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Recipe: Bethica's Ven Pongal

Last updated on: March 05, 2024 21:00 IST
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In the mornings, when you are hard-pressed for time, Sharjah-based food blogger Bethica Das suggests you cook a simple, easy-to-make South India breakfast of Ven Pongal.

"It is best enjoyed with coconut chutney and sambar," she says. "But it also tastes yummy with pickle and podi (gunpowder) sprinkled over it."

Bethica must be cooking up a storm in her kitchen on a daily basis. Some of her most interesting recipes are her Bajra Fried Rice, Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast and Raw Jackfruit Curry.

Ven Pongal

Serves: 2-3


  • 1/3 cup raw rice, washed and drained
  • 1/3 cup yellow mung dal, lightly dry roasted
  • 1 sprig curry pattas or curry leaves
  • 1 whole dry red chilly, broken
  • ½ tsp rai or mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp urad dal or split white gram
  • 10-15 cashews
  • ¼ tsp hing or asafoetida
  • Salt to taste, around 1 tsp
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • Water
  • Coconut chutney, to serve
  • Sambar, to serve


  • Soak the rice and mung dal together.
    Drain the excess water and then pressure cook along with the salt, 1½ cup water for 4-5 whistles over medium heat.
    Take off heat and let the pressure release naturally.
    The mixture should be soft and mushy.
  • Heat the oil in a tempering pan over medium heat.
    Add the rai.
    Let it begin to crackle and add in the red chilly, urad dal, chopped ginger, peppercorns, curry leaves, asafoetida and the cashews.
    Saute for a minute or till the urad dal and cashews change colour.
    Pour it over the boiled rice-dal mixture and mix well.
    Before serving, add the ghee and give it a stir.
    Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

Editor's Note: To make sambar to go with the Ven Pongal, try Divya Nair's recipe for Traditional Sambar Like My Amma's.

Try any of Mini Ribeiro's collection of chutneys or Mayur Sanap's Peanut Coconut Chutney.

Bethica Das is a Sharjah-based food blogger. Please do have a look at her recipes here.

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