Pongal Recipe| South Indian Cooked Rice and Lentils


Pongal recipe, is a Tamilnadu style breakfast dish, which is made from rice, fried lentils and ghee. 

Pongal Vada, Pongal Sambar, Pongal Chutney….

These are all mouth watering items of Tamil Nadu breakfast cuisine and anyone who is familiar with their cuisines will agree to this fact. It is definitely, my favorite breakfast recipe. 

Pongal Speciality

Being made from rice, pongal is a very heavy breakfast recipe. If you have it for a late breakfast, chances are that, you might skip lunch and just have an evening 3’o clock tea.

The other fact is that this dish is very easy to make. All you need is a pressure cooker, plain white rice, split yellow moong dal and ghee. 

This dish, tastes best when it is served hot. Side dishes, for this recipe would be sambar and chutney. 

In today's article, I am going to teach you how to make pongal. Along with it, I will also attach a link on how to make a perfect sambar recipe that goes well with this dish. Let’s get started..

Pongal Recipe – Preparation Steps 

Part I - Cook Rice and Lentils

1. To make this dish, we first need to fry small yellow split moong dal. I have taken half a cup of moong dal. This will suffice easily for 3 people.


2. Fry the moong dal in a pan, until it turns golden brown. No need to add any oil in the pan.


3. Take 1 cup of rice and add it in a vessel. Add the fried moong dal to it and wash it well.


4. Crush 5-10 black peppers and ¼ tbsp. of cumin seeds using a pestle. Add ½ of this crushed powder and a small slice of crushed ginger into the vessel containing rice and lentils. 



You will add ½ of the crushed powder now, and the rest you will add for tempering.If you don’t have black pepper, you can add ½ tbsp. of pepper powder instead.

5. Add ¼ tbsp. of turmeric, 1 tbsp. of salt into the vessel and add 4-5 cups of water. 



We need the rice to get overcooked. So, if you normally take only 2 glasses of water for 1 cup of rice, take 4 glasses this time.

6. Keep the rice, in the pressure cooker, and let it cook for 8-10 whistles.

7. In the meantime, grate half the coconuts. We will be using about 3-4 tbsp of grated coconuts for this recipe.


8. Once the rice, has cooked, prepare the tempering mix. 

Part II – Prepare the Tempering Mix

9. For tempering, heat ghee in a pan. To this add curry leaves, ground nuts, and crushed pepper and cumin powder. Fry them well, and pour it on top of the rice.



I have used groundnuts, because I couldn’t find cashew nuts. Now, if you can find cashews, use them instead.

10. Garnish fresh coconut gratings on top of the rice mix.


11. Your pongal recipe is ready. Have it with my favorite tomato onion sambar.



This recipe, will be spicy as the crushed pepper and cumin seeds are in it. Ghee is therefore added, to ease out the spiciness and to bring in a little more taste to the rice.

You may also like these recipes

Below are a list of recipes, you might want to try. 

1. PadhusKitchen: Here is a different variation of pongal from padhus kitchen made without coconuts. 

2. Rakskitchen: Check this ghee pongal recipe from Rakskitchen. 

› Pongal Recipe

› Pongal Recipe