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

Updated on March 8, 2019
ShailaSheshadri profile image

I worked as a banker for 17 years, and now I am a freelance indexer. I love cooking tasty, healthy meals, and I also love staying fit.

What Is Mung Bean Rice?

In our house, we often make khara pongal, also called or spicy pongal or mung bean rice. It is a wholesome dish that kids and adults alike can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Easily digestible and light in the stomach, this rice dish is best enjoyed with sweet and sour tamarind-jaggery chutney, or with date-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 chutney or sauce that is sweet or tangy.

A Surefire HIt!

Khara pongal is very easy—there is no chance of going wrong when making this yummy dish. If you follow the simple procedure and instructions I share below, your dish will be a hit!

Khara pongal (spicy pongal or mung bean rice)
Khara pongal (spicy pongal or mung bean rice)
5 stars for Mung Bean Rice (Khara Pongal or Spicy Pongal)
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white raw rice
  • 1 1/4 cups de-husked split green gram or moong dal
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut (optional, adds a 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 (or oil or a 50/50 ghee-oil mix)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Instructions

  1. Add mung beans (moong dal) and rice to a cooker vessel. Wash them together. Add 4-5 cups of fresh water and some salt. Cook until soft and a little mushy. Alternatively, you can cook them in a pot, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  2. Add grated coconut, ginger, peppercorns, and green chilies to a mixer/blender. Dry grind them to get a coarse powder. Set aside.
  3. Heat ghee (or oil or oil-ghee mix) in a deep-bottomed pan over low fire. Throw in cumin seeds. Let them crackle. Add curry leaves and hing (asafetida powder). Mix.
  4. Add ground coconut mix. Saute until you smell a nice aroma. Add in cooked mung lentil-rice mix. Turn up the fire. Add turmeric powder and some more salt. Mix well. If the consistency is too thick, add some water to make it thinner.
  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 should have a semi-solid consistency.
  6. Serve hot with tamarind-jaggery chutney/sauce. See below for that recipe.

A Perfect Meal during Cold Bouts and Fever

If you are suffering from a bad cold or fever, or if you have lost the sense of taste due to sickness, eat hot mung bean rice with tamarind-jaggery sauce. This meal is wholesome and easy to digest. The ginger, turmeric, and pepper will help relieve cold and cough.

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Add rice and mung beans to a cooker. Cook rice and mung beans by adding water and some salt.Homemade mung bean rice (khara pongal), served with tamarind-jaggery chutney.
Add rice and mung beans to a cooker.
Add rice and mung beans to a cooker.
Cook rice and mung beans by adding water and some salt.
Cook rice and mung beans by adding water and some salt.
Homemade mung bean rice (khara pongal), served with tamarind-jaggery chutney.
Homemade mung bean rice (khara pongal), served with tamarind-jaggery chutney.

Tamarind-Jaggery Chutney Recipe

  1. Soak a fistful of tamarind in warm water for 30 minutes. Press and squeeze to collect the pulp. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons cooking oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Add 2 chopped green chilies. Throw 6-8 curry leaves and 2 pinches of hing powder. Saute for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in a glass of water. Throw in 4-5 tablespoons jaggery powder. Add 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let the mix boil for 6-8 minutes or until the quantity reduces and the mixture thickens. The mixture should reach a sauce/chutney consistency. Turn off the fire.
  4. Check for salt. Keep it less salty because you are going to eat it with mung bean rice, 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 chutney served with mung bean rice (spicy pongal).
Tamarind and jaggery chutney served with mung bean rice (spicy pongal).

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 134
Calories from Fat18
% Daily Value *
Fat 2 g3%
Saturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 24 g8%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 4 g8%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 18 mg1%
* 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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