Ven Pongal (Savory Pongal)
A famous south-Indian favorite, it is sometimes served in combination with vada in restaurants, and chutney as side-dish. The sweet pongal version is a festive specialty.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

rice - 1/2 cup
mung beans - 1/2 cup
pepper corns - a few
curry leaves - 1 stalk
clarified butter (ghee) - 2 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
cashews - a few
salt - 3/4 tsp
asafoetida - a pinch
ginger - a small piece (or ginger paste - 1/2 tsp)
pepper powder - 1/2 tsp


Heat a tablespoon of ghee, add cashews, pepper, cumin seeds, curry leaves, ginger and asafoetida and fry till cashews become golden brown. Add washed rice and beans. Fry for a minute, add salt and pressure cook in 4 cups of water until soft (even mushy is fine). Add remaining ghee and pepper powder (freshly ground pepper adds a kick to the recipe!). Mix well and serve hot with chutney.
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