Method A popular breakfast dish in southern parts of India, especially in Tamil Nadu, ven pongal is another version of pongal with predominantly the same ingredients used as in a non-sweet pongal.
The difference remains in the rice - in ven pongal it`s important that you use raw rice. It`s the raw rice that makes the pongal lighter and lends it a different taste despite the use of ghee or oil.
Accompanied with coconut chutney and sambhar, ven pongal can be a bit heavy on your palate too. It`s often served in small quantities in restaurants as the preparation style in restaurants makes use of a lot of ghee.
In the confines of your house kitchen the use of ghee can always be altered or reduced.
Soak rice and dal separately in water for about 15-20 minutes.
In a pressure cooker or a big heavy bottom wok or kadhai add the oil and ghee and once hot add all the ingredients for tempering.
Remove moong dal from water and fry it with the tempered ingredients till you get the aroma of fried dal.
Add the chopped ginger and seasoning ingredients and mix well.
Remove rice from water and give it a good stir ensuring the rice is blended well with the other ingredients.
Add 5-6 cups of water if using a pressure cooker or a little more if cooking in a wok or big pan.
Your final result should be well blended and super soft mushy rice.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In another wok add ghee and the garnishing ingredients. For a rich pongal, you could add more ghee than suggested or simply replace it with vegetable oil if you are conscious about all the fat.
To the sautï¿½ed and browned garnishing add the rice mixture and garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve hot with varieties of chutney or piping hot sambhar.
1) Pongal tastes better when served hot.
2) If using a pressure cooker, different rice would require different amounts of water. Hence the water quantity could vary between 6-8 cups. Hence read the instructions well for the brand of rice you use. If you like your pongal to be lighter you could increase the water quantity by a cup or reduce a cup if you`d like it semi solid.
3) Ghee adds to the flavour of pongal so ensure you do not replace it completely. In fact the more ghee you add the tastier your pongal will be.
4) The dish is traditionally made in earthen pots which enhances the flavour. However, pressure cooker or a heavy bottom vessel will also do the job.