Search Results for: pongal

Quinoa – Vegetable Pongal

quinoa vegetable pongal
has become one of our go-to comfort foods these days. I end up making a simple pongal with rice and moong dal or a simple pej(Congee with red rice) on many days when I do not want to cook elaborate meals. Some days when I want to make it more healthy, I add some vegetables to it, then it becomes a one pot complete meal (although my family prefers plain pongal, they don’t complain). Few days back, I added some quinoa to it, which turned out pretty good. I served this quinoa – vegetable pongal with our favorite huli gojju.

Read more about quinoa  (and I do not know if it has any Indian names or if it is available in India). I hear so much about this protein packed, slightly bitter quinoa on TV, magazines etc. I have tried so many different dishes from it, but we have a long way to go before we can say we love it. So I usually try to hide it in some dish – it is a bit hard to hide because the quinoa smell comes out no matter where you add it. I feel it is a very acquired taste. My family is slowly warming up to it, when I add it in smaller quantities in other dishes.

I used matta rice/peje tandul here because it gives some body to pongal – I had first read about it at Mahanandi and loved the idea. It does not disappear like the normal white rice.

Here is a wonderful article about Quinoa and its health benefits.

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red boiled rice /matta rice/peje tandul
1/2 cup moong dal
1 cup vegetables – corn, peas, carrots
1/2 tea spn black pepper
3-4 green chillies
A pinch tamarind
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida(hing)
4-5 curry leaves
A pinch turmeric

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Wash quinoa in cold water couple of times. Wash rice and moong dal. Keep aside.
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Heat ghee and add cumin seeds, green chillies, pepper, curry leaves. Fry for min and then add asafoetida.
Add the vegetables and fry for a minute.
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Then add quinoa, moong dal, rice, salt, turmeric fry for another minute. Now add 4-5 cups of water (start with 4 and if you want it more watery consistency, add one more). Cook till rice and vegetables are done. I normally cook it in rice cooker.
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Serve hot with your favorite sidedish.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 45 mins

PS: If you do not find quinoa, leave it out and follow the remaining recipe.

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Vegetable pongal


Its getting colder and colder here. Today the temperature here is 4F and I am frozen to my bones. I am knitting a lot these days but it looks like I can never get enough warm cloths for the season. A hot bowl of delicious food is all I crave for when I step in the house. I think a one pot dish like a spicy pongal with loads of vegetables in it, is a heavenly food in this season.

3/4 cup rice
1/4 cup moong dal
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn fenugreek seeds
4-5 curry leaves
4 green chillies
1/4 tea spn pepper powder
A pinch turmeric powder
2 cups vegetables – cauliflower, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, green beans
5 strands coriander leaves

Roast 1/2 tea spn cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and powder them.
Heat ghee and add mustard seeds, 1/2 tea spn cumin seeds. When they start popping, add turmeric, curry leaves, green chillies. Fry for min and add vegetables, rice, dal and fry for 3-4 mins.  Add pepper, salt. Add the cumin-fenugreek powder. Pour in water(about 4 times rice). Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. Cook in pressure cooker.
Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

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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

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

Pongal is a one pot healthy dish prepared with rice and moong dal. It is the ultimate comfort food for many.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 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
  • Salt


  • 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:

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

A spincy tangy sidedish loaded with onions
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 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
  • Salt


  • 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

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

A kind of raita with seasoning
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 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
  • Salt


  • 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.

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

Mixed Greens Khichdi

Mixed Greens Khichdi

I usually get a huge pack of mixed greens from Costco that gets used enthusiastically for few days. Since it goes bad quickly, I try to make few different recipes – this also makes sure we consume all of those greens in two-three weeks’ time. This Mixed Greens Khichdi is one of those dishes. It tastes great, it is a one-pot dish that comes together quickly, it is healthy, so it checks all the right boxes.

I prefer making this dish in InstantPot because I can start the dish and walk away. But this can be easily prepared in a normal pressure cooker – I prepared it pressure cooker before I bought InstantPot.

You can make this Khichdi with just spinach or with a combination of few different greens. I have tried both and it comes out great with any combination. I have used masoor dal here, but this can also be prepared using moong dal.

