Khara pongal (Indian spiced lentils)

    50 min

    This is a classic celebration dish in south India. You can think of it as a south Indian khichdi (lentils and rice). Split yellow lentils are cooked with rice, cashews, chillies, cumin, mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric and coconut.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 12 raw cashews
    • 2 dried red chillies or crushed chillies to taste
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
    • 10 black peppercorns
    • 1 pinch asafoetida powder
    • 190g split yellow lentils (moong dal)
    • 185g rice
    • 35g desiccated coconut
    • 2 green chillies, chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • Salt to taste
    • 840ml water
    • 30g ghee (clarified butter)
    • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
    • 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Fry the cashews in the hot oil until golden brown; remove from oil and set aside. Fry the red chillies, cumin seed, mustard seed, peppercorns and asafoetida in the hot oil for 2 minutes. Stir the lentils into the mixture and cook another 2 minutes. Add the rice, 35g coconut, green chillies, turmeric, salt and water; stir.
    2. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and bring to 15 pounds of pressure; cook about 35 minutes. Relieve the pressure from the cooker; stir the cashews and ghee into the mixture. Garnish with coriander and 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut to serve.

    Difficult ingredients

    Asafoetida powder and split yellow lentils (moong dal) can be found in most supermarkets and all Indian/South Asian stores. Split yellow lentils (moong dal) can be substituted for yellow split peas.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    Super fluffy and delicious  -  23 Nov 2015


    very good tasty recipe.I make this dish very often as a single meal dish served with roasted papad and curd. Chhaya[cstopre]  -  30 Oct 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    it is very good and healthy.  -  07 Jan 2014  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)