Friday, October 2, 2009


My sister who will be visiting us end of this year has already sent a request list of foods that she would like to eat when she gets here. Pongal with tomato pulusu tops her list. This simple, classic combination is a favorite of most South Indians. It is generally eaten for breakfast, but also makes for great brunch when paired with udad vadas, or it can also be a wholesome meal in itself. Pongal can be made to be a healthy fulfilling meal or can be transformed into a rich and sinful delicacy as the occasion demands.
Pongal can be eaten just by itself, or with sambar, or chutneys, the most common one being coconut chutney. But, the most favored accompaniment is the tomato gojju or pulusu.

1 cup rice
1 cup moong dal
1 tbsp of cashew pieces
1 tsp black pepper, crushed into large pieces
1 tsp jeera, pounded lightly
½ tsp of finely chopped ginger
5-6 curry leaves
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
4 tbsps ghee
1 tbsp oil

Dry roast the rice and the moong dal for 5 minutes on medium heat. Place the roasted daal and rice into a pressure cooker, add 4 ½ cups of water and pressure cook till soft. Set aside. In a large saucepan heat oil and 1 tbsp of ghee. Add the cashew pieces, asafoetida, pepper, jeera, ginger and the curry leaves. Add the cooked daal and rice mixture, salt and mix well on low heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the ghee and mix well. Pongal can be thinned with water if required.

6 ripe tomatoes chopped
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
½ tsp of chopped ginger
3 green chillies, slit
Whole garam masala (1 cardamom, 2 cloves, ½ inch cinnamon)
½ tsp mustard
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp udad dal
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
Pinch of turmeric
1 tbsp oil
Cilantro and mint for garnish
Heat oil in a saucepan and add whole spices and udad dal. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies and cook till the onions turn transparent. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, spice powders, cover and cook till the tomatoes soften. Add salt, a cup of water and cook on low heat for 5 more minutes. Mash the tomatoes with the back of a ladle.

Remove from heat, add the chopped cilantro and mint and serve along with Pongal.

1 comment:

  1. Looks fabulous and I cannont wait to have this when I arrive :) x x