Pongal is a very famous South Indian delicacy, made with rice, moong dal & tempered with spices like pepper, cumin ! S is crazy about this & when i was i Chennai, i have seen my friends dig this too.. They love Pongal, chutney for breakfast.. Its quite a heavy dish, leaves you fuller & is nutritious too.. but i could never really understand their fascination for this dish...
We would make Pongal on the day of Pongal Festival ( celebration of the harvest season) and amma would make another variation with dal and brinjal sambhar, which i loved..but the usual pongal was a big bore!! I belong to the category of people who take an instant liking or disliking to an item by the look of it :D..i know its bad, i am closing my options for tasty 'healthy' food, but then..:).But in the case of pongal.. the story is different.. i have reasons.. reasons why i don't like it so much..I don't like peppercorns...Ya..I don't mind them in their powdered form, or if its just 1-2..but to have so many in a dish..hmmm
..So, every time i had pongal, i would land up removing them and would find it extremely annoying to have stop, remove them & continue eating.. thats a different story, that i would get scolded for being so fussy and not eating pepper which is good for health...and another excuse, i would come up with was that it was way to heavy, thanks to rice..She would give me an ugly stare, coz she knew i am a rice lover :D..Married to a pongal lover, i had no option but to make it occasionally! To suit both are tastes, i started replacing rice with Aval/Flattened rice & use pepper powder..so now both of us are happy and the best part is nobody can even make out its not rice :)
1. Aval/Flattened Rice - 2-1/2 cups
2. Moong dal - 1/2 cup
3. Jeera/Cumin - 1tbsp
4. Pepper powder/Pepper corns - 1tsp
5. Ghee - 1-1/2 tbsp
6. Salt - to taste
7. Water - 2 cups
8. Cashewnuts - 10
1.Take flattened rice in a colander and run it in water and then soak the poha in a bowl of water
2. Now, take moog dal in a bowl. Pressure cook it with 1-1/2 cup - 2 cups water, a pinch of turmeric & a drop of oil to 3or 4 whistles..Once it cools, mash it and put it in a heavy bottomed pan
3. The flattened rice, would have absorbed the water and would be moist. Add this to the mashed moong dal and mix well. Add 2 cups of water and let it cook till the flattened rice blends well with dal(takes around 10-12 minutes).
Stir occasionally, as it has a tendency to stick to the base of the vessel
4. To this add cumin, pepper powder & salt and mix well
5. In a small pan, take 1tbsp of ghee & roast the cashews in that till turns light brown and keep ready
6. To the pongal, add 1 tsp of ghee and the roasted cashews along with ghee & mix well..The ghee gives a nice distinct taste to the pongal
Serve hot & we enjoy this with Thakkali Chaas/Tomato Chaas, more than chutney..
1. Adjust the water as per the consistency you desire
2. Many of them lightly sauté the peppercorns, jeera in ghee..My MIL doesn't do it & add it raw and i do the same too..
3. You can substitute the Aval/Flattened rice with Rice.. then the proportion changes..
For 1 cup of rice..use 1/2 cup Moong dal.. Mix rice, dal & add 4 cups of water & pressure cook it for 3 whistles..then, follow from Step 4
Sending this to Priya's Heathy Diet : Breakfast hosted by Roshini & Sending this to Gayatri's WTML hosted by Jayanthi
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