Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Vegetable Pongal ~ A Pleasing Meal

I admit, I really like saying the word “Pongal”. Try it. Once more, “Pongal”. Isn’t that fun? I knew you would agree. And we love pongal. No sense in denying it, we are pongal worshippers. Rice and moong dal cooked to creamy moist tenderness with ghee inspired countless people to gush, and I am no exception.

As you can imagine, we are always looking for pongal recipes that will excite our finicky tastebuds. Boy, we cooked one today. Pongal with mixed vegetables and cashews, flavored with ginger and ghee. A filling one-pot meal with minimum effort. Sounds superb, doesn’t it? Now imagine that decadent creamy pongal warmly melting in your mouth with each bite. I promise, it really is as good as it sounds. Even better!

Secret is all in the rice. Pick brown/unpolished or parboiled varieties for maximum ruchi and I found that Kerala red rice (or Rosematta rice – an unpolished red rice from India, cultivated since ancient times in Kerala and Tamilnadu regions) is the supreme, healthy choice for this recipe.

Kerala Red Rice+Roasted Yellow Moong Dal, Vegetables, Curry leaves, Ginger and Coriander Leaves


Half cup – Kerala red rice (Rosematta rice)
Half cup – yellow moong dal
Two cups – cut vegetables
Half cup – roasted cashews
Ten curry leaves and few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves
One teaspoon each – cumin, minced ginger, peppercorn, turmeric and salt
Two tablespoons – ghee

Dry roast yellow moong dal to pale brown on low heat, in an iron skillet. Remove, mix with Kerala red rice. Wash gently with water then drain quickly.

Prepare vegetables to bite sized pieces. My choice was – ridge gourd (turai), carrot, red bell pepper, one each and a fistful of fresh corn and peas. For spicy punch, I added 4 green chillies-finely chopped.

When you are ready to cook – heat ghee in a large, heavy-based pan.

Add curry leaves first and then cumin and ginger. Saute to gold color.
Add the cut vegetables, coriander leaves. Saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the Kerala red rice and moong dal.
Add 6 cups of water and 1 cup of milk.
Coarsely crush peppercorn and add along with salt and turmeric.

Mix. Cover and simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

After about 20 to 30 minutes, the grains will be tenderly soft and there will still little bit of liquid (at least half cup) left in the pot. Turn off the heat at this stage and add the roasted cashews. Mix and serve this liquid kanji (ganji) like vegetable pongal immediately.

Vegetable Pongal
Vegetable Pongal ~ Our Afternoon Meal Today

Kerala Red Rice (Rosematta Rice) -Available in Indian grocery shops
Traditional Pongali – Recipe

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd),Biyyamu (Rice),Moong Dal (Washed),Rosematta Rice (Tuesday January 30, 2007 at 1:49 pm- permalink)
Comments (35)

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35 comments for Vegetable Pongal ~ A Pleasing Meal »

  1. I love pongal! This will be really good for my twins too sans peppercorns! I will give this one a shot too.

    Comment by archana — January 30, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

  2. Hi! nice blog and really nice receipts. Love it. I dont know if u cook non- veg or not but i was wondering if u do , do u have any good spicy indian chicken receipt or know any blog or sites i can find one. something that is different not the same old tikka or tandoori masala. thanks

    Comment by Tulan — January 30, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

  3. My sister’s baby girl, 2 year old Haarika, loves this vegetable pongal, Archana. My sister stir-fries the vegetables in liberal amounts of ghee, skips the chillies and peppercorn but keeps the ginger and cumin. I think it is not only tasty but a complete nutritious meal for babies. Also soup like consistency of rice+dal+vegetable preparation makes it easy for children to enjoy.

    Comment by Indira — January 30, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

  4. I do this all the time. My DH expecting having fiber vegetables go into my pongal all the time. yum

    Comment by shu — January 30, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

  5. Hi Indira,

    Adding veggies and using Matta Aari is a great idea. I will defintely try this soon, well tonight.. for dinner! :). Only one question – Did the rice cook in 20 -30 minutes for you ?
    When I cook Matta , usually it takes about 50 minutes to get soft!