Also check out sweet khichdi, pongal and other pongal recipes.

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Dates – Puffed Rice Laddoo (Khajoor – Phulayil Phova Laddoo)

khajoor - phulayil phova laddoo

Wish you all a very happy Sankranti. Hope this festival brings you lots of happiness.

Like every year, I am going to celebrate this festival by distributing tilgul(kante halvo) and tila laddoo to family and neighbors here. I am also going to make a small amount of sweet pongal (muga dali khichdi). How do you celebrate this festival?

Recently I came across these delicious laddoos. I tried this at my sister’s place in Belgaum. I gave them a try when my son and his family were here for Christmas holidays. These are crunchy and delicious with great flavor. 

Also check out puffed rice laddoo.

2 cups phulayilo phovu/chirmure (puffed rice)
1 cup chopped dates
2 tbl spns chana dalia (hurigadale/putani) or cashews or peanuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick of butter)
1 tea spn cardamom powder
1/2 cup dry shredded coconut(or desiccated coconut) (optional)

PS: You can reduce the amount of sugar if the dates are very sweet (like Mejdool dates).

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Heat butter and add dalia, dates. Fry for a minute and then add sugar and let it melt.
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Add puffed rice and mix well. Take off heat and add cardamom powder.
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When the mixture is cool enough to handle, make laddoos.
Take coconut on a plate. Roll each laddoo in the coconut. Serve.

Makes about 12 laddoos
Preparation time : 30mins

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Tamarind – Shallots Chutney (Puli Kuzhambu)

Puli kuzhambu

Over the last few years, we have made some really good friends here in Kansas. Since we all have kids of almost same age, we try to meet often for potluck or get-together. My friend Subhashini makes very delicious Tamil food every time we meet. My food intake usually doubles when I am at her home!. My latest favorite is her tamarind chutney – that’s how she translates it to me. She said the Tamil name for the dish is Puli Kuzhambu (hope I am spelling that right). She serves this with curd rice and the combination is just out of this world. I am sure all curd rice fans there would love this on the side. The ingredient quantities are approximates only, change it according to your taste.

Last week I prepared a big batch of this and refrigerated. One day I served it with pongal – I followed Indira’s pongal recipe with matta rice. I don’t usually add vegetables to pongal because we like it simple and plain. Puli Kuzhambu went great with it. It remains good for a week in refrigerator.

2 cups chopped shallots/sambar onions
3-4 pepper
1 tea spn coriander seeds
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1 tea spn rice
1 tea spn toor dal
4-5 red chillies
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn urad dal
1/2 tea spn fenugreek/methi seeds
4-5 curry leaves
2 tbl spns garlic cut into big pieces
2 tea spns thic tamarind extract or soak one big lemon sized ball of tamarind in water


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Heat a little oil and fry pepper, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, rice, toor dal, red chillies.  Grind to a paste. Now add 1/2 cup of shallots and grind again.
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Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they pop up, add urad dal, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves. Give it a min. Then add remaining shallots and garlic. Fry for few minutes till shallots turn translucent.
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Now add ground paste, tamarind, hing, salt. Let it cook.
Serve with curd rice.
This remains good for a week in refrigerator.

Serves : 5-6
Preparation time : 20mins

puli kuzhambu6

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Cracked Wheat Pulav

cracked wheat pulav

I am trying to switch to a healthy diet these days. After discussing with some of my friends, I tried couple of healthy replacements to white rice like quinoa, brown rice etc. But the thing we all liked the most is cracked wheat. So instead of using white rice/basmati rice, I use cracked wheat for our daily meals. It goes very well with all the gravies/dals, in pulavs, pongals/khichdis etc. I remember few years ago, aayi mentioning she uses this to make a kind of congee(Pej). I never thought I would start using it so soon – to be very frank, I did not think we would like it when I saw it first time.

