Ven pongal(White pongal)

Ven pongal, White pongal served with vadai and sambar

Ven pongal is a common and popular breakfast in Tamilnadu. Generally, Ven pongal is served with coconut chutney, sambar and vadai. It is a very simple yet tastier dish. Ven pongal can be cooked in two ways. One is adding the seasoning after cooking rice and dal. The other is doing the reverse way. Adding seasoning to the uncooked rice and dal, then cooking. In this way, the pongal color may look more darker than the first way of cooking.You can add some milk together with water instead of whole water to cook the pongal. This may add some mild sweetness to the pongal. Some people like to add grated ginger to the pongal. You can customize the seasoning according to your taste.

Now follows the recipe:


  • Rice – 1 cup (uncooked)
  • Green gram dal(split) – 1/2 cup(Roasted)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Ghee and Oil – 2 to 3 teaspoons
  • Water – to cook pongal

For seasoning:

  • Cashew nuts – 10 -12
  • Red chilies – 2
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Peppercorns – 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – a sprig


  1. Heat very little ghee or oil in a pan. Add split green gram dal and fry till it turns into light brown. Remove from heat.
  2. Wash rice and roasted dal in water. Cook Rice and dal together with salt in pressure cooker or in a vessel. To cook in pressure cooker, add 3 ½ to 4 cups of water and leave for 3 whistles. Once the steam is released from the cooker, do the seasoning.
  3. For seasoning: Heat Oil and Ghee in a pan. Add Cashew nuts and fry till it turns into light brown. Then add Red chilies, Cumin seeds, Peppercorns, Hing and Curry leaves, fry for 1 or 2 minutes.
  4. Pour this mix to cooked pongal and mix.

Goes well with: Coconut chutney, Sambar and Vadai

Tips: If your pongal is very thick, add some hot water and mix with the ven pongal.

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