Comforting and Flavorful: Khara Pongal – A Traditional South Indian Dish for a Satisfying Meal

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Servings: 2




Pongal is a famous South Indian Rice dish. It is available either in sweet or savory form. It is basically made with two major ingredients-Rice and Split Moong Dal. Spicy version is known as Khara is also known as Ven Pongal. Ven means spicy.

It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Pongal is easy to make and is very good for health. It is protein packed and tastes delicious. It is made in Ghee.


Rice- ½ cup

Roasted Spilt Moong Dal- ½ cup

Water- 2 1/2 to 3 cups.

Cashew nuts- 8 to 10 nos.

Jeera/ Cumin seeds- 1 tsp


Pepper corns – ½ tsp

Haldi (Turmeric) powder- ½ tsp.

Ginger- 1 inch finely chopped

Green Chilles – 1 to 2 Nos. finely chopped

Hing/ Asafoetida- A pinch

Curry leaves – 5 to 7

Ghee- 2 Tsp

Salt to taste.


 Preparation Method:


  1. First take a pan and roast ½ cup moong dal over a low flame until it turns slightly light brown. Turn off the flame.
  2. Transfer the moong dal into a pressure cooker and add ½ cup rice to it. Wash them thoroughly in water. Drain off the excess water. Add 2 ½ to 3 cups of water and salt to taste.
  3. Close the cooker and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles. Turn off the flame and wait till the pressure releases.
  4. When the pressure releases naturally open the lid. Rice and dal should have cooked well. Then stir it until it turns slightly mushy.
  5.  In a pan take 2 tbsp. of ghee over low flame.
  6.  Once the ghee becomes hot, add cashew nuts and fry till it turns slightly golden. Remove it into a bowl and keep it aside.
  7. In the same pan with the ghee add in ½ tsp. cumin seeds, a pinch of hing, ½ tsp haldi (Turmeric), 1/2 tsp. pepper corns, finely chopped ginger and green chillies and curry leaves. When the leaves turns crispy and the tempering starts giving a good aroma turn off the flame.  Pour it over the mushy rice and dal mixture. Add little water, if required, if the texture of Pongal is thick. Simmer for one or two minute.  Lastly, add the cashew nuts.
  8. The KHARA PONGAL is ready to serve. Serve it hot with any chutney or sambar.



  1. Ghee, ginger, pepper corns and curry leaves are the key ingredients of a good Pongal. So kindly do not skip them. They give a good flavor and taste to the Pongal.


  1. I have used Zeera samba rice (short-grained rice). You can use any rice which you have at home. Brown rice can also be used. If using Brown rice it needs to be soaked in water for atleast 30 to 45 minutes before cooking. The amount of water required for cooking Brown rice will also be more.


  1. Rice can also be replaced with any millets like broken wheat (Dalia) and Quinoa can also be used.


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