- 1 cup rice
- 1/4 cup split yellow moong dal (lentils)
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1/4 cup cashews or peanuts (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Wash the rice and lentils together under running water. Drain and set them aside.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or pressure cooker, heat the ghee over medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and black peppercorns. Sauté for a minute until they start to splutter.
- Add grated ginger, chopped green chilies, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Sauté for another minute.
- If you’re using cashews or peanuts, add them at this point and fry until they turn golden brown.
- Add the washed rice and lentils to the pot and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add salt to taste and about 4 cups of water. Stir well.
- If using a pressure cooker, close the lid and cook for 4-5 whistles, or until the rice and lentils are well cooked and mushy. If using a regular pot, cover it and cook on medium-low heat until the rice and lentils are soft and well-cooked, adding more water if necessary.
- Once the Pongal is cooked, give it a good stir to blend everything together. You can adjust the consistency by adding more hot water if needed.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a little ghee if desired.
Khara Pongal is typically served hot and is delicious on its own or with coconut chutney and/or sambar. It’s a hearty and satisfying dish often enjoyed for breakfast or lunch in South India.