Ingredients
  • 1 cup short grain rice (substitute with basmati)
  • ½ cup split moong dal (mung beans)
  • ½ teaspoon oil
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or butter
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 6oz fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons cashewnuts, lightly roasted in a few drops of oil or ghee

Method:
  1. Rinse and drain the rice and dal and set aside.
  2. You will need to use a large, deep pot or saucepan for this recipe. If you use a small pot, the milk will boil over and make a mess.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in the pot . Add mustard seeds to oil & ghee. When they splutter, add cumin and peppercorns, and stir 30 seconds. Cut the peeled ginger into 2 or 3 chunks. Add ginger chunks, asafetida, and curry leaves to the oil and stir about 30 seconds or till the ginger and curry leaves are fragrant.
  4. Add the rinsed rice and dal, and stir well. Pour in the milk, water and salt and bring to a boil. If the milk begins to froth and boil over, stir it till it settles down.
  5. Once the milk boils, reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the milk doesn’t boil over and make a mess.
  6. Pongal is done when the rice is very soft and creamy. Depending on the rice you are using, cooking times may vary. You may also need to use more water, depending the rice you are using.
  7. If most the liquid gets absorbed, but the rice still isn’t cooked, just add more water and continue cooking till rice is soft.
  8. Serve hot, topped with roasted cashews and sambar on the side.


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