1 cup cracked wheat
1 cup vegetables (corn, green beans, green peas, carrots)
1/2 cup onion
1 tea spn ginger garlic paste
1/2 tea spn red chilli powder
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
1 tbl spn grated coconut(optional)
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1 tbl spn lemon juice

Heat ghee/oil and fry onion, ginger-garlic paste. When the onions turn translucent, add vegetables, cracked wheat, coconut, chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, salt. Fry very well for 2-3mins. Add 2 and 1/2 cups of water. Cook in pressure cooker – for about 3-4 whistles. Take off the heat. Add lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 25mins


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cracked wheat pulav

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Lentil pulav (Daali beTTi)

Until 2 weeks ago, I didn’t know about this delicious Konkani dish. Daali betti is somewhere between a vegetable pulav and vegetable pongal. This is dry compared to bisi bele bhath. This has toor daal unlike any pulav and is dry in texture compared to pongal.

This dish was never prepared at my home, so when I got a request for this recipe, I didn’t know what it is. I asked my mom to go though the request and she said she has heard about this dish. One of my aunt prepares it at home. So when I asked her to get this recipe for me, my dad got it immediately. (Thanks TaraVaini for this).

From the list of the ingredients, I felt this dish would be out of the world. I made it for dinner and it turned out delicious. It gets a distinct flavor from ground cumin and ginger. Since this dish is dry, it is served with asafoetida tambli (add water to asafoetida chitney to get a tambli consistency) or ginger tambli (add water to ginger chutney to get a tambli consistency).

1/2 cup toor daal
1 cup rice
2 tea spn cumin seeds
1 tea spn finely chopped ginger
4-5 green chilies
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
2 cups chopped vegetables (eggplant, ridge gourd/gosale, gherkin/tendli, potato)
A pinch turmeric

I added green beans, gherkin and potatoes when I prepared this.

Grind coconut with cumin seeds, green chilies and salt to a paste.
Heat oil and add mustard. When they start popping, add curry leaves, ginger, vegetables, daal, rice and turmeric. Mix well. Add the paste, around 4 cups water(just enough water to cook daal and rice). Cook directly on stove top or in pressure cooker till done.
Serve hot with asafoetida tambli or ginger tambli (see above for description).

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins(in cooker)

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Carrot Halwa

There is a big story of my experience with preparing this dish first time.

We were in Sydney and invited by one of our friends for Ganesh Chathurthi. We thought of taking some sweet with us. But I did not know how to cook any sweet (because I don’t like any sweets). Then I found “Gajar ka halwa” recipe somewhere. But I did not know how much carrot should be used for that.

We asked one of our friends, and he gave us an idea that 2 kgs of gajar(carrot) will be sufficient, because after cooking, the quantity of halwa will reduce (how convincing). So we bought 2 kgs of carrot & started grating with a tiny cheese grater borrowed from another friend. Believe it or not, I took almost 4-5 hrs to grate the carrot. By the time I finished with it, my hands were paining like anything. We had to reach their house for pooja at 11. It was around 9.30 and I realized the grated carrot was too much. But still I thought I will use all of them. At that time, I realized we were not having such a big vessel. One big vessel was there and that was used by my other friend who had prepared some pongal in that. I told her to remove the pongal from vessel, after that it took me around half an hour to clean the vessel!!!. Then I started cooking halwa. I absolutely had no idea how much time it will take. By some guesswork, I started adding all the ingredients. I did not know whether carrot was cooked or not(because at that time I did not know much of a cooking).

So finally by the time I finished my halwa, it was 12. When we reached their house it was 12.30 and the pooja was already finished. They had a nice laugh when I told my adventure. But the halwa turned out to be superb. It took 10 days for us to finish the remaining halwa, which we kept in refrigerator.

So now whenever I cook this I remember that incident and have a whole hearted laugh.

Without further boring you with my stories, now goes the recipe,

Grated carrot 2 cups
Milk 3 cups
Sugar 2 tbl spns
Cardamom powder 1/4 tea spn
Saffron 4-5 strands
Ghee 1 tbl spn
Cashew nuts 1 tbl spn

Heat milk. When it is boiling, add grated carrot. Cook till carrot is 3/4th done. Add Sugar and ghee. Stir continuously at this stage. Cook till carrot is completely done and halwa becomes thick. Add saffron and cardamom powder. Garnish with cashew nuts fried in ghee. Serve hot or cold.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 30 min

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