Thinai Kara Pongal- onepot foxtail millet recipe

My ven pongal recipe is pretty much learnt from my mother in law. She makes a creamy venpongal for breakfast and serves it with jaggery.  The reason why I still call hers venpongal and mine as Kara pongal is because there is a small change in the tempering ingredients which to my taste makes  a big change.
Once I realised the pongal is the easiest  one pot recipe I can do… And pretty much balanced with carbs and protein… There were umpty  number of experiments with grains and lentils.  Some I call as khichdi, and some as kara pongal
Though the pongal is a perfect breakfast item with respect to me…. It kind of raises a few eyebrows in my house and a few more… “I am too sleepy,  so don’t want to eat. ” The same if served  for lunch with a big bowl of sambhar and this problem totally vanishes. So why not.  It perfectly makes a happy day for me
I love this easy pressure cooked version as it quick and one pot to prepare.  The additional handful of the lentils added is always welcome.
While cooking Kara pongal,  I pretty much reduce the quantity of ghee that goes into the pressure pan and the tempering.. Coz its quite heavy as a dish with loads of ghee.. Though in the days we return from a hike I allow the kids an extra dollop of ghee on it.. Here I would like to say,  the taste does alter  a big much if you reduce on the ghee.

Thinai arisi


Thinai arisi

In this version I have used thinai, kangi, navane, thina or fox tail millet.  Slightly yellow in colour thinai arisi  is easily digestible and helps in control of cholesterol an triglyceride levels in the body.
Though considered a grain this is actually a seed..and that follows more benefits.  Being gluten free,  and diabetic friendly the use of thinai  in this recipe makes it a good meal for people with coeliac  disease. As a millet it is rich in vitamins and minerals too.
So now loaded with information let’s move on to the recipe.
This recipe can be prepared using,  white rice,  brown rice, kodo millet (varagu  arisi) or Barnyard millet (kuthiravalli) or little millet (saamai  arisi) too. So go on with this beautiful traditional age old recipe and enjoy.
Sharing the recipe for the venpongal as I learnt from my mother in law
A couple more millet recipes are here too

Thinai Kara Pongal

one pot foxtail millet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine Baby toddler food, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Karnataka, Kids choice, One pot, Pressure cooker, South indian, Summer, tamilnadu, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people


Main ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Foxtail millet hulled
  • 1/2 cup Green gram dal skinned
  • 5 cups drinking water

For tempering

  • 2 tbsp ghee / clarified butter ( use coconut oil for a vegan version)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp cashew nuts
  • salt to taste


  • Set the pressure cooker to heat gently.
  • Add the green gram dal and roast gently till it acquires a beautiful aroma.
  • Add in the fox tail millet stir and add the water
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles
  • Meanwhile in a small pan, add the ghee , cumin, crushed black pepper, curry leaves and cashew nuts and roast till the cashew nuts turn golden.
  • Add in the asafoetida. Remove from heat.
  • once the pressure is released, open and add the tempering and steam. Mix well, check salt.
  • Serve with sambhar or chutney


Change the millets to kodo millet, little millet or barnyard millet depending on the availability with the same recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
0 0 votes

Subscribe & Follow

You Might Also Like

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

This looks like a delicious healthy breakfast. Is it taste similar to upma?

6 years ago

Super healthy… Simple and soulful dish… Beautiful clicks

6 years ago

Love your healthy twist to traditional pongal. Using millets sounds delicious and nutritious.

6 years ago

This is a healthy breakfast. I like to prepare this as it is the easiest one.

Nivedita Thadani
6 years ago

Hi, millets are very much regular in my house. I replace the millets for any rice recipes. Navane Pongal is my favourite. Will try your method soon. By the way, my family hates if I serve it saying Pongal and they live it if I serve it calling kichdi. What’s there in name right?

6 years ago

Delicious and healthy.

6 years ago

Looks really good. And so healthy too. One pot meals are definitely a lifesavor.

6 years ago

I was amazed with u r menu’s.

Mayuri Patel
6 years ago

One of my favorite khichdis… I love to make it for dinner as a light meal option.

Priya Suresh
6 years ago

Excellent thinai pongal, would love to kick start my day with this beautiful dish.

Poonam Bachhav
6 years ago

Healthy feast !

Sapana Behl
Sapana Behl
6 years ago

I too love foxtaIl millet pongal. Healthy and tasty.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x