Ven Pongal is a traditional and classic South Indian Breakfast. This simple recipe with dal & rice is a staple in most households. Pair it up with a simple chutney, sambar or gothsu for a fantastic meal experience. On the occasion of the Pongal festival, I am sharing the preparation method in the Instant Pot & Stovetop Pressure Cooker.

Pongal Festival

Pongal is a four-day-long harvest festival celebrated in South India, in the month of “Thai”(January-February). This is the season when crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric etc. are harvested. In Tamil Language, Pongal means “to boil”, and this festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the Sun God for the year’s harvest. Pongal also happens to be the name of the dish consumed during this festive time. This three-day harvest festival is one of the most popular festivals in Tamil Nadu. It typically falls on the 14th or 15th of January.

Instant Pot Pongal

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal is a South Indian staple dish where rice & moong dal are cooked together. A delicious tempering of cashew, pepper, curry leaves, ginger and asafoetida roasted in ghee is added to the rice and dal. The sweet version of this Pongal is called Sweet Pongal or Chakkarai Pongal. The recipe is shared here.

Ven Pongal tastes best with the addition of lots of ghee. That’s typically how we like to have ours. In South India, Temple style Pongal is very famous! I still remember Saibaba temple in Chennai serves one of the best Ven Pongal. The texture is creamy, rich and delicious. It’s as velvety as butter. Every time I make Pongal, I aim at this consistency. This is a comfort, one-pot meal that is perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner. Since Pongal is very filling, we opt to have it as a brunch on a Sunday and sleep all day long. My husband calls this dish a sleeping dose. LOL.

Instant Pot Ven Pongal

When we go to South Indian Restaurants, Pongal Vada is one combination that we never miss having. It’s a match made in heaven and is a great start to the day. It is served along with some delicious Sambar and Chutney which elevates the taste.

Pongal is also made specially on festivals, special occasions and as an offering for God.

Ingredients

Rice – I have used short grain rice / seeraga samba rice in this recipe. Regular Rice, Brown Rice, Millets and Quinoa can be used too.

Moong Dal – Use split Yellow Moong Dal

Ghee – Do not skip ghee for the authentic, creamy Pongal

Cashewnuts – I love picking them up and eating one for every spoon of Pongal.

Peppercorns – This is where the spice comes from.

Ginger – Gives a lovely flavour and little spice.

Curry Leaves – No South Indian Tadka is complete without these.

How to make Ven Pongal in Instant Pot

Wash the rice and dal multiple times. Soak them in enough water for 30 mins. This step is optional but I prefer soaking. If not, just wash and drain the water and add it to the recipe.

Press SAUTE (Normal) on Instant Pot. Add ghee to the Pot.

Once POT becomes hot, add in Cashewnuts. Saute until cashewnuts turn light brown in color.

In the same ghee, add peppercorns, ginger, asafoetida and curry leaves. SAUTE for 30 seconds until the ingredients splutter. Remove and keep it aside.

Next, add the washed, soaked & drained dal and rice. Saute for less than 1 minute till dal becomes aromatic.

Add water, salt and ghee. Then, mix well.

Instant Pot Ven Pongal

Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set timer to 10 minutes.

Wait for PRESSURE to release NATURALLY.

Once the pressure has released, open the lid and mash the dal and rice well.

Add the tadka that we kept aside. Serve hot with Sambar or Chutney.

Instant Pot Ven Pongal

How to make Ven Pongal in Stove Top pressure Cooker

First, wash the rice and dal multiple times. Soak them in enough water for 30 mins. This step is optional but I prefer soaking. If not, just wash and drain the water and add it to the recipe.

Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a pressure cooker and add the washed, soaked and drained dal. Saute the dal for few minutes till dal turns light brown or aromatic. Next, add the soaked and drained rice.

Add water, needed salt, 1 tsp ghee and mix well. Close the lid and put the whistle weight on. Cook for 4 whistles on medium flame. Switch off the flame and wait for pressure to release naturally.

Once the pressure has released, open the lid and mix the rice and dal mixture well. Mash it well.

Now in another pan, add ghee and let it become hot. Once hot, add cashews. Once cashew turns golden brown, keep them aside. To the same pan, add peppercorns, asafoetida, ginger, curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds.

Now, add the tempering and cashews to the Pongal mixture. Mix well.

Serve hot with Sambar or Chutney.

Instant Pot Pongal

Serving Suggestions

Ven Pongal tastes best when served hot. Pongal goes well with Coconut Chutney, Sambar, Brinjal or Vegetable Gothsu.

Tips

The right consistency of Pongal is, it should be mushy but not watery.

I have used standard measuring cups to measure the ingredients. 

Soaking Rice & Dal is optional. 

Ratio is 1 : 3.5 which means, (1/2 cup Rice + 1/2 cup Dal )1 cup : 3.5 Cups Water

If Vegan, you can skip ghee and use oil in its place. But ghee tastes the best for this recipe.

If you feel salt is less after cooking, add a little salt to some warm water, mix well and then add it to the Pongal. Give a good mix and see.

If you do not like having whole peppercorns, slightly crush them and add it to the Ven Pongal.

