Khara pongal is a savoury porridge-like dish that is traditionally prepared in South India for the Makar Sankranti festival that heralds the arrival of summer. The sweet pongal variety differs only in the spices added, and the two are often cooked together from the same batch of rice and dhal.
- 1/2 cup white rice
- 1/2 cup moong dhal
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup chopped cashew nuts
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 green chillies, split lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or substitute butter)
- 1/2 tablespoon mustard seed
- salt to taste
- Cook the rice and dhal together with turmeric powder in a pot or pressure cooker until mushy.
- Heat a little ghee in a large pan and brown the cashew nuts. Remove them from the pan.
- Add the rest of the ghee and the oil and heat.
- Throw in all of the spices, starting with the mustard seed and finishing with the cashew nuts.
- Mix in the rice and dhal, warming through. If it is too thick, add a little water.
- Add salt and extra ghee to taste.
It will be very tasty if you add some grated coconut at the end.