Thursday, January 13, 2011


Ven Pongal & Gothsu
With the advent of Pongal Pandigai (festival), I thought this is the right time to bring you the recipe of one variety of Pongal. Known as Ven Pongal (ven meaning white literally), this is a salted variation and is also made of freshly harvested rice and moong dal (பயத்தம் பருப்பு ). It’s a hot favourite in my family and while I learnt this recipe from my mother, I have added my own inputs and the addition of milk was an idea given by my sister Jayu – resulting in a flavour nearest to the prasadham offered at Tirupati.


Rice – 1 cup
Moong Dal (பயத்தம் பருப்பு) – ¾ cup
Water – 5 cups
Milk – 1 cup
Cashewnuts – 5-10 (broken into pieces)
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

For sauté:

Black pepper corns – 6-8
Powdered black pepper – ½ tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Grated ginger – ½ tsp
Asafoetida (हिंग) (பெருங்காயம்) – 1 pinch


1.    Wash the rice and dal together and keep aside.
2.    Take a pressure pan and heat the ghee in it. Once hot, fry the cashewnut pieces in it.
3.    When the nuts are golden in colour, add all the sauté items and turn them around.
4.    Pour the water, milk and add salt.
5.    Then add the washed rice and dal. Close the pan and let it cook for 3 whistles.

The delicious Ven Pongal is all ready to eat when you open the cooker. It can be served with coconut chutney or Gothsu.

GOTHSU (கொத்சு) is the gravy that can be had along with this.


Tamarind – the size of a lemon
Tomato – 1 (chopped fine)
Onions – 2 (chopped fine)
Green chillies – 2 (cut into twos)
Red chillies – 2 (cut into twos)
Curry leaves – a few
Mustard seeds (राइ) (கடுகு) – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (मेथी) (வெந்தயம்) – ½ tsp
Channa dal – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Chilli powder – ½ tsp (you can use less if not keen on spicy food)
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Besan (चन्ना का आटा) (கடலை மாவு) – 1 tsp


1.    Add water 2-3 times and squeeze the tamarind and filter the extract and keep aside. This should be about 2 cups.
2.    Heat the oil in a saucepan and crackle the mustard seeds in it. Add the fenugreek seeds while they crackle.
3.    Then add the channa dal and fry till golden brown.
4.    Add both types of chillies and curry leaves now.
5.    Turning the mixture, add the chopped onions and fry for a couple of minutes.
6.    Add the turmeric and chilli powder and mix before adding chopped tomatoes and stir well.
7.    Two minutes later, add the tamarind extract to this and let the whole mixture boil for about 7-8 minutes on a slow gas after adding salt.
8.    When the boiling mixture reduces to two-thirds, mix the besan in 3-4 tsp of water and add to the pan while stirring.
9.    The gravy will thicken and get all set to be served in 2 minutes.

This katta and spicy gravy pairs perfectly with the rather bland Ven Pongal.


  1. both recipes are gud,nice combo...Happy pongal to u and ur family...

  2. Thank you Premalatha. Happy Pongal to you and your family too :)

  3. Hi Sundari,

    This recipe was the hit on Pongal Day. Thanks for posting it before the festival, as i could download it in my mobile. (didnt get time to jot it down in the paper).

  4. @Aishwarya,
    I am so glad that you could use this one for Pongal. Planning to put a lot of festival recipes regularly. There will be kozhakkattai and Kali-Kootu for Thiruvaadhirai. You can use them all regularly. :)
    Glad to be of help and thank you for keeping the comments coming.

  5. Mikka nandri.. Sadha sunday pongal,kothsu sunday aanadhu ungal recipe yal.