Khara pongal or ghee pongal made in restaurant/ hotel style with whole black pepper, cumin, green chilli, ginger and cashew nuts. Flavoured with asafoetida and curry leaves.
Mom makes pongal this way only from the day I know. I love both ven pongal and this version of pongal made with turmeric. Most of the hotels serve this type of pongal. That is they cook pepper, cumin and all together.
In hotels and in some households, they add half vanaspati or oil too, which gives a unique flavour that I like. But usually in our family, elders call it cheap to add vanaspati or oil and shout if the ladies adulterate the ghee pongal with oil or vanaspati. Somehow I love the flavour a lot.
In pongal, the texture is so important which I always struggle to get it right. I keep wondering why my pongal turn out dry instead of the moist juicy pongal. Then realised if dal is added more, it turns out dry. The rice also plays a main role, new rice variety doesn’t require much water while aged rice will take up more water.
So to troubleshoot, keep a cup of boiling water ready when you open the cooker and you can easily fix a dry pongal.
Check out this easy pongal gotsu with brinjal
Step by step method
- Heat a pressure cooker with ghee. Pop black pepper and in low flame, add cumin, cashew nuts, green chilli, ginger, curry leaves, asafoetida in order.
- Roast well. Add washed rice and dal and roast for a minute.
- Add water, salt and turmeric.
- Bring to boil. Close the lid and pressure cook for just 1 whistle in medium flame.
- Let the pressure release by itself and open the cooker immediately to mash it well.