Traditional Pongal Recipes That You Can Try At Home

Pongal is one of the most famous festivals in Hindu tradition. Celebrated over a period of 3 days, it is a popular harvest festival that falls in the month of January.

The Pongal festival is mainly celebrated in the southern part of India in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. It is an auspicious occasion marked by various rituals, traditions and a wide range of mouth-watering delicacies.

Most of these Pongal delicacies are quite famous and are easy to cook as well. With that being said, here is a list of traditional Pongal recipes that you can try yourself.

1. Lemon Rice

You can start off with the easiest and most popular Pongal recipe – Lemon Rice. It is easy to cook, does not take much time and is one of the very few recipes that can be made by anyone.


  • Ginger
  • Curry leaves / Coriander leaves
  • Green chillies
  • Lemons
  • Rice
  • Chana dal or Urad dal
  • Cooking oil, peanuts/cashew nuts

How to Cook:

  • Step 1: Take 1½ cups of rice in a bowl and wash it
  • Step 2: Soak it for around 15 mins
  • Step 3: Now, pour 1 cup of water in the pressure cooker and place the rice bowl inside
  • Step 4: Allow it to cook for 2-3 whistles
  • Step 5: Now, pour ½ tbsp. of oil in a pan and heat it
  • Step 6: Roast the peanuts in this pan for a few minutes and then place them in a plate
  • Step 7: Again pour 1½ tbsp. of oil to the same pan and now add the mustard, chana dal and urad dal
  • Step 8: Fry them for a while on a medium flame and then add curry leaves, green chillies and ginger
  • Step 9: Fry for around 30 secs - 1 min and add some salt, hing and turmeric. Stir this mixture and pour 2-3 tbsp. of water
  • Step 10: Once all the water evaporates, turn off the stove and remove the pan
  • Step 11: Now, add the cooked rice to the pan and squeeze some lemon juice over it
  • Step 12: Garnish it with the roasted peanuts and serve the Lemon Rice

2. Ven/Khara Pongal

One of the best things about Pongal is the wide variety of traditional recipes and dishes. Ven Pongal or Khara Pongal is one of these recipes that is an important of the Pongal celebration.


  • Ghee
  • Curry leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Ginger
  • Hing
  • Cumin seeds

How to Cook:

  • Step 1: Firstly, heat your pressure cooker and dry roast ½ cup of moong dal on a medium flame for around 7-8 minutes
  • Step 2: Now, add ½ cup of rice to it and then pour 3 cups of water along with ½ tbsp. of salt
  • Step 3: Allow it to cook on medium flame for 2-3 whistles. Then open the lid and stir well
  • Step 4: Now, add 2-3 tbsp. of ghee to a pan and heat it. Add some cashew nuts to the pan and fry them. Once they are fried, remove the cashew nuts to a plate
  • Step 5: Add ½ tbsp. of cumin seeds and another ½ tbsp. of black pepper to the same pan. Then add the curry leaves and finely chopped ginger
  • Step 6: After a few minutes, add 1/8 tbsp. of hing to the pan and then turn off the stove
  • Step 7: Now, pour this whole mixture into the cooked rice. Mix it properly then serve the Ven Pongal

3. Butter Murukku

This traditional Pongal festival recipe is known by other names all over the country. Butter Murukku is commonly made during festivals and other special occasions. This crunchy snack is also known as chakli or venna murukku.


  • Rice flour
  • Fried gram (Chana)flour
  • Besan
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Hing, cumin seeds, oil and water

How to Cook:

  • Step 1: Add 3-4 tbsp. of fried gram (Roasted Chana) to a blender and make a fine powder
  • Step 2: Now, add 2 tbsp. of rice flour along with the fried gram powder, besan, butter, cumin and hing in a bowl
  • Step 3: Mix all the ingredients properly. Slowly pour water (as required) and make a dough
  • Step 4: Grease the mould and fix the star attachment over it. As you fill the mould with dough, keep the rest of the dough covered
  • Step 5: Now, heat some oil in a pan. You can check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of dough in it.
  • Step 6: Press the dough in the oil and fry them on a medium flame. Stir them occasionally, drain them on a kitchen towel and serve the Butter Murukku

4.Medu Vada

One of the most popular South Indian dishes that can be made during Pongal is Medu Vada. Usually served with sambhar or chutney, Medu Vada is a savoury Pongal recipe that can be tried by anyone.


  • Urad dal & Chana dal
  • Rice flour
  • Green chillies
  • Chopped coconut
  • Curry leaves
  • Coriander leaves
  • Ginger, hing, salt, oil

How to Cook:

  • Step 1: Wash the dal and soak it in 3 cups of water for around 2-3 hours
  • Step 2: Now, drain all water and then grind the urad dal and chana dal together to make a smooth paste
  • Step 3: Add coriander, green chillies, chopped dry coconut and ginger to the batter and mix it properly
  • Step 4: Then add 3-4 tbsp. of rice flour along with some hing
  • Step 5: Heat some oil in a pan on medium flame and then take lemon sized batter
  • Step 6: Make a hole in this batter and then slide it into the hot oil
  • Step 7: Fry evenly on both side until it become golden brown and then serve the Medu Vada with some sambhar or chutney

These were some of the most popular traditional Pongal recipes that you can try during this festive season. Since cooking is an exciting hobby for many people, especially for seniors, there are different ways through which they can learn new recipes and try different dishes.