Ven Pongal (Spiced Rice & Dal)

Ven Pongal (meaning ‘white, spill over’) is a popular spiced rice and bean pudding-like dish in South Indian homes and is typically served as a special breakfast in Tamil Nadu, South India.

Just reading the ingredients, I was very excited to make this dish and ended up loving it.

You, too, will fall in love with the aroma of sweet ghee and spicy black pepper in this rice & moong dal dish.


The first time I heard of Ven Pongal (or even ghee!) was while cooking in a small Indian café in my hometown. This was the dish I made where I first began adding ghee to my food.

Ven Pongal (Spiced Rice & Dal)


1 1/4 cup uncooked basmati rice
1/4 cup Moong Dal, hulled and split
1Tbsp crushed black pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 in piece Ginger, diced
10-14 Cashews, diced
3-5 Tbsp Ghee (make it your own or use Pure Indian Foods Grass-Fed Organic Ghee or make is vegan and use Coconut Oil)
Curry leaves (found at Indian grocers)
Salt, to taste


1) Rinse rice & moong dal until water is clear. Combine the two together and soak up to one hour in 3 cups water.

2) Cook the rice and dal together in a pot (if you have a rice cooker or pressure cooker, use that). If the mixture turns too sticky, spoon out onto a flat baking sheet. Set aside.


3) Heat 4tsp ghee in large wok on medium-low and fry pepper, cumin, coriander, cashews and ginger till they sputter.

4) Add cooked rice / dal and mix well.

5) Make an opening in the center and add left over ghee, curry leaves and cilantro (I didn’t have these leaves, so I added dandelion greens from the yard). Mix in with the rice & dal.


Ven Pongal is great served hot with an Indian pickle.
Or on the side of Red Lentil Soup or a Veggie Stir-Fry.

One thought on “Ven Pongal (Spiced Rice & Dal)

  1. Pingback: Pure Indian Foods Grass-Fed Organic Ghee Review + Giveaway! | Garden of Good Eatin'

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s