Indian Ven Pongal

Inspired by Dainty Chefs

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.

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Rice cooker 1


  • 1 cup/250mL Dainty Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup/ 250mL Yellow Lentils
  • 1 tbsp/ 15mL Ghee (clarified butter) or Butter
  • A pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 4 cups/ 1L Water
  • 2 tbsp/ 30mL Canola Oil (or butter)
  • Black Ground Pepper, as desired
  • ¼ tsp/ 5mL Cumin Seeds
  • 5 Curry Leaves (optional)
  • 1-piece Fresh Ginger (approx. 1 inch), minced or grated
  • ¼ cup/ 60mL Cashews (optional)



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!

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