    Yes, it did. The rice was tender without any resistance at all. It didnot take more than 30 minutes to become tender.
    Happy cooking and do let me know how you like this recipe. Thanks Soumya.

    Comment by Soumya — January 30, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  6. looks wonderful. i make the simple version, just rice, moong dal, ghee and cashew nuts. got to try your recipe now. thanks!

    Comment by jacob — January 30, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

  7. Looks so yummy!! A very delicious and nutritive way of making pongal, Indira. I usually make the regular version with cashwews,cumin and peppercorn(your earlier post of pongali)…never tried including veggies like carrots etc. Can this also be cooked with Sona Masuri rice?
    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!!

    Comment by Deepu — January 31, 2007 @ 10:02 am

  8. Vegetable pongal looks wonderful. I have never tried putting veggies in my pongal. I will next time. Thanks for the idea. I do add some hing in my ususal pongal prep. Just a hint of extra flavor.

    Comment by Hema — January 31, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  9. Hi Indira – I made this for dinner last night and it was awesome ! I added the same veggies , just bottlegourd instead of Ridgegourd. And the rice did cook in 30 minutes , but I like it more mushy so cooked for additional 10 minutes and the result was creamy , tasty delicacy! I know I will be making this more often now. 🙂

    Thanks Indira!


    Comment by Soumya — January 31, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  10. hi indira
    pongal with veggies…never heard of it really interesting recipe..thanks for sharing..

    Comment by SWAPNA — January 31, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

  11. Nutritious ven pongal Indira. haven’t tried with veggies in pongal though I have heard from my friends its good. thnaks for sharing this wonderful recipe and iam pretty attracted by the picture.

    Comment by prema — February 1, 2007 @ 7:04 am

  12. looks lovely…

    Comment by sandeepa — February 1, 2007 @ 8:38 am

  13. what a coincidence! i wrote about pongal the same day here >

    scroll down to post #25. of course, its a little different than yours.i have never tried it with vegetables cooked in the pongal. my fav sidedish for it is with brinjal gojju.

    Comment by faustianbargain — February 1, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  14. nice recipe and great pictures.

    Comment by bee — February 1, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  15. Hi Indira,I’m a regular visitor to ur blog,but happened to post here for the first time..I love this recipe will definitely try this out this weekend..I think its a good and better Idea to introduce rice and veggies at the same time for my son..Thanks once again for this recipe.Will post u how the dish turned out once I prepare this weekend.

    Comment by padmashekhar — February 1, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

  16. Looking delicious Indira!!! i use to make this in weekends..nice recipe ..thnc for sharing!!!

    Comment by haripriya — February 1, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  17. I have to tell you this, Indira. Last night, I dreamt that you had come to my house (though it didn’t look like mine for some reason) and were in the kitchen cooking. You were shorter than I had imagined you to be and wore a blue saree. The lady from saffronhut.blogspot was also there and I was telling her ‘I can’t believe I’m watching Indira Singari cook. I can’t wait for her to start clicking her photos’. And presently, you start arranging the food and start taking photos of the dishes. Sadly, I woke up before I could taste the food! 🙂

    Comment by ammani — February 2, 2007 @ 1:06 am

  18. Nice recipe Indira. I’m not a big fan of pongal myself, but you make it look so yummy!

    and @ ammani…that is hilarious!!! well, if Indira was cooking (in your kitchen or elsewhere) I would love to be a bystander :). Next time, you have to make sure that you dream long enough to actually eat her food!!


    ps. In case I make an appearance in any future dreams, I am on the short side!

    Indira, sorry to take up comment space, but I just couldn’t resist!

    Comment by Saffron — February 2, 2007 @ 8:11 am

  19. hai indira,
    my name is supraja ..iam from kadapa…hope u r familiar with this place.i have been a silent reader for more than 2 years.i really ur recipes, pics evrything. u r really great.some of the traditional recipes, i cook exactly the same way as u do…

    very good work indira…you really are an inspiration for me. lets be in touch.

