & tempered with cumin seeds, green chillies, ginger & pepper corns is a heart warmer. Popular in most South Indian homes as a Breakfast Dish, it can be eaten on its own or even with yogurt or spicy coconut chutney or a traditional eggplant dip, either way its overwhelming. It is way too simple to make & does not involve cutting of any vegetables, which is a blessing if one is short on time. I quite often enjoy this as supper on cold winter evenings.
Preparation Time: 30 mins
- 1 cup short grained rice
- 1/2 cup Moong Dal
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 3 green chillies - finely chopped
- A handful of curry leaves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coarsely ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- Salt as per taste
- 1 tbsp Desi Ghee/Clarified Butter or Oil
- Dry roast moong dal until it starts to turn slightly brown.
- Pressure cook Moong dal along with rice along with turmeric powder
- Heat Ghee/oil in a heavy bottomed pan & add cumin seeds, once the seeds crackle, add curry leaves, green chillies & saute for a minute.
- Add cooked rice & lentil mixture & Add 1/2 cup water & mix well.
- Add grated ginger, ground pepper & Salt
- Simmer on low heat for about 5 - 8 minutes.
- Drizzle Ghee on top & enjoy with your favorite Side Dish.
- The Rice:Lentil proportion could be either 1:2 or 2:1 or 1:1 whichever suits you
- Go easy on green chillies as ground pepper adds quite a bit of heat.
- You could use long grained rice too, but short grained rice works best.
- This can be made on stove top too instead of using a pressure cooker. Use Pressure Cooker to save time.
I Wish You All A Very Happy Makara Sankranthi !!!