Most of the recipes that I write are the ones that I learnt from my mother or would have been inspired by her cooking. Pongal is different though. My Parents left for Lucknow on Monday and one of the dishes that she wanted to eat before leaving was Pongal. It may sound strange but I enjoy eating north Indian Khichdi and when I first discovered Pongal which is South Indian version of Khichdi, I loved it. Pongal is a classic example of how a small change in style of cooking can make a huge difference to taste.
Both Khichdi and Pongal are very similar. For Both of them dal and rice are cooked together and then tempered. The difference is that for Pongal, dal is first roasted which gives Pongal a very earthy flavour. Curry leaves are a must in Pongal like any other south indian dish , which is not the case for Khichdi. Pongal is mostly served for breakfast while khichdi is mostly served for lunch/dinner. Khichdi is also considered to be a light meal and it is mostly made as a light meal for those who are not well, unlike Pongal which is loaded with ghee and Cashew nuts.
Even though I have lived in South India for more than 8 years I still cannot think of making rice for breakfast (unless it is leftover rice from the previous night). So, I make Pongal for Lunch or Dinner. Pongal is again a nutritious one pot meal that can be easily made even by those who have applied for learner’s licence to enter the kitchen.
I would love to hear from you on how the recipe turned out for you, please leave a comment and rate it.