Makara Sankranti is the harvest festival that is celebrated all over India under different names. It is typically a 4 day festival in my home state of Andhra Pradesh. One of the dishes that is made during this festival is Katte Pongali or Ven Pongal. This is a dish that uses moong dal (husked green gram) and rice spiced with cumin and pepper.
Today, I am making Rava Pongal, that is Pongal with Semolina instead of rice. The result is a much lighter dish but one which is just as tasty.
How to Make Rava Pongal
- 1 Cup Rava
- 2/3 Cup Moong Dal or Pesara Pappu
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds, Jeera, or Jeelakarra
- 10 to 12 Peppercorns
- 1 tsp Grated Ginger
- 1 + 1 tbsp Ghee
- 10 to 12 Cashew
- 3 Cups Water
- A Few Curry Leaves Optional
- Salt to Taste
- Over a medium flame, dry roast the Rava till it just starts to change colour.
- Spread in a plate to cool.
- Split the cashews and set aside.
- Crush the pepper corns a bit and set aside.
- Wash the moong dal.
- Pressure cook the dal in 2 cups of water for 3-4 whistles.
- Mash the dal.
- Set aside.
- In a kadai, heat 1 tbsp ghee.
- Add the split cashews and fry till they start to change colour.
- Add the cumin seeds and wait till they change colour.
- Add the pepper, grated ginger and curry leaves.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the water and salt. The water should just taste salty; like tears as my mom used to say. 🙂
- Wait till the water starts to boil.
- Turn the heat to low.
- Add the roasted rava slowly.
- Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
- Let the rava cook in water for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked moong dal.
- Mix well.
- Add more salt if required.
- Let the Rava Pongal cook over low flame till it is solid.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add 1 tbsp ghee and mix well.
- Serve hot with Coconut Chutney.
You could add a pinch of turmeric, if required.