Recipe for Quinoa Pongal | Quinoa made South Indian Style – with mung dal
Fair warning, I have already featured a Quinoa Sambar Sadham – another quinoa and lentil dish livened up with South Indian spices.
For the uninitiated, pongal (also called ven pongal) is the South Indian version of the Khichdi (khichari) (or Khichdi is the North Indian version of pongal, however you choose to look at it) in which rice is combined with a lentil and cooked until mushy, with or without extra spices, vegetables, meat etc.
Think of this recipe as an Ayurvedic Khichdi, but made with quinoa instead of rice. You can also add turmeric for a bright yellow hue as well as an earthy flavour. In the traditional pongal recipe, there are no added vegetables, and the only spices used are cumin and black pepper. Fresh ginger and curry leaves add to the flavour.
We also make a sweet version of this pongal, in which jaggery is used as the sweetener.
A good (ven) pongal needs to abide by a few rules.
Consistency- Neither too watery and definitely not gluggy
Seasoning – It needs to be seasoned to perfection. With just two main ingredients ie. rice (or in this case, quinoa) and moong dal, seasoning is everything.
Tempering – And of course the tempering / topping needs to be toasted to perfection – spices bloomed and cashews turning golden.
Why Quinoa Pongal?
I did it for a practical reason keeping home economics in mind. We had stocked up on some quinoa (in the fridge, of course) and these months in Bangalore have turned into the most scorching summer. Every item of grocery which is not in the fridge is running the risk of being attacked by worms and devoured to a powder within a couple of weeks. As a result, I am trying to use up the groceries stocked in the fridge to free up the precious real estate for more fresh stuff.
The good thing is that the Quinoa Pongal turned out as good as the original version if not better, which is why I am subjecting you to this recipe here 🙂 It is naturally gluten free. Not vegan though by a long shot because of that little dollop of delicious ghee that goes into it. You do have a shot at making it vegan by using coconut oil, which also lends a great aroma to the dish.
Have this quinoa pongal for a hearty breakfast along with coconut chutney.
For lunch, eat it with a more substantial side like the eggplant onion tomato gothsu (A tamil tamarind based curry) the recipe of which I shall be sharing soon. Meanwhile, check out this roasted eggplant gothsu recipe.
I use the pressure pan to prepare the quinoa pongal. You can also use the stove top boiling method (takes WAY more time) or make it in the Instant Pot.
Don’t miss these quinoa recipes on my blog:
- Tandoori Cauliflower Hummus with Crispy Quinoa
- Skinny 5 Ingredient Salad
- Avocado Quinoa Salad
- Summer Perfect Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Sabudana Khichdi made healthy using Quinoa
A couple more salad ideas for you–
— Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) January 12, 2018
— Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) March 17, 2017
So are you ready to make this dish with me?
This post might contain some affiliate links for your convenience, at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
To get all my latest recipes and news straight into your mailbox, subscribe to my mailing list here and get a FREE copy of my e-book specially put together for you – The Ultimate Salad Master Table that will have you making salads like a pro HERE