pongal recipe


Pongal is a famous South Indian dish. It is prepared as an offering to God for various festivities and regular poojas. In fact, in South India, the Pongal recipe is offered as a sacred food or naivedyam in temples almost every day. It is prepared from Moong Dal and Rice. It can be both savoury and sweet. 

The savoury version is called Khara Pongal or Ven Pongal. The Khara Pongal recipe is one of the foods necessarily prepared during the Pongal or Sankranti festival. It is delectable and gets ready in no time. Although it is a famous festive dish, it serves as comfort food as well. Now let us see how to prepare an authentic Pongal recipe at home.

Cuisine & Course

South Indian; Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner


  • 0.5 cup Rice

  • 0.5 cup Moong Dal

  • 3.5 to 4 cup Water 

  • Salt- As per taste

  • Tempering ingredients
  • Ghee – 3 tablespoons (little extra while serving)

  • Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper Corn – ½ teaspoon slightly crushed

  • Turmeric Powder (optional) – A pinch just for colour

  • Cashew Nuts(optional) – 10-12

  • Ginger – An inch grated or sliced

  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

  • Hing or Asafoetida – 1/8 teaspoon


A little pre-preparation adds more smoothness to the Pongal recipe. Roast the moong lentil on a low flame till it turns aromatic. But don’t let it turn brown. 


  • You need to follow the below steps to cook a satiating Pongal recipe in cooker for yourself and your family:
  • Take the roasted dal and rice in a pan or cooker. Wash the mixture nicely.
  • Soak the mixture in water for 30 to 45 minutes. This adds extra smoothness.
  • Drain the water and add it to a pressure cooker.
  • Next, add asafetida, cumin seeds, chopped ginger, and salt to the cooker.
  • Add 3.5 to 4 cups of water to the mixture. The water quantity depends on the consistency of the Pongal recipe. 
  • Close the lid and cook till 7 to 8 whistles. 
  • Let the pressure cooker cool down on its own. Check for cooking and consistency. Adjust water accordingly.
  • If you need to add more water, please add hot water only. Adding ½ to 1 cup might work perfectly fine. 
  • Nicely cook the dal and rice. You can slightly mash the cooked mixture to add even more flavour. Now cover and keep the cooker aside.
  • Tempering
    The tempering adds the most flavour in Pongal preparation:
  • Take a small tadka pan and add ghee into it.
  • Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add cashews and roast them till they turn slightly golden. 
  • Once the cashews start turning slightly golden, add curry leaves, turmeric powder(optional), and black peppercorns. The authentic style Pongal uses whole black peppercorns. If you want, you can crush and add.
  • Stir well.
  • Pongal Preparation
    Now that the dal and rice mixture is cooked and the tempering is ready, the Pongal recipe will get ready any moment. All you need to do is:
  • Pour the complete tempering on the dal rice mixture. Mix everything nicely.
  • Now cover the lid and keep the Pongal aside for 4 to 5 minutes. This helps in infusing the tempering flavours into the Pongal.
  • Open the lid, and the Pongal is ready to serve.

Note: You can prepare the dal rice mixture in a pan or pot. Just follow the recipe steps in a pot instead of a cooker. The tempering steps remain the same. You might need extra water in this case.

How to serve Pongal?

Traditionally, Khara Pongal is served with sambhar or coconut chutney. But it is so delectable that you can eat it with only papad and pickle. Adding a little ghee on top while serving adds amazing flavour to the dish.

TinyTips for making Pongal 

If you follow the below points judiciously, we are sure your Pongal dish recipe will turn out delectable:

  1. Do not compromise on the quantity of ghee. 
  2. Add an equal quantity of rice and lentil.
  3. Use short-grain rice.


So now you know how easy it is to prepare the sweet Pongal in no time. Follow the Pongal recipe ingredients and a step-by-step process to make the Pongal recipe in no time. Invite your friends over a meal and serve them hot Pongal; we are sure they’ll love it!


  1. How to make both Khara and sweet Pongal together? 
  • Double the quantity of water, rice, and dal. 
  • Cook them in a cooker without adding salt, asafetida, cumin seeds, and ginger. 
  • Prepare a jaggery syrup with ¼ cup water and ¾ cup jaggery. 
  • Now, add the jaggery syrup to half Pongal preparation. 
  • Fry raisins and cashews in a tadka pan. Add it to the sweeter version. Prepare Khara Pongal recipe tempering in the same tadka pan and add it to the other half.

2. Is the khichdi and Pongal recipe the same?

No, they aren’t. Both the recipes use dal and rice. But the methods of preparation and taste are entirely different.