Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pongal (Rice And Lentil Grits) and Spinach Sambar (Spinach with Split Pigeon Peas)

This is one of the most easiest and tastiest meals to make, and also very healthy for you!
Pongal is kind of like Grits, although in North India they make something similar (not the exact recipe) and call it Khichdi.
I always make it in this Vengala Paanai (Bronze Pot in Tamil). The inside of this is coated with Eeyam. This is my mother's pot and the Pongal or anything made in this tastes exceptional. This also retains heat very well and cooks faster.
Allright lets come to the recipe
The measure of Rice to Mung Lentil is 1 is to 3/4th proportion. you may use more or less lentils, how ever you like.
Rice 1 Cup
Split Skinned Mung Bean 3/4th Cup
Cumin Whole 2 to 3 Teaspoons
Black Pepper (coarsely ground) 2 Teaspoons
Cashewnuts Sliced - a handful
Ghee - 3 tablespoons
Water - 4 to 5 Cups
Salt - 2 teaspoons
---> Wash the rice and the lentils and put in the vessel you are going to make and add about 4 cups of water, add the salt and half of the cumins and let it come to aboil, keep stirring it with a wooden spoon so it does not boil over
--->after the rice is about 3/4ths cooked, check to see if the water is enough and add the extra water if needed
---> In a small kadai, add half of the ghee and let it get hot, when it is hot, add the rest of the cumin and all of the black pepper, and pout it in to the the pongal vessel and return the kadai back to the stove
--->add the rest of the ghee to the kadai and add the sliced cashews, and roast it till it gets light brown, be careful not to burn the cashews
--->Pour it over the Pongal and by now the water should all be gone. Check if the rice and the mung bean is cooked, test by taking a spoon of it and put on plate and smash with your finger lightly, it should get smashed, then it means it is done.
Serve hot with Sambar or Chutney or Gothsu!!
Spinach Sambar
This is even more easier than any other sambar, Just follow the same recipe as my Shallot sambar, only use a half pound of frozen spinach and boil in the tamarind water, along with the spices mentioned in the other recipe....
you don't even have to thaw it, just plop it tn the water and do your thing!
I have added a handful of soaked black chick peas to the sambar.
P.S.(I always soak a lot of chick peas once every two weeks and drain the water and store in a Ziploc in the freezer and throw some in my Sambar, or Dal to get the extra protein. If i want to add it to my salad, I just put some in the pressure cooker with some salt and water, and when it is done drain the water and add the water to my Dal or rasam and just the chickpeas to my salad)


Uma said...

mmm. looks so delicious.

Sangeeth said...

my favourite :)