This recipe is from the Tamil magazine “Snegithi”. This was from a cooking special edition from the magazine where some famous Tamil chefs shared their family favorites. The chef describes this dish as a comfort food and her family usually makes this pongal on fasting days. This was a little bit different from the pongal we make and I had bookmarked this long back. The original recipe is with rice and moong dhal and I have substituted the rice with cracked wheat. This version was really good. We liked this better for dinner rather than for breakfast. There was no preferred side dish specified in the book for this dish. It was mentioned that plain curd is good enough for this pongal. We had it with coconut chutney. It was something different and new for us and we liked it.
1. Cracked wheat, 1 cup. (I have used the bigger variety here, the smaller cracked wheat variety can also be used).
2. Moong dhal, ½ cup.
3. Mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon.
4. Cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon.
5. Dried red chilies, 3.
6. Black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon.
7. Curry leaves, 4-5.
8. Asafetida, ¼ teaspoon.
9. Turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon.
10. Salt as per taste.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pressure cooker or pressure pan. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the asafetida, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, broken red chilies, curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Reduce the flame and add 2 cups of water along with the cracked wheat and dhal. Add pepper powder and salt and mix everything well. Cook for 15 minutes or up to 3 whistles. Once the pressure is released, a teaspoon of ghee can be added if needed. This tastes good even without adding ghee. Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar or curd.
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