Ven pongal or kara pongal

Ven pongal/kara pongal is a very popular breakfast in restaurants or at home in south India. Tamil kara pongal recipe is popularly called ven pongal. ven pongal is very easy to make and this is one of the dish that I always see serving in banana leaves in marriages. In each house and other places, pongal is prepared differently. In Karnataka, the pongal I tasted at my friend’s house and restaurant’s is entirely different, as dry coconut or fresh coconut and turmeric powder is added and is served with tamarind based sauce called gojju. The best pongal I tasted was in my childhood in Chennai , one of my friend’s restaurants. First time ordered and became one of my favourite breakfasts. From there on, ven pongal/kara pongal also became one of my favourite breakfast. The ven pongal/kara pongal was very soft and ghee was oozing out in the banana leaf, it was a perfect and best pongal I had. After that I tasted in many restaurants but it didn’t taste like that.

I prepare my ven pongal or kara pongal, in pressure cooker to save time and to have very soft texture as per my taste. You can prepare in a vessel also. The ratio I take is 1:1 or 3/4th cup of rice and ½ cup of yellow moong dal or 1cup rice and 1/2cup moong dal (yellow split dal). I often take 1:1 that is equal amount of rice and moong dal or 3/4th cup of rice and 1/2cup of moong dal.


  1. Raw rice – 3/4 cup
  2. Moong dal (split yellow dal) - 1/2 cup
  3. Water – 3 to 4 cups
  4. Salt - as per taste
  5. Tadka or seasoning

  6. Oil – 2 tbsp
  7. Ghee – 2 tbsp
  8. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  9. Black pepper seeds – 1 1/2 tsp
  10. Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4 tsp or more
  11. Curry leaves – 15 to 20
  12. Green chillies (slit) – 3 to 4
  13. Ginger – 1 tsp
  14. Cashew nuts (split or broken) – 15


    Method 1

  1. Preheat the pressure cooker with oil, add all the ingredients one by one (except ginger and hing) and sauté for few seconds till cashew nut is lightly brown, and add ginger and hing in the end and suate for few seconds on medium flame.
  2. Add rice and moong dal immediately; mix well with the suated ingredients.
  3. Add water, salt and mix well, close the lid of pressure cooker, cook on medium heat.
  4. When the pressure cooker gives 2 to 3 whistles, simmer the flame and cook for 10 to 12 min. switch it off.
  5. Wait for few minutes, till the pressure is released.
  6. Open the lid and add ghee and mix well.
  7. Serve hot with medhu vada, chutney and sambar.
  8. I serve with ground nut chutney or tomato chutney.
  9. Method 2

  10. Dry roast the moong dal in a pan until aroma and light golden colour comes.
  11. Soak the rice and dal for 1/2hr.
  12. Add the soaked rice, salt and moong dal in a cooker and after 2 to 3 whistles on medium flame, simmer the flame and cook for 10min, switch it off.
  13. Wait until the pressure is released, mix well.
  14. Thadka/ seasoning

  15. Now take a kadai or pan, add oil, sauté the above ingredients (except hing and ginger).
  16. Add hing (asafoetida) and ginger and sauté for few seconds and add it to the cooked pongal and mix well.
  17. Simmer and mix well for 2to 3min.
  18. Can drizzle some more ghee, if desired on top of the pongal after serving in a plate.
  19. Serve with hot vadas and any chutney and sambar.


  1. Cook the rice and dal as per instructions of your pressure cooker.
  2. If you want to make pepper pongal, then crush pepper seeds and add, instead of whole.
  3. Add water as per the softness of your rice required.
  4. You can add equal amount of rice and dal or 1 cup of rice and 1/2 cup of dal.