Kara Pongal (Spicy Pongal)


  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ¼ cup mung beans (split lentils)
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil (canola preferable since it does not have any smell)
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard seed
  • ¼ teaspoons black pepper
  • Small piece of ginger
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 dried red chilies broken into 2 pieces
  • Curry leaves
  • Pinch of asafoetida (Hindi: hing, Tamil: Perungayam)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash rice and  lentil
  • In a saucepan bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil
  • Add rice and lentil to the saucepan and add a pinch of salt
  • Cook until rice is well done
  • If needed add hot water (I added extra 1 cup of water)
  • Now add milk and cook for a minute or two
  • Cover and set aside
  • Chop ginger into fine pieces and chop green chilies into small pieces
  • Add oil to a skillet and add mustard seeds and black pepper
  • Once mustard seed start splattering add ginger and green chilies
  • Fry for about 3 minutes
  • Now add curry leaves and dried red chilies and fry for another minute
  • Add asafoetida and mix well and add this fried mixture to the pongal and mix well
  • Add 2 teaspoons ghee and mix well
  • Serves: 2

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