When I saw the themes for this month’s blogging marathon and read even mixes are accepted for kitchen basics, first thing that came to mind was pongal mix. I remembered Shubha's pongal mix which she shared in one of the social networking groups. Yes, this again is a recipe from a social networking group! However, this is a different group, not the one I mentioned yesterday.
Shubha has a food blog and she also shared an upma & rava idli mix. It is the same mix for both upma & rava idli but the preparation varies depending on what is being prepared. I am not a big upma fan and would not make it unless U is eating it. And idli is something I cook once in a blue moon. The last time I made idli at home was almost 2-3 years ago or even longer. I know, you would have never expected to hear this from a South Indian but that is how it is in my home!
On days when I do not have any leftover curries for lunch, I often make a quick and easy pongal by pressure cooking rice, dal and peppercorns. When Shubha shared her instant mix recipes, pongal mix was on my to try list. If few minutes of preparation can give me a tastier pongal, why not give this mix a try? So finally made the mix this weekend. Instant pongal mix was ready in a matter of 10 minutes. According to Shubha this mix stays fresh for 6 months in the refrigerator. With this mix, pongal is ready in 5-10 minutes in a pressure cooker, plus the cooling time of the cooker. And the pongal is yummy and tastes lot better than my baby food like pongal!
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
- 5 tbsp. Ghee ~ Clarified Butter or Oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 cup Moong Dal
- 1 cup Rice (I used Basmati but can use rice of your choice)
- 1 tsp. Chana Dal
- 1 tsp. Urad Dal
- ¼ cup Cashew Nuts broken into half
- 1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp. Black Peppercorns
- 3 Dry red Chilies broken into small pieces
- 1 tsp. Turmeric
- 2 Cloves
- 5-8 Curry Leaves
- ¼ cup approx. chopped Cilantro ~ Fresh Coriander
- Pinch of Asafoetida ~ Hing (I did not use it)
- 2 tsp. Salt (This is an approx. measure. I forgot to measure how much I added. Adjust according to taste)
- 1 ½ cups sliced Dry Coconut (I did not use)
- Heat ½ tbsp. of oil in a pan. I used a cast iron but any pan can be used. Fry moong dal for a minute or two until dal turns red.
- Add rice and continue to fry for another couple of minutes or until rice changes color. Transfer to a plate and keep it aside.
- In the same pan, heat remaining oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
- Add cashews and fry for few seconds until light golden brown. Keep an eye on the cashews as they roast very fast and do not burn them.
- Add cumin, peppercorns, urad dal, chana dal, asafetida if using, red chilies, curry leaves, cilantro and cloves. Sauté till curry leaves and cilantro dehydrate.
- Add salt and add back the rice mixture. Add coconut, if using. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Cool the mixture completely and store in an airtight container. It can be store in the fridge for more than 6 months.
To prepare Pongal:
- Cook 1 cup of pongal mix with 2 ¼ cups of water in a pressure cooker. In my Hawkins pressure cooker, I cooked the pongal for 5 whistles on high heat. Let the cooker cool down and serve hot.
- Depending on the rice, cooking time and pongal mix to water ratio may vary. Shubha used 1:3 pongal mix to water ratio and cooked for only 1 whistle. Do a trail and error to figure out the right water to mix ratio and also the cooking time.