Posted by: Sahaja | November 4, 2008

Kattu Pongali – South Indian dish- lentils and rice combo

You know what? Today I am going tell you my favourite dish – easy to make, healthy, tasty and authentic south Indian – I bet!! Its called Kattu Pongali [or just pongali]….And my mom makes it wonderfully…..Every Saturday night, we have this as a tradition…Me and my dad finish it in no time J!!

Bachelors, both boys and girls, this is one of the easiest to make with ingredients which you can generally find in your cupboard. 

Here’s the recipe 

What you need: 

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Moong dal – red or yellow lentils – 1 cup
  • Green chillies – 2/3 cut diagonally
  • Peppercorns – 11/2 tsp (crushed or uncrushed according to your taste)
  • Ginger – ½ tsp finely chopped or crushed
  • Curry leaves – 1 small stem (6-8 leaves)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red chilli – 1 small size
  • Seasoning ingredients – popu as I mentioned in my previous post [mixture of mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal and jeera]
  • Asafoetodia – a pinch
  • Oil – 2tsp

How to do :

  • Wash rice and lentils and boil them together in a pressure cooker generally with twice the amount of water as them. [for eg here 4 cups of water]. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt and cook.
  • In a pan, heat the oil. Add mustard seeds and other seasoning wait till they pop.
  • Add curry leaves, chillies and crushed/uncrushed peppers as the mustard seeds are popping. Peppercorns (miriyalyu) are very important ingridient in this particular dish. It gives that unique taste and flavor. I like whole peppercorns instead of crushed because its my wish whether to eat or leave them 😛
  • Add this popu/tadka to the rice and mix well. Thats it its ready. 
  • Serve hot with pickle or cocunut chutney [i prefer nimbu ka achar – lemon pickle] Umm…..Love it 🙂kattu pongali

PS : Some like it a bit more wet unlike photo here, [similar texture as bisibela bath]….If you like it that way just add a cup more water while cooking the dal and rice. 🙂

You can also have it as a heavy breakfast on mornings when you might have a late lunch planned.



  1. I like this too . . . in Tamil, it’s called Ven Pongal or just Pongal . . . and there is a famous festival festival by the same name (Pongal) . . . the harvest festival in Tamil Nadu . . .

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