Our Veggie Eats

All about the food we eat at home, pack in our lunch boxes, and try everywhere else…. And feel it's blog worthy!

Pongal Kothsu (South Indian Risotto and Spicy Tamarind Vegetable Sauce)

on March 25, 2013
Pongal Khotsu

Pongal Khotsu

Pongal Khotsu is a southern Indian creamy rice and lentils dish served with a spicy, tangy sauce. I guess it is Indian Risotto.

To make this, wash 1C rice (I use Basmati) and 1/4C split yellow Moong dal (available in Indian grocery stores). pressure cook with 4 1/2C water and 1/4t turmeric till soft. While this cooks grind 2 t cumin seeds and 1 t of black pepper. I use mortar and pestle for this as I like a liitle texture in the spice mix. Most times I make my daughter do this. A great learning experience for her 😉 Peel and slice thinly about 1 inch of fresh ginger. Break 10 – 12 cashews into halves. Wash 4-5 curry leaves. Melt 1 T of clarified butter ( ghee ) and when it is hot, add ginger, cashews and curry leaves. When the cashews turn golden brown, add the cumin and pepper spice mix. When it is safe to open the pressure cooker, add this to the cooked rice and lentils. Salt to taste and mix well. Pongal is good to go!

For the Spicy Tamarind Sauce with Vegetables, finely chop 3-4 baby Indian eggplants ( or about 1/2 C of any eggplant), 1 small carrot, 1/4 C of white onion, 1 Thai chili pepper, 3-4 curry leaves, and 1/4 inch ginger. Mix about 2 C of water with 2 t of concentrated tamarind paste. Heat 2 t oil and season with 1/2 t of mustard seeds. When the seeds sputter, add 1 t of Bengal Gram Dal and fry to golden brown. Add a pinch of asafetida and fry a little. Add the veggies and sauté for a few minutes. Add a pinch of turmeric and the tamarind juice. Add 2 t of Madras Sambar powder and let it boil for 15-20 minutes. The consistency of the sauce is runny and not thick. So adjust with water if the sauce looks thick. Season with salt and it is ready to serve over Pongal.

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