Comfort food!! – traditional pongal made with rice. I had tasted this ‘lighter’ version at a friend’s house, and liked how the quinoa didn’t bring on carb-coma. Simple & quick, typically a breakfast dish, it was a hit at dinner last night (and husband ate the last bit for breakfast this morning). It tastes delicious with a simple coconut chutney. I remember seeing a recipe for the rice version online, and the author called it “rice and lentil risotto’ 🙂).
I hate to start cooking first thing in the morning, and try to keep things atleast half-prepared / prepped, so I can enjoy my morning tea without rushing to get breakfast on the table. Besides pancakes, muffins, etc., I keep a batch of homemade “Instant Upma” and “Instant Pongal” handy. Check out these recipes and see how easy they are to make.
Savory Quinoa Pongal
(Makes 5 one-cup servings)
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 cup yellow split moong dal
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups water
- 2 tsp ghee or oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp peppercorn
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1 small sprig curry leaves
- 1-2 whole red chillies (optional)
1) On medium flame, dry roast the moong dal for a few minutes, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes. Do not brown. Pour into a pressure cooker pan.
2) Add rinsed and drained quinoa, ginger, water and salt. Stir well.
3) Cook on medium-high flame till the pressure cooker whistles thrice. Let it sit for a few minutes so the pressure is released and the lid can be opened.
4) Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the ghee / oil.
5) Add pepper & cumin seeds and allow to pop. (Add chilli if using, and roast few seconds).
6) Add the curry leaves and cover partially with a lid. The moisture in the leaves will make them crackle and pop, and it might splatter out.
7) Add cashews and roast till light golden in color.
8) Add this seasoning to the quinoa & dal mixture and mix well. Serve hot topped with ghee and a side of coconut chutney.
NOTE: To make the traditional version of pongal, substitute quinoa with white rice.
If you do not have a pressure cooker, add the first 5 ingredients in a pan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a rolling boil uncovered. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cook covered for about 25-30 minutes till the quinoa / rice and dal is soft. Add another 1/2 cup water in the end if needed and cook few minutes. Mix in the seasoning and serve.