Ven pongal is a staple dish in southern part of India. It is the south Indian equivalent of a risotto, but here we have both rice and moon dal instead of just rice. Commonly had for breakfast, this dish is a comfort food for many. It is one of my favorite dishes and I love to have this with loads and loads of sambar or gotsu! I remember my hubby used to make this often for me in the first few months of our marriage. This was one of the very few dishes he knew to make well 🙂 It is that easy! I wanted to try this recipe in the instant pot since pongal is just round the corner! I paired this with gotsu which I made in the IP as well.
- 1 cup rice washed and drained ( I used white rice, which is used traditionally. Feel free to substitute it with brown rice/ millets/ quinoa. They taste equally good)
- 1/4 cup moong dal washed and drained
- 11/2 tsp ginger finely chopped (reduce the qty if you dont like too much ginger)
- 11/2 tsp pepper coarsely ground
- 11/2 tsp cumin
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- a big fat pinch asafoetida
- salt to taste
- 4 cups water (more to bring it to the consistency you require)
- 11/2 tbsp olive oil (use ghee if not vegan)
- 8 to 10 cashews sauteed in oil/ghee – optional for garnish
Switch on the saute mode in your instant pot.
Add the olive oil and when it is hot, add the cumin seeds, finely chopped ginger, pepper, curry leaves and asafoetida. Saute for a minute. Be careful not to burn the spices.
Now add the moong dal to it and fry it for a minute.
When done, switch off the saute mode. Add the rice, 4 cups of water, salt as needed and cook in manual high for 15 minutes and natural pressure release.
Saute some cashew in olive oil/ghee and garnish the pongal with the nuts. Serve hot with sambar , gotsu or chutney!
If the pongal thickens when it cools down, add some hot water to dilute it to the consistency you desire.