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

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.

Cooking Light MAY 2008

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)


  • 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. 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. 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.

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

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