Sunday, July 17, 2016

Saamai Ven Pongal - Little Millet with Lentils - One Pot Meal

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We have been hit by a heat wave the last couple of weeks and staying indoors seems to be the most prudent thing to do. While staying indoors we are naturally attracted to the TV but switching on the TV brings with it its own set of problems.

If you look at it, there are ways to beat the heat and in a way it is bearable, what is unbearable is the bad news that each day seems to bring that is intolerable. Anyway we all have to eat and cooking is something that can take your mind off of the events going on around of which we have no control any way.

Every now and then I sit back and think about the amount of rice we consume and wonder how I can change that trend. Millets provide one easy alternative. Tasty and pretty easy to cook as long as you have a good recipe that millets work well in. Little Millet or Saamai as it is called in Tamil is conducive to making this recipe with moong dal. Saamai savory pongal is a one pot meal with lentils and spiced with ginger, pepper and green chilies and seasoned with nuts.

One good thing about this pongal is that you do not have to worry about the amount of water, the more the water the better the texture seems to get.

Saamai Ven Pongal - Little Millet with Lentils
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time:30 minutes
  1. 2 cups of saamai or little millet
  2. 1 cup of moong dal (no need to roast)
  3. 3-4 green chilies (chop or mince fine)
  4. 1 tbsp grated ginger (preferably freshly ground)
  5. 2 tsp pepper powder
  6. 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
  7. 2 tbsp roasted cashews
  8. salt to taste
  9. 2-3 tsp ghee (use any oil for Vegan)
  10. seasonings: mustard seeds and curry leaves

  1. Wash the millet till the water runs clear.
  2. In a pressure heat the oil or the ghee and add the seasonings mustard seeds followed by the curry leaves.
  3. Add in the green chilies and grated ginger and saute for a few minutes. Add in the pepper and cumin powders.
  4. Add the washed millet and moong dal. For one cup of millet add 3 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of water for every cup of dal.
  5. Check for salt. When the water comes to boil close the lid and cook for 4 whistles.
  6. Roast the cashews in ghee or oil.
  7. Once the cooker cools naturally, open the lid mix the rice gently and add the roasted cashews.
Serve with coconut or any spicy chutney.

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