Millet Pongal

 Rice is and has been the staple food for many years for most Asians.
Studies are revealing that Rice is increasingly becoming a great risk for Type 2 diabetes – especially White Rice, which has a very high Glycemic Index (GI)
Again, studies show, consuming brown rice or basmati rice has a lower GI than White Rice

The Rice eating population is slowly but surely shifting to other grains and pulses – One of the highly nutritious healthy grain is the Millet
Millets are highly recommended as they are rich in fitbre and have low Glycemic  Index (GI)
Millets can easily  be added to a high protein grain list – It also helps maintain the cholesterol in the body and regulates blood pressure .

This quick and easy recipe where Millet has been substituted instead of Rice is very delicious and light on the stomach

There are various types of millets – the Barnyard (Kuthiraivali) and Fox tail (Thinai in Tamil)
Ragi (Kevaru – in colloquial tamil) being the most popular!

Ven Pongal is a very popular and traditional South Indian dish prepared with Rice and Yellow Moong Dal – This recipe is prepared by Barnyard Millet
We have substituted the Rice with Millet in this recipe – Millets are available in Indian Grocery stores

It is a popular, quick  dish to prepare and the millet makes it lighter and  easier on the stomach than Rice!

Ingredients to serve 8 people

½  Cup  Millet
1/3  Cup Yellow Moong Dal
2 Cups Water
1 Tbs Cumin Seeds (freshly powdered)
1 Tbs  Black Peppercorn (freshly powdered)
2 Tbs Ghee (Optional)
1-2 Tsp. Salt

For Seasoning

2-3 Tbs. Oil
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Black Peppercorn
1-2 Green Chillies
½ inch piece Ginger
1 Tbs. Chopped Cashew nuts (Optional)
Few  Curry Leaves


Dry roast one tablespoon each of the cumin seeds and black peppercorn together in a pan, make it into a slighly coarse powder and keep aside.
Wash the millet and dal thoroughly and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles
OR cook it with the water directly on the stove on a medium flame till it softens

Heat the oil in a pan and add the cashew nuts, cumin seeds, black peppercorn, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves
Fry  it till the cashew nuts turn golden brown.
Add the salt to the Millet and Dal
Mix it thoroughly
Pour it into the seasoning mix
Reduce the flame and stir the mixture through for about  4-5 minutes
(Add half to one cup of hot water if required and stir the pongal to make it into a semi solid consistency)
Add the powdered cumin seeds and black peppercorn and mix it thoroughly.
If you are adding ghee, add and serve it when it is hot

Note:  The Pongal  tastes delicious with Coconut Chutney, Gothsu, Sambhar and any Kozhambu

My preference is to cook the millet and dal earlier but prepare the pongal with the seasoning, just 10 minutes before it is served as it tends to solidify fairly quickly.
The Pongal still tastes traditional and delicious even if it was not made with Rice and it is also a healthy guilt free option to be enjoyed by family and friends!!