Pongal has always been my most favourite breakfast item at any south indian restaurant. Normally the pedigree of the restaurant can be measured by just tasting their “Venn Pongal”. Venn Pongal literally translated means Pongal thats white in colour and is differentiated from its sweetened variety “Chakkarai Pongal” which incidentally is the main offering for many festivals. Pongal served on a green banana leaf, dolloped with ghee, served with Hotel Sambar and Coconut Chutney is the staple breakfast in many homes. These days with the mounting concern on the amount of carbs that we intake I was always looking at an alternate to this dish. I did try it with brown rice, but as per the quality of brown rice itself, its very difficult to cook it until it turns mushy. Oats on the other hand holds its own form and taste and yet can get mushy and provide a lot of body to the dish. I must say I never actually missed the rice at all! Try out this healthy alternative to refined white rice and enjoy the taste!!
1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats. (The Quick Cooking Variety will get mushy too fast!)
3/4 Cup Moong Dal.
1- 1 1/2 Cups Water.
1 1/2 Tsp Jeera.
1 1/2 Tsp Pepper.
1 Tbsp Ginger sliced to thin pieces.
6-7 Cashews sliced.
Milk to loosen the pongal if needed.
- In the cooker vessel, add the 3/4 cup of moong dal, give it a quick wash and then add a little turmeric powder. Cook until mushy. Smoosh it well with the back of a ladle and set aside.
- In a kadai, add the measured oats and 1 – 1 1/2 cups of water, salt and allow to cook on a medium low flame. When the oats uses up all the water and get cooked in it, add the cooked mushy moong dal.
- Adjust salt and stir briskly on low flame.
- In a seasoning kadai, add 2 tsp of ghee, powdered jeera, roughly crushed black pepper and ginger and allow it to fry well in the ghee.
- Finally pop in the cashew nuts and curry leaves and pour over the oats pongal.
- If you feel the consistency is too thick, add 1/4 cup of milk to loosen it.
- Serve hot with Hotel Sambar.