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Kodo Millet Khara Pongal Recipe

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Kodo millet khara pongal

Kodo millet khara pongal

Pongal is a South Indian harvest festival as well as a popular South Indian rice and lentil dish that can be prepared two different ways: sweet and savoury. The recipe I am sharing with you today is for the spicy and savoury pongal.

Pongal is traditionally prepared for the Sankranti festival. Typically, it is a breakfast dish, though it can also be served for lunch or dinner.

Usually, pongal is made with rice but I am using kodo millet, instead. This lowers the glycemic index of the dish, which makes it healthier than the rice version.

Do try it and share your experience.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

8 hours

40 min

8 hours 40 min

3-4 servings


  • 1 cup/200 grams kodra (kodo millet), washed once and soaked in 4 cups of water for 8 hours
  • 1/4 cup/50 grams moong dal (yellow lentils), washed and soaked in just enough water to cover the dal
  • 2 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp heeng (asafoetida powder)
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 green chillies, cut into two and split in half
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 15-20 kadhi patta (curry leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sendha namak (rock salt), or to taste
  • 2-3 tsp hara dhania (cilantro)
  • 1 cup water, or as needed


  1. Dry-roast the kodo millet until it becomes aromatic, about 2 minutes, on low heat stirring constantly. Transfer it to a plate and let it cool completely.
  2. Dry-roast the moong dal similarly until aromatic and it slightly changes in colour. Transfer it to a plate and let it cool down completely.
  3. Soak both the roasted ingredients separately as explained in the ingredients list.
  4. Keep a wok on low heat and put in the desi ghee. Let it melt then add in the rai and jeera. Stir until they crackle.
  5. Add the heeng, ginger paste and green chillies. Mix well; then add the black pepper powder and curry leaves. Stir a few times. Add the turmeric powder and stir-roast for 1 minute.
  6. Add the soaked kodo millet along with the water and the soaked dal without the soaking water. Raise the heat to medium-high, add in the salt and let the water come to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, add the cilantro, stir a few times and cover with a lid. Cook until the millet and dal are cooked soft (about 20 minutes). Add more water if needed (I added 1 cup).
  8. Add some more cilantro, mix well and transfer the khara pongal to a serving dish. Garnish with a few teaspoons of desi ghee.
  9. Serve with dahi (yoghurt) or pickle.

Kodo Millet Khara Pongal Recipe

© 2021 Rajan Singh Jolly