Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pongal-Sambar: A South Indian breakfast

Pongal and sambar has been a favourite at our home since my childhood. My mother makes a kind of sambar that equals hotel sambar(that we get in our native city) in taste. The best part of this sambar is that it does not require any seasoning and it is oil free..Can you believe it!!!Yet it just tastes great and truly mouth watering.

Yes, we need to add around 3 tbsps of ghee and oil to make the pongal. But considering the fact that the pongal that is made with the above said quantity of oil and ghee serves 7 adults, I think its OK.

So here is the recipe for one of the most famous South Indian breakfasts.

Ingredients for pongal that serves 7 adults

Rice: 450 gms Moong dal: 150 gms Water: 1/2 cup more water for every cup of rice that we use generally to cook rice. Pepper: 1 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds: 1 tsp Refined Oil: 3 tbsp Ghee: 3 tbsp Cashew: 2 tbsp Salt to taste

1. Coarsely grind pepper and cumin together. 2. Wash rice and moong dal and pressure cook. Allow 4 whistles. 3. Fry cashew in a tbsp of ghee. 4. After frying cashew, in the remaining ghee, fry cumin and pepper powder.(just for 30 seconds)If ghee is not enough to grind the powder, add some more. 5. Remove rice from pressure cooker. 6. Add oil, remaining ghee, salt, fried powder and cashew to the cooked rice and mix well.

"Breakfasty" Pongal is ready

Note: As per cup measurements, for 1 cup of rice, 1/4th cup of moong dal has to be taken.

Ingredients for sambar

Tuvar Dal: 150 gms Mixed vegetables: 250 gms(can use onion, carrots, pumpkin, tomato, brinjal etc) Tamarind: 10 gms Sambar powder: 1/2 tsp(I use MTR sambar powder) Masala powder: 1/4th tsp(I use MTR masala powder) Besan/gram flour: 1 tbsp Salt to taste

1. Cook the vegetables and tuvar dal(I generally pressure cook by putting vegetables in one vessel and tuvar dal in the other one and allowing 2 whistles) 2. Soak tamarind in hot water. Once it is bit cooled, extract juice from tamarind. 3. In a pan/kadai, add the cooked vegetables.(If there is water left in the vegetables after cooking, add that too in the pan.) 4. Add tamarind juice, salt and sambar powder and allow it to boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes off.(around 10 to 15 minutes) 5. Mash boiled tuvar dal with the back of a ladle. If it is very thick add some water. 6. Pour the tuvar dal mixture in the pan and allow it to boil.(around 5 minutes) The sambar can be of thin consistency at this point of time. 7. In a small bowl, mix besan with a tablespoon of sambar and pour back into the pan. 8. Mix well and allow to boil for 2 minutes. 9. Add garam masala, mix well and put off the stove.

Oil free tasty sambar is ready.

Note: This sambar is generally eaten with pongal, idli or vada. To eat with rice, generally this sambar is made.


  1. Wow dear

    Great recipe and nice presentation.
    Nice recipe for the sambar(without oil)... Great work ...

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    Preethi's Culinary

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    chakkara pongal recipe


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