How to Make Mung Bean Rice (Spicy Pongal or Khara Pongal)

Updated on June 9, 2017
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I worked as a banker for 17 years. Now I am working as a freelancer for indexing. I love cooking tasty, healthy meals, and staying fit.

Some Information about Khara Pongal or Spicy Pongal

We make mung bean rice or Khara pongal often in our house. It can be served for breakfast, lunch, or for dinner. It is a wholesome dish for children and old people too. This mung lentil rice is easily digestible and light on your stomach. Eat it hot with sweet and sour tamarind-jaggery chutney, or dates and tamarind chutney. You'll find the chutney recipe below along with the rice recipe. In the absence of this chutney, you can eat it with pickles or with any sweet or tangy sauce.

How to Make Mung Bean Rice:

Making mung bean rice or Khara pongal is very easy and simple. There is no chance of going wrong when making this yummy dish. If you follow the simple procedure and instructions mentioned in the recipe, your dish will be a hit!

The main ingredients used in this dish are split de-husked green gram or mung lentil, rice, cumin seeds, hing/asafetida, coarse pepper powder, grated coconut (optional), ghee/oil, lemon juice, turmeric, grated ginger, and salt. This main course rice dish has a semi-solid consistency. Let's check out the recipe.

Mung bean rice or Khara pongal(spicy pongal)
Mung bean rice or Khara pongal(spicy pongal)
5 stars for Mung bean rice or Khara pongal(spicy pongal)
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves four people


  • 1 1/2 cup white raw rice
  • 1 1/4 cup de-husked split green gram or moong dal
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut, optional, I used - gives rich flavor
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 inch ginger, cut in pieces
  • 1/8 tsp hing/asafetida powder
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 1/4 tbsp ghee/oil or use ghee+oil(50-50), ghee preferred for this dish
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, or as per taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Step-By-Step Instructions and Images for Making Mung Bean Rice called "Spicy Pongal"

  1. Take mung beans (moong dal) and rice in a cooker vessel. Wash them together. Add 4-5 cups of fresh water and some salt. Cook them till soft and a little mushy. Alternatively, you can cook them in a pot, stirring occasionally. Keep aside.
  2. Take grated coconut, ginger, pepper corns, and green chilies in a mixer/blender. Dry grind them to get a coarse powder. Keep aside.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a deep bottomed pan. Throw cumin seeds to it. Let them crackle. Add curry leaves, and hing/asafetida powder. Let the fire be low. Mix them.
  4. Add ground coconut mix. Saute it till you smell nice aroma. Pour cooked mung lentil-rice mix. Increase the fire. Add turmeric powder and some more salt. Mix well. If the consistency is too thick, add some water to make it loose.
  5. Let the mix boil for 5 minutes on low fire. Add lemon juice. Check for the taste. Add salt if needed. Mung bean rice(spicy pongal) should have semi-solid consistency.
  6. Yummy Khara pongal is ready to serve. Serve it hot with tamarind-jaggery chutney/sauce. See below for the sauce/chutney recipe.

A Perfect Meal during Cold Bouts and Fever

If you are suffering from a bad cold or fever, or if you have lost taste due to sickness, eat hot mung bean rice with the tamarind-jaggery sauce. This meal is wholesome and easy to digest. Because it has hotness of spices like ginger, turmeric, and pepper, it helps to relieve cold and cough.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
rice and mung beans taken in a cooker container. Rice and mung beans cooked adding water and some saltHome made Mung beans rice(Khara pongal) served with tamarind-jaggery sauce/chutney
rice and mung beans taken in a cooker container.
rice and mung beans taken in a cooker container.
Rice and mung beans cooked adding water and some salt
Rice and mung beans cooked adding water and some salt
Home made Mung beans rice(Khara pongal) served with tamarind-jaggery sauce/chutney
Home made Mung beans rice(Khara pongal) served with tamarind-jaggery sauce/chutney

A Quick Look at Making Tamarind-Jaggery Sauce/Chutney:

  1. Soak a fistful of tamarind in warm water for 30 minutes. Press and squeeze to collect the pulp. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoon cooking oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Add 2 chopped green chilies to it. Throw 6-8 curry leaves and 2 pinches of hing powder. Saute for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour a glass of water. Throw 4-5 table spoon jaggery powder into it. Add 1/8 tea spoon turmeric powder and 1/2 tea spoon salt. Let the mix boil for 6-8 minutes or till the quantity reduces and the mix thickens. The mix should come to sauce/chutney consistency. Turn off the fire.
  4. Check for salt. Keep it less salty because you are going to eat mung bean rice with this sauce which has some salt in it. While eating together, you should taste the proper level of salt.
  5. Note: If you don't want to see green chili chunks in the sauce, use red chili powder instead. Also, you can replace jaggery with date paste.
  6. This chutney is sweet and tangy. For mung bean rice or khara pongal, this sauce is the best combination. Enjoy the taste!

Tamarind and jaggery sauce served with mung bean rice/spicy pongal
Tamarind and jaggery sauce served with mung bean rice/spicy pongal

Nutritional Information of Mung Bean Rice/Khara Pongal

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 134
Calories from Fat27
% Daily Value *
Fat 3 g5%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Carbohydrates 24 g8%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 4 g8%
Cholesterol 2 mg1%
Sodium 509 mg21%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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