I have used equal amount of dal and rice in this recipe. Ratio is completely your choice. You can use half dal quantity for 1 cup rice too.

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal tastes best when served hot.

Pongal thickens on cooling. Add some boiling hot water and adjust consistency before serving.

Leftover Pongal can be refrigerated. You can re heat it in a microwave and adjust consistency if needed.

Some people add green chillies, cumin seeds to the Tempering. I do not prefer to but it is your choice.

I have used Seeraga Samba Rice for this recipe. That is what is used traditionally too. Use any other rice or millet of your choice. Water consistency will vary depending on what you use.

Instant Pot Ven Pongal

More One Pot Meal Recipes

Rasam Rice

Sambar Rice

Millet Spinach Pulao

Instant Pot Millet Khichdi

Mint Pulao

Sweet Pongal Recipe

For this Pongal Festival, do try out my Sweet Pongal recipe as well. Have shared both Instant Pot and Stovetop Version.

Recommended Products

INSTANT POT

STOVETOP PRESSURE COOKER

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5 from 2 votes

Ven Pongal Recipe – Instant Pot & Stovetop

Ven Pongal is a traditional and classic South Indian Breakfast. This simple recipe with dal & rice is a staple in most households. Pair it up with a simple chutney, sambar or gothsu for a fantastic meal experience. On the occasion of the Pongal festival, I am sharing the preparation method in the Instant Pot & Stovetop Pressure Cooker.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chakkarai Pongal Recipe, Cooker Pongal, Cooker Ven Pongal, Instant Pot Ven Pongal, Ven Pongal, Ven Pongal Recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Gayathri Vijayakumar

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Rice
  • 1/2 cup Moong Dal
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • Salt as needed
  • 3 & 1/2 cups Water

For Tempering

  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp Ghee
  • 3 tbsp Cashewnuts
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns
  • Curry Leaves Few , chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger Chopped
  • Asafoetida a Pinch

Instructions

To cook Ven Pongal In Instant Pot

  • Wash the rice and dal multiple times. Soak them in enough water for 30 mins. This step is optional but I prefer soaking. If not, just wash and drain the water and add it to the recipe.
  • Press SAUTE (Normal) on Instant Pot. Add ghee to the Pot.
  • Once POT becomes hot, add in Cashewnuts. Saute until cashewnuts turn light brown in color.
  • In the same ghee, add peppercorns, ginger, asafoetida andcurry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds until the ingredients splutter. Remove and keep it aside.
  • Next, add the washed, soaked & drained dal and rice.Saute for less than 1 minute till dal becomes aromatic.
  • Add water, salt and ghee. Then, mix well.
  • Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK(High Pressure) and set timer to 10 minutes.
  • Wait for PRESSURE to release NATURALLY.
  • Once the pressure has released, open the lid and mash the daland rice well.
  • Add the tadka that we kept aside. Serve hot with Sambar orChutney.

To cook Ven Pongal In Stovetop Pressure Cooker

  • First, wash the rice and dal multiple times. Soak them in enough water for 30 mins. This step is optional but I prefer soaking. If not, just wash and drain the water and add it to the recipe.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a pressure cooker and add the washed,soaked and drained dal. Saute the dal for few minutes till dal turns light brown or aromatic. Next, add the soaked and drained rice.
  • Add water, needed salt, 1 tsp ghee and mix well. Close the lid and put the whistle weight on. Cook for 4 whistles on medium flame. Switch off the flame and wait for pressure to release naturally.
  • Now in another pan, add ghee and let it become hot. Once hot,add cashews. Once cashew turns golden brown, keep them aside. To the same pan,add peppercorns, asafoetida, ginger, curry leaves.
  • Saute for 30 seconds. Once the pressure has released,open the lid and mix the rice and dal mixture well. Mash it well.
  • Serve hot with Sambar or Chutney.
  • Now, add the tempering and cashews to the Pongal mixture. Mix well.

Notes

The right consistency of Pongal is, it should be mushy but not watery.
I have used standard measuring cups to measure the ingredients. 
Soaking Rice & Dal is optional. 
The ratio is 1: 3.5 which means, (1/2 cup Rice + 1/2 cup Dal )1 cup: 3.5 Cups Water
If Vegan, you can skip ghee and use oil in its place. But ghee tastes the best for this recipe.
If you feel salt is less after cooking, add a little salt to some warm water, mix well and then add it to the Pongal. Give a good mix and see.
If you do not like having whole peppercorns, slightly crush them and add them to the Ven Pongal.
I have used an equal amount of dal and rice in this recipe. The ratio is completely your choice. You can use half dal quantity for 1 cup rice too.
Ven Pongal tastes best when served hot. 
Pongal thickens on cooling. Add some boiling hot water and adjust consistency before serving.
Leftover Pongal can be refrigerated. You can reheat it in a microwave and adjust consistency if needed.
Some people add green chillies, cumin seeds to the Tempering. I do not prefer to but it is your choice.
I have used Seeraga Samba Rice for this recipe. That is what is used traditionally too. Use any other rice or millet of your choice. Water consistency will vary depending on what you use.