    Comment by supraja, Losangeles — February 2, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

  20. i’ve just stumbled across your website while going through kitchen gardens international and i’m just so impressed by your site. thank you, thank you, thank you. as a poor student on a budget, you’ve inspired me with the vegetarian recipes and i’m so glad they’re put up here.. your instructions and your recipes are better than any cookbook i’ve ever owned. except my mom’s :D, but she just never scrawls anything down, it’s always just “throw in the onions, ginger garlic and YOU KNOW the rest beta, i’ve shown you so many times!!”
    wow, i’m going to learn how to bookmark just for this website

    Comment by huda — February 3, 2007 @ 9:18 am

  21. This looks too good, especially since temperatures are sub-zero right now where I am! I must keep an eye out for Rosematta rice. Indira, you are always introducing to new and exciting ingredients.

    Comment by Nupur — February 5, 2007 @ 4:06 am

  22. Hi,
    I have been in and around reading recipes and trying a few…could you please tell me how to make allum (i think ginger is called allum in telgu ) pachadi…i asked this lady whose ginger pickle was so yummy the recipe ,she refused to tell me saying it is a secret,i asked her the name of the pickle an dwith great diffuculty she told me it is allum pickle and that it is an andhra recipe and not a telungana recipe…could you please post the recipe some time ..

    I am new to blogging…just trying it out..

    thank you
    warm wishes


    Comment by nandu — February 6, 2007 @ 8:04 am

  23. Hi Indira.hope you are doing fine,I made the sprouted moong dal dosa and it was awesome,it was so filling and gave me such a great satisfaction of eating healthy food.

    Comment by sumitha — February 8, 2007 @ 1:44 am

  24. Indira,

    I am planning to follow ur recipe of coconut burfi today…i am using one coconut and i was wondering which cup u use for measuring sugar?

    can u please tell me if i can use a coffee mug for measurement? if yes, would 1 mug full be sufficient for one coconut?

    all suggestions are welcome!

    Comment by anonymous — February 8, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  25. i am sorry for my dumb question about the coconut burfi..just realised that u mentioned 2 cups of grated coconut and 1.5 cups of sugar..sorry for any trouble…will try and let u know how it comes out…

    Comment by anonymous — February 8, 2007 @ 9:38 am

  26. Hi Indira
    I tried your Naanini with tofu and stir-fried vegetables and we both loved it. It was delicious. Thank you for sharing it with us. 🙂

    Comment by Mandira — February 8, 2007 @ 10:19 am

  27. Wow Indira,

    This looks delicious. I love pongal, but this doesnt look like pongal to me. But, in Bangalore,CMH road, there is one hotel which serves steamed rice with vegetables, only thing is they use white rice…but the recipe almost looks like yours. I have enjoyed it when I was thr in B’lore…I think I shud try this one too. Thanks for step by step pics n fabulous end result. Now I knew, the pain and the hardwork you took to reach as the nominee for indibloggers event 2006. Wish you good luck!!

    Comment by Anisha — February 14, 2007 @ 4:39 am

  28. Tried this last week, absolutely delicious!

    Comment by Anupama — February 16, 2007 @ 5:27 am

  29. Indira, I made this today. My first time with rosematta rice. Loved the taste of it. Really wonderful recipe Indira.
    My next will be the rosematta idly. Will let you know how it turns out.
    Thanks very much and Happy New Year 2008!

    Comment by Meenakshi — December 21, 2007 @ 3:53 am

  30. Tried this for lunch. Came out very nice. It was not too hot, infact it was mild as i did not add green chilies.
    Anyways a nutritious meal. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by sm — May 4, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  31. Hi Indira,
    I tried kerala red rice veg pongal last night and it felt so nice to eat such a lovely complete meal.Thanks for the recipe. I tried cooking it in pressure cooker and so reduced the water qty too. It was good.yum.

    Comment by Deepti sanesi — July 13, 2010 @ 2:29 am

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