Rice and Lentils with Curry Leaves and Ginger (Ven Pongal)

Indian cooks use ghee, clarified butter cooked until browned and nutty. Visit CookingLight.com for a recipe to prepare clarified butter.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 121
  • Calories from fat: 17%
  • Fat: 2.3g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbohydrate: 21.6g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Iron: 0.9mg
  • Sodium: 183mg
  • Calcium: 27mg


  • 1/4 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup dried small red lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons (1-inch) julienne-sliced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter
  • 12 medium-sized fresh curry leaves


  1. 1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and peppercorns to pan. Cook 30 seconds or until cumin turns reddish brown, stirring constantly. Transfer to a mortar; let cool. Crush cumin mixture with a pestle until coarsely ground.
  2. 2. Rinse lentils in a sieve under cold running water until water runs clear. Combine lentils, 4 cups water, and rice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in cumin mixture, salt, and turmeric; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.
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