Varagu Pongal (Kodo millet Pongal)

Once millets belonged only to villages and small towns that are agriculture based. But nowadays, millets are slowly becoming a part of daily diet even in the metropolitan cities. Thanks to the awareness on the nutrition value of millets ! To me, who hail from an agricultural town surrounded by small villages with farmlands millets aren’t new. Ragi (finger millet) porridge is the first of all the supplements given for newborn babies in my town. My mum used to make ragi adais and pakoras as evening snacks. Kambu saadham (cooked Kambu rice with curd) is mandatory during summer at home.

I brought with me the millets like ragi,kambu, varagu and cholam (finger, pearl, kodo and corn millets respectively) when I moved to Kuwait from India. I make sure to include them in our diet in all possible ways. Today I’m sharing one of the easiest millet recipes, Varagu Pongal. If you are a beginner with millets, this would be the perfect one.

What you need 

  • Varagu rice (Kodo millet) – 1 cup
  • Moong dhal (Paasiparupu) – 2 spoons
  • Salt for taste

For seasoning

  • Ghee
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 spoon
  • Peppercorns – 1/2 spoon 
  • Green chilies – 2 finely chopped
  • Curry leaves 
  • Cashew – 5 to 6
  • Ginger – 1″ inch piece finely chopped ( optional)

How to

  1. Add the Varagu rice, moong dhal, required salt and 2.5 cups of water in a pressure cooker.
  2. Cook for 2-3 whistles.
  3. Once pressure settles, open the lid and mash the rice and dhal together.
  4. In a separate kadai/pan, heat few spoons of ghee.
  5. Add cumin seeds, peppercorns, curry leaves, ginger and cashew. Fry them till cashew turns light brown and crispy ( maybe a minute).
  6. Add these to the rice and dhal mixture and mix well.
  7. If you like it with more ghee, add a few spoons at this stage.
  8. Serve hot with sambar and/or coconut chutney.

So, do you like millets? How do you use them in your diet? Let me know in the comments.

             Varagu Pongal and Coconut Chutney


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