pongal

7th December 2017

This is a dish I make after the Wednesday morning Yoga class when Lior is away as he usually prepares the Ayurveda meal for that day. It is much appreciated and is a wonderfully, soothing warm first meal. Pongal is favourable for all seasons, especially in the cooler months.  I serve it with tamarind gojju, steamed greens and seasonal fruits.

~A wintering garden

pongal

Serves 4 – 6

If wanting to make this a simple, cleansing first meal after a day of fasting omit the cashew nuts. Use only white rice as any other whole rice will change the overall flavour. 

ingredients :

1 cup/180g white basmati 

1 cup/200g moong dal, split

10 cups water

2¼ flat tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/85g dried shredded coconut

¼ cup finely chopped coriander

voggarane :

½ cup melted ghee

1 heaped tsp whole black peppercorns

10 pieces raw cashews nuts

1½ tsp heaped cumin seeds

¼ heaped tsp turmeric powder

¼ flat tsp asafoetida powder

20 fresh curry leaves

preparation:

In a heavy saucepan, wash dal several times until water runs clear – then drain.

Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to boil on a high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.)  You may need to skim off any foam which accumulates at the top at the beginning of boiling. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes. May need to add more water, depending on the preferred consistency of your Pongal.

While waiting for the rice and dal to cook, roughly grind peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and break the cashew nuts in half and half again. Measure remaining spices for the voggarane and chop the fresh coriander.  Set aside.

When the rice and dal have softened sufficiently, turn off heat and stir in salt, dried coconut and fresh coriander. Prepare the voggarane.

Voggarane :

Heat a small pan/bandalei over medium-heat, then add the ghee and roughly ground peppercorns and cashew pieces. Stir once, then allow the ghee to heat and the peppercorns to fry and cashews to turn golden – approximately 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and quickly add cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves – in this order. Allow to fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around, allowing spices to fry evenly.

Pour the voggarane into the rice and dal mixture, mixing well.  You may need to swish the pan out with a little hot water to get all the remaining spices. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to be absorbed before serving. Enjoy as is with a spoon of ghee or my prefered way of serving Pongal is with a tamarind gojju and lightly steamed greens. 

Goodness shared by Stacey

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