Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tri Millet Pongal - Millet Pongal to celebrate Pongal Festival

Happy Pongal and Sankranthi to all! Pongal is the Indian Harvest Festival. Pongal is celebrated to convey the appreciation and thankfulness to the Sun God as it acts as the primary energy behind agriculture and a good harvest. Both Sweet and savory versions of the dish Pongal is made on this day and is offered to Sun god. The savory version, called ven pongal, is traditionally made with rice, split moong, and seasoned in ghee (clarified butter) with cumin and pepper. The Sweet version called sarkarai pongal is made with rice and dhal mixture sweetened with jaggery and a generous amount of ghee.

Millets can be substituted in place of rice and hence gives an opportunity to cook a wide variety of mouthwatering recipes that are very healthy and nutritious. I made a simple Pongal with three millets - little millet, Kodo, and barnyard millet for the Pongal festival to be thankful for the nutritious grains which give us good health. 

It is great for tiffin or breakfast. Imagine starting a day with this pongal made with millets which gives a continuous energy supply - a great way, of course!

Koda millet, Little millet and Barnyard millet


Serves - 4 people

Barnyard millet - 1/4 cup
Kodo millet - 1/4 cup
Little millet - 1/4 cup
Split yellow moong dhal - 1/4 cup
Water - 1:3 +3/4 cup


Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashews - 10, halved
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/8 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp


Wash the millet and split moong dhal. Add the water.

Close the lid of the pot and simmer it for 15 - 20 min. stirring now and then. Switch off the flame and let it stay as such for another 15 min. The steam helps in complete cooking and a better taste.

 Add salt and mash a little. In another pan, do the seasoning and add it to the millet pongal.

Mix thoroughly and healthy millet pongal tastes great with coconut chutney, gothsu, or south Indian style sambhar.


1. You can make this dish either with one millet or in combination.
2. Pongal is generally made with a generous amount of ghee, I used a nominal quantity, feel free to use a couple more tsp or tbsp if you wish.
3. I cooked straight on the stovetop and hence used 1/2 cup more water. You can add 3 and 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook too. But it cooks so fast, you need not use a pressure cooker.

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