Pongal – The Humble South Indian Khichdi

In South India, two dishes that are a must have during Sankranthi/Pongal is the Khara Pongal Sweet Pongal using Jaggery also known as Huggi in Kannada.
Khara Pongal or savoury Pongal is what I call the South Indian version of Khichdi. A mixture of rice & lentils simmered to a semi-solid consistency & tempered with cumin seeds, green chillies, ginger & pepper corns is a heart warmer. Popular in most South Indian homes as a Breakfast Dish, it can be eaten on its own or even with yogurt or spicy coconut chutney or a traditional eggplant dip, either way its overwhelming. It is way too simple to make & does not involve cutting of any vegetables, which is a blessing if one is short on time. I quite often enjoy this as supper on cold winter evenings.

Preparation Time: 30 mins


1 cup short grained rice
1/2 cup Moong Dal
2 tbsp grated ginger
3 green chillies – finely chopped
A handful of curry leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coarsely ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Turmeric
Salt as per taste
1 tbsp Desi Ghee/Clarified Butter or Oil


Dry roast moong dal until it starts to turn slightly brown.
Pressure cook Moong dal along with rice along with turmeric powder
Heat Ghee/oil in a heavy bottomed pan & add cumin seeds, once the seeds crackle, add curry leaves, green chillies & saute for a minute.
Add cooked rice & lentil mixture & Add 1/2 cup water & mix well.
Add grated ginger, ground pepper & Salt
Simmer on low heat for about 5 – 8 minutes.
Drizzle Ghee on top & enjoy with your favorite Side Dish.
Enjoi !!!

The Rice:Lentil proportion could be either 1:2 or 2:1 or 1:1 whichever suits you
Go easy on green chillies as ground pepper adds quite a bit of heat.
You could use long grained rice too, but short grained rice works best.
This can be made on stove top too instead of using a pressure cooker. Use Pressure Cooker to save time