Cooking is one of my passions. I like to make nutritious and tasty foods at home without using preservatives and artificial colors.
What Is Khara Pongal?
In our house, we often make khara pongal, also known as 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 any other chutney or sauce that is sweet or tangy.
A Surefire Hit!
Khara pongal is very easy to make. There is no chance of going wrong when making this yummy dish. If you follow the simple procedures and instructions I share below, your dish will be a hit!
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- 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 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 green chilies
- 1/2 inch ginger, cut in pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon hing (asafetida powder)
- 8 curry leaves
- 1 1/4 tablespoons ghee (or oil or a 50/50 ghee-oil mix)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Add mung beans (moong dal) and rice to a cooker vessel. Wash them together. Add 4 to 5 cups of water and some salt. Cook until soft and a little mushy. Alternatively, you can cook them in a pot, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Add grated coconut, ginger, peppercorns, and green chilies to a mixer/blender. Dry-grind them to get a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Heat the 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 well.
- Add the ground coconut mixture. Saute until you smell a nice aroma. Add in cooked lentil-rice mix. Turn on the fire. Add turmeric powder and some more salt. Mix well.
- If the consistency is too thick, add some water to make it thinner.
- Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes on low fire. Add lemon juice. Check for the taste. Add salt if needed.
- Mung bean rice should have semi-solid consistency.
- Serve it hot with tamarind-jaggery chutney. See below for its recipe.
Tamarind-Jaggery Chutney Recipe
- Fistful of tamarind soaked in warm water
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- mustard seeds
- 2 chopped green chilies
- 6 to 8 curry leaves
- 2 pinches hing powder
- 4 to 5 tablespoons jaggery powder
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Soak a fistful of tamarind in warm water for 30 minutes. Press and squeeze to collect the pulp. Set aside.
- Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Add the green chilies. Throw in the curry leaves and hing powder. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Pour in a glass of water. Throw in the jaggery powder. Add the turmeric powder and salt. Let the mix boil for 6 to 8 minutes or until the quantity reduces and the mixture thickens. The mixture should reach a sauce/chutney consistency. Turn off the fire.
- 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 the two together, you should taste the proper level of salt.
- This chutney is sweet and tangy. For mung bean rice or khara pongal, this sauce is the best combination. Enjoy the taste!
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.