Quinoa kichidi/Mixed hot pongal/Venpongal with quinoa

Quinoa Pongal


Venpongal reminds me of my high school days when I was in National Cadet Corp (N.C.C). While serving pongal at home, I mentioned to my family that it was my breakfast during my army training days. They had a hearty laugh and warned, ‘Please don’t joke when we are eating!’ As I’m not the bravest of my gender, they have such good confidence in me, handling arms and ammunition and defending the country. But I am totally capable of doing that as I have received the basic military training.

Okay, back to high school…just before regular classes start, after the N.C.C parade and instructions from 7.30 am to 9.00am, breakfast would be served for the hungry cadets. It was invariably Venpongal and Idly brought from the famous restaurant, Annapoorna. Did I mention, I lived in Coimbatore? Okay, I was born, raised and attended school there.

This pongal would be wrapped in a green banana leaf accompanied by thick coconut chutney in a small shred of the same leaf. Venpongal will be soaking in oil and ghee with a garnish of cashew nuts. The smell of the pongal mingling with the subtle flavour of banana leaf is absolutely striking. My mouth is watering as I type this. Definitely, there were some cadets attending the training just for the breakfast. (Hey, don’t look at me!)

After regularly dishing out the same old pongal for many years, I wanted to change it by adding one new ingredient to make it more desirable and cut out the repetition. Quinoa is the fave grain/seed of the season, so I added a measure of it to this pongal.

1 Q pongal

1 ginger


  • 1/2 cup white quinoa
  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/2 cup mung dhal
  • 3 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole black pepper
  • few curry leaves
  • a small piece ginger
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6-7 cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp ghee1 crush
  1. Heat oil and fry cashew nuts and then add crushed cumin, black pepper, chopped ginger, curry leaves and hing to the oil and reduce the heat.
  2. Soon after the cumin crackles and ginger is fried, add mung dhal and quinoa to the same oil and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add rice and water to it.
  4. Mix everything well and add salt according to taste.
  5. Cook until everything is soft and sticky. (I used the pressure cooker and allowed it to cook until 4 whistles. When it cools open the lid of the cooker.)
  6. After it is cooked, pour 1 tbsp ghee and mix well.
  7. Serve it with coconut chutney.

1 pongal

Quinoa pongal turned out to be quite satisfactory with a hint of quinoa flavour and texture. I served it with a chutney made of onion, dry red chillies and coconut.


About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
This entry was posted in Breakfast, Quinoa and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Quinoa kichidi/Mixed hot pongal/Venpongal with quinoa

  1. eclecticlamb says:

    This looks so pretty!


  2. asha says:

    Quinoa is quite a twist…could have never thought about it…i am also a big fan of pongal…


  3. Shanthi says:

    Very interesting…..healthy way of having venpongal….


  4. Balvinder says:

    Never had a chance to try pongal but I can imagine the the taste with coconut chutney. I like your twist by adding quinoa…. wud love to try. Is that red thing on top,coconut chutney?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s