Venpongal is close to the tamilian heart. An integral part of Pongal, the harvest festival, venpongal is a wholesome mix of carbohydrates and proteins. The traditional way of preparing pongal calls for liberal quantities of ghee; the reason why most people who eat pongal for breakfast complain it makes them sleepy. In restaurants , ghee is supplemented by it's cheaper look alike, hydrogeonated vegetable oil. A greater health hazard!
I find that wonderful tasting pongal can be made sans the grease. Just add a little bit of milk to cook it.
Raw rice - 1 cup
Split green gram lentils (cherupayaru paruppu/moong dhal) - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1" piece
Pepper corns - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin (jeera) - 1/2 teaspoon
Low fat milk - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Water - 3 cups
Wash rice and lentils and drain. Chop ginger and add to rice and lentils. Add the milk and water to the rice mixture and pressure cook for 6 whistles. Once the pressure cooker is opened, add salt and mash the mixture well.
Crush the pepper corns lightly (so that they don't burst when frying). Heat oil and crackle the cumin and pepper corns.Add to the rice and mix well.
Serve piping hot with pottukadalai and malli chutney (roasted gram and cilantro dip). Watch this page for the chutney recipe tommorrow.
PS: Roasted cashewnuts can be added as an optional garnish
1 hour ago