Yes, ven pongal (a soft mushy combination of rice and lentils, a cousin of the khichdi) and gothsu (a tangy eggplant curry) are traditional breakfast fare in Tamil Nadu but I have always embraced the idea of breakfast for dinner.
The ven pongal was a breeze to make in the rice cooker- simply cook the lentils and rice with some salt, then add the tempering and mix. Could it be simpler? The only slight problem was that the lentil-rice mixture bubbled and frothed ferociously as it was cooking, resulting in some clean up at the end.
Ven PongalSukanya's recipe)
1. In the rice cooker bowl, soak the following for 30 minutes:
1 rice cup measure Sona Masuri rice
3⁄4 rice cup measure moong dal
2. Rinse well. Add the following and put on "cook" mode:
5 rice cup measures water
1 tsp. salt
3. When the rice and lentils are a comforting mushy mess, stir in a tempering:
2 tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
8-10 peppercorns, crushed
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
Handful of broken cashews
For the accompanying spicy eggplant, I turned to a cookbook that is full of Tamil classic recipes.
Kathrikkai (Eggplant) Gothsu
(adapted from Samayal by Viji Varadarajan)
1. Heat 2 tsp. oil and temper it with 1 tsp. mustard seeds and a pinch of asafetida.
1 medium onion, cut in small dice
3 Japanese eggplants or 10-12 Indian eggplants or 1⁄2 Italian eggplant, cut in small dice
2 tomatoes, cut in small dice
1⁄2 tsp. turmeric powder
1⁄2 tsp. red chilli powder
1 tsp. sambar powder
1 tsp. tamarind paste
Salt to taste
4. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add a little water if required to help the cooking process along. Garnish with plenty of cilantro.
This is the comforting khichdi meal taken to a new level with all kinds of aromatic additions. I'll be making this again and again.
I am sending this post to the first edition of my own Blog Bites event. There's one more week left to send in your entries- to participate, simply try a rice cooker or pressure cooker or slow cooker recipe from another blog. We're already collecting tasty entries. Thank you for your participation!
Dale's TalesWhen I see creatures of the puppeh and kitteh and bebeh variety, the unbearable cuteness makes me lose my grasp on normal language. I start babbling and calling them all kinds of silly names. Dale is not amused at being referred to as a sticky dessert. But it is when I call him a "baby kitty" that he gets really indignant.
I'm trying a rice cooker dessert tonight- if it works out, I'll come back and tell you about it.