A common breakfast dish in Tamil Nadu, Ven Pongal is traditionally prepared during the Pongal Festival (harvest). This savory dish is deliciously fragrant with a buttery texture.
In a frying pan over medium heat, toast the rice and lentils until fragrant (approx. 4 mins).
Place in the rice cooker; the rice, lentils, 1 tbsp. ghee/butter, salt, and water. Cook.
Once cooked, stir and mash into a fine paste, with a fork or electric mixer.
While rice and lentil blend is cooking, toast the cashew nuts in a small pan until fragrant, set aside for garnish.
Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the pepper and cumin seeds, until the seeds start to pop (2-3 minutes). Immediately add the curry leaves, ginger. Stir the cumin mixture into the rice and lentil mixture and gently fold in. Season with salt.
Note: using a medium grain rice such as Dainty Short, will also create the perfect Ven Pongal consistency without even the need for mashing!