Spicy Pongal with side dishes (Khara pongal – HuLi gojju – Mosaru bajji)

It has been a challenge for me to make my husband eat Pongal. He never touched it whenever I tried it in Bangalore. I had never made it at home. The success rate with my friend Poornima’s recipes is almost 100% at my home. So I asked for her Pongal recipe and tried it. As always, this was a huge success. My husband and I loved it so much that, we had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a weekend.

Pongal” is a semi solid dish, usually prepared with rice and daal. We make “sweet Pongal” and “spicy pongal“. I loved the combination specified by Poornima. She serves Pongal with a sour side dish called as “HuLi gojju” or a kind of raita called as “Mosaru bajji“. But I prepared both the sides.

Spicy Pongal


3/4 cups moong daal(yellow)
1 cup rice
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
2 tea spns cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn black pepper
5-6 curry leaves
3-4 green chilies
1/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup grated coconut
2-3 strands coriander leaves
1 tea spn oil

Soak daal and rice separately. Crush black pepper roughly (I used black pepper powder instead).
For best results, make the Pongal directly in cooker.
Heat oil in cooker, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and when they start popping, add curry leaves, crushed black pepper, green chilies. Fry for a minute. Add onion and fry till they turn brownish.
Drain water off the daal and add it to the onions and fry for a minute. Now drain off the water from the rice and add it to the mixture and fry for few seconds. Add 8 cups of water (for 1 cup rice, 8 cups of water should be added. When I took above picture, I used just 6 cups of water to make it slightly thicker, but usually I prefer using 8 cups).
Add coconut, chopped coriander and salt. Close the lid of the cooker and cook for 2 whistles. The Pongal should be in semi-liquid state when cooked.
Serve hot with HuLi gojju or Mosaru bajji.

HuLi gojju:

1 and 1/2 cups of slitted onions
1 tea spn oil
1 garlic clove(optional)
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract (or 2 tbl spn of thick tamarind juice)
1/2 tea spn chili powder
1/2 tea spn sambar powder(any ready made sambar powder can be used)
1 cup grated coconut
2-3 strands coriander leaves

Amount of chili powder and sambar powder can be increased or decreased to suit individual taste.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves and chopped garlic. Fry for a minute and add onions. Fry till onions turn slightly brownish. Add tamarind and around 2-3 tbl spn of water. Add chili powder, sambar powder, coconut, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Cook for around 7-8 mins.
This gojju should also be semi liquid. I made it a bit less-watery to suite my taste.

Mosaru bajji

3/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato(optional)
2-3 strands coriander leaves
3-4 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn oil
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1 cup yogurt(curd)
2-3 green chilies

I didn’t add tomato and coriander leaves when I prepared it here.

Mix cucumber, onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves and chili with salt. Add yogurt(curd) and mix well.
Heat oil and add mustard. When they start popping add curry leaves, fry for a minute and them to the yogurt mixture and mix well.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 30mins

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