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Quinoa venn Pongal in InstantPot

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Venn Pongal means white pongal. Venn pongal is a popular main dish in south India and is prepared in every Tamizh household with a lot of fanfare for the Harvest festival. This festival  occurs every year during the 2nd week in January. Venn pongal also gets its name from it color, it is off-white and made with rice and yellow split lentils or moong daal. Pongal is consumed as a breakfast because of its rich carbohydrate and protein combination. Pongal by itself is a very satisfying and nourishing dish. We are enhancing it by bringing in brown rice and quinoa. It adds more fiber and also increases the protein content. The taste stays intact and most folks cannot recognize anything different. 

This recipe is prepared using the InstantPot, