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Family recipe for kovil pongal

Mami's kovil pongal.

gluten-free, one-pot rice and lentil recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine Autumn, Baby toddler food, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Karnataka, Kerala, Kids choice, One pot, South indian, Spring, tamilnadu, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 6 people


for cooking together.

  • 1 cup Raw rice preferably new harvest short grain rice
  • 1/4 cup Moong dal split green gram, cherupayar,pasiparippu
  • 1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 6-8 cups drinking water

for tempering and garnishing.

  • 2 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Black pepper crush if preffered.
  • 8-10 cashewnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut desicatted coconut does not work, use freshly grated or frozen.


  • Wash the rice and moong dal to remove any impurities and set aside.
  • Add this to a large cooking pot ( I used a stockpot), add salt, turmeric powder, and ghee and mix well.
  • Add 6 cups of water and bring this to a boil.
  • Stir the mix around often so that it doesn't catch the bottom.
  • As the rice and lentil boil and the frothy mix rises up it is called pongal. Bring the heat to a medium and continue with the cooking.
  • if most of the water looks absorbed quicker add the reserved two cups of water as necessary and cook further till the grain and lentil are cooked to an easy mashable consistency.
  • Once well cooked, remove from heat and proceed with the tempering.
  • In a small pan add the ghee and cumin seeds.
  • As they sizzle add the black pepper and cashew nuts and roast till cashews are golden.
  • Add this mix to the cooked rice and lentil and also add the freshly grated coconut.
  • Stir all these together and Pongal is ready to serve
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