Temple Pongal Lentil Rice
Comfort and pure joy to eat this soulful rice and lentil recipe from southern India.
Servings Prep Time
3people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30minutes 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
3people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30minutes 30minutes
  1. Dry roast the yellow moong dal in a pan for 2-3 minutes on low flame till you get the aroma of roasting,
  2. Wash the rice thrice and soak with five and half cups of water for 30 minutes. After soaking, boil this soaked rice, along with its water. Add salt, peppercorns, cumin seeds and milk to it.
  3. Keep stirring in between so that the rice does not stick at the bottom. Halfway through add the roasted yellow moong dal.
  4. Once the rice and dal are cooked, and you have reached the desired consistency of the pongal, remove from flame. If the consistency looks to soupy, keep cooking till water is reduced.
For Tempering
  1. Heat the ghee in a small vessel, and add cashews and stir till they are golden brown. Add asafetida and remove from flame. Add this to the rice and mix well, and cook rice for another 2-3 minutes for the flavor to set in.
  2. Add the crushed pepper powder and keep stirring whole time, so that the rice does not set at the bottom.
  3. Serve warm with Shakkar Pongal or with coconut chutney or pickle or just plain is also very delicious!!. Plain yogurt serves a good accompaniment to Temple Pongal.
Recipe Notes


  • Small grain rice are crucial to obtaining the texture of the pongal as well as cooking on the stove is important so that you can get the right texture. I used the Spanish Goya Rice as  thats what I had at home and it worked well.
  • Ensure that the cashews do not get burned, and stay golden, which I missed out on.

Instinct Factor

  • Quite a bit of instinct involved in recreating this recipe by memory. I could be wrong, but I hope my readers from southern India will forgive me:)  Feel free to add red chillies, some coriander, if you want to add some more spice and fragrance.

Feel Factor

Happy to have the prasad of  Lord Balaji and invoke his blessings in some way! Texture was great according to my husband, who just loves this Pongal and any Pongal on earth. So much so that the Pongal restaurant in New York City, is his Mecca for this and we have to make a visit every time we are in NYC. So a compliment from him made my effort worthwhile.. Loved the cumin, black pepper and ghee flavor in this traditional temple recipe of pongal.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]