Pongal with a twist

Pongal with a twist

Here are some easy-to-try recipes, with a twist, that will make you feel nostalgic and indulge in festive fervour, writes Vijaylakshmi Reddy


Sankranthi and ‘pongal’ are synonymous and the festival is incomplete without this traditional food. Apart from the sweet and ‘khara pongal’, traditional curries, ‘palya’ and ‘chikki’, come to your mind instantly. Here are some easy-to-try recipes, with a twist, that will make you feel nostalgic and indulge in festive fervour, writes Vijaylakshmi Reddy


Navane (Foxtail)
Khara Pongal


Moong dal : ½ cup 

Navane ½ cup soaked for 2 hours

Ginger 1” chopped

Green chillies chopped : 4

Oil : 4 tbsp

Ghee : 1tbsp

Cashew : 25 gms (fried in ghee) 

Copra : ¼ cup

(To roast and powder) Black pepper whole : 1 tsp; Cumin seeds : 1 tsp

Seasoning mustard seeds little

Curry leaves & Salt

Whole red chillies : 2

Few pepper corns

Few cumin seeds

Method: Pressure cook navane, moong dal, green chillies, and ginger with salt and three cups of water for three whistles and cool. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add seasoning ingredients and a pinch of hing. Add to the pongal, add fried cashew copra and mix well.

Sweet Navane Pongal


Navane rice : ½ cup (soaked for two hours),

Moong dal : ½ cup (roasted in 1 tbsp ghee)

Cardamom powder : ½ tsp

Pacha karpoora : pinch

Ghee : ½ cup

Cloves : 2

Cashew and raisins: 50 gms (fried in ghee)

Milk : 1 cup & Copra :½ cup

Method: Heat one tablespoon ghee in a cooker and add drained navane. Fry it for two minutes, add milk, two cups of water, cloves, pacha karpoora, ¼ cup ghee and pressure cook for two whistles. Cool it post this.  Take ¾th cup powdered jaggery in a pan and add two tbsp water and boil strain. Add jaggery syrup to the cooked pongal and cook well. If it’s too thick, add more milk. Lastly, add cashew, raisins and copra in the remaining ghee & cook.

Field beans curry


Field beans de-husked : ¼ kg

Onion : 1 chopped

Black brinjal : 3 cut into big pieces

Tomato : 2 chopped

Oil : 2 tbsp

For paste: coconut ½ cup,

Ginger :1” piece

Garlic :6 flakes

Cloves : 2

Cinnamon : 1 piece

Dhania powder : 2 tsp

Turmeric powder : ¼ tsp

Poppy seeds : 2 tsp

Roasted gram : 1 tbsp

Make a fine paste with water

Add 10 green chillies & salt

Method: Heat oil in a cooker, add mustard seeds, one onion chopped, red chillies and a few curry leaves. Fry it well. Add tomato, brinjal, the paste and field beans. Add two to three cups of water and salt. Pressure cook for one whistle.

Tapioca (Maragenesu) palya


Tapioca : ¼ kg (cut into small pieces); Needed for paste : Coconut : ½ cup; Green chillies : 4

Method: In a pan, heat two tablespoons of oil and add mustard seeds, one teaspoon of chana dal, one teaspoon urad dal, two chopped onions, little turmeric powder and two red chillies. Fry well. Add chopped tapioca, salt and the paste, ¼ cup water & cook till dry. 

White Til Chikki


White til roasted - 100 gms

Jaggery powder - ½ cup

Method: In a pan melt jaggery with one tablespoon water. Cook it till it dissolves and strain. Transfer to a pan. Add til and cook for two minutes. Pour on to a greased plate, roll it slightly and cool well. Cut into pieces.


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