February 14, 2017

Kovil Ven Pongal | Khara Pongal | South Indian Khichdi

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A very simple yet a flavorful dish,Ven Pongal also known as Uppu Pongal / Khara Pongal is one of the prominent breakfast items along side idli ,dosa,medhu vada etc in South India.

Venpongal or pongal as it is usually called is a soft and mildly spiced breakfast item prepared using lentil and rice mixture . Split yellow lentil (moong dhall) and rice and well cooked until soft and then seasoned with cumin, ginger, curry leaves, pepper and roasted cashews in fresh ghee (clarified butter).

Pongal is a delicacy which is served in temples of South India on special festive days after offering it to God .

Just as I mentioned about the Kovil(temple) Thayir Saadham ,this pongal also has a very unique and a delectable taste when served as prasadam in temple.

very simple yet a flavorful dish,Ven Pongal also known as Uppu Pongal / Khara Pongal is one of the prominent breakfast items along side idli ,dosa,medhu vada etc in South India.

Especially during the auspicious month of Margazhi [Dec 14 - Jan 14] (Maargashira/Dhanur Month) almost all temples serve this Pongal piping hot soon after offering it to the Lord early in the morning. It requires no accompaniment like chutney or sambar just the aroma of pure ghee makes it very very tasty and satisfies your tastebuds craving for some more.Ofcourse you cannot ask for more since its Prasadam. Why worry??make it at home and enjoy !!

Many families have the tradition of preparing Venpongal as well as Sakkara Pongal in heavy bronze pots on the eve on Makara Sankrant or Thai Pongal which invariably falls on jan 14 or 15 every year .Makar Sankranti is the Harvest festival as well as thanks giving time in India.  The Farmers thank the nature especially The Sun which bestows them with favorable conditions through the year to produce good yield. 

Making Pongal at home is very simple. Involves only 2 steps : cooking the dal and rice together and then seasoing it with cumin(jeera),pepper(milagu),ginger,curry leaves  and cashews roasted in ghee.
The secret to getting the perfect gooey pongal is to cook the dhall and rice until it is soft and mushy ..the lentil  rice mixture has to be mashed well such that the rice or lentil doesn't stand out separately. 

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : 2-3 generously
Complexity : Easy


1.5 cups rice ( 1 cup approx is 200-220 gms)
1/2 cup moong dhall
2 tsp pepper corns
2 tsp jeera /milagu/cumin
2 tsp ginger finely chopped
1 tsp pepper powder
15-20 curryleaves / kadipatha / karvepillai
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
15-20 cashews (chopped / cut into halves)
3 tablespoon ghee (distributed use)


©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
  • In a big vessel,take the rice and dhall and wash it well.
  • Add the pepper corns,jeera,curryleaves,ginger ,salt and add about 7 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles and let the pressure release naturally.
  • Meanwhile prepare the seasoning by roasting cashewnuts in about 1/2 tablespoon of ghee and add asafoetida and pepper powder to this seasoning.
  • Mash the cooked dhall rice well using the back of a spoon. add some water incase you find it difficult to mash.
  • Add the remain ghee,seasoning and mix well. Do this when the rice is still hot. It helps in the ghee penetrating well into the rice and dhall.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney / tomato chutney / sambar of your choice. Can also be had with plain curd.
Tips :
  • Mash the rice and dhall soon after you take it out from the cooker. Its easier to mash when it is hot.
  • Adding pepper powder to hot ghee gives out a wonderful aroma and flavor .
  • Donot worry if you feel the pongal is watery,it will soak up all the water and become a lumpy mass in sometime.
  • Incase you are going to consume pongal a little later,keep it slightly water,so that it doesnt get too hard by the time you are ready to eat.
  • Use warm water to loosen the pongal if you need to do it.
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very simple yet a flavorful dish,Ven Pongal also known as Uppu Pongal / Khara Pongal is one of the prominent breakfast items along side idli ,dosa,medhu vada etc in South India.


  1. Yummmmm ... dhanur maasam or otherwise / love it anytime .. mostly our dinner / BF for weekends

  2. Very very healthy n easy to make !!! Very simple narration. Thamks a TON !!👍👌


  3. Excellent blogs!!!!you have for sharing them effect information..we developer very learning to easy

    How to prepare ven pongal

  4. Yummy, I love it. Reminds me of Chennai days. We had a temple opposite our house and we would get the prasadams often. Priest would always give us some extra too. Tastes Heavenly.

  5. tempting, I am planning to make it on Thursday with sambar , loved your presentation in shells.

  6. Ven Pongal with Gothsu is my hot favourite. I love the prasadam given in Temples here. It is absolutely lip smacking.

  7. I never skip prasadam given in temples even if there is huge line. It is so delicious. Your pictures are tempting me a lot and need to make ven pongal for breakfast now.

  8. At times, this is a quick menu which I end up making for dinner. Tasty and packed with nutrientts.Nice presentation.

  9. Khara pongal looks totally tempting, at home it is called sleeping pill :) Temple made pongal has its unique taste, never to be missed. So well made and presented!

  10. That's one delicious looking khara pongal. I love it but haven't tried making it at home. Your recipe is tempting me to try. Am sure its a dish that is not only prepared for festivals or special occasions.

  11. I love venpongal - Yours looks so nice and creamy and porridge like. I am ready to make it again now!

  12. This khara pongal looks so very delicious. I have never tried tasing it or making it your explanation make my fingers itch and try it. Will try it for dinner one of these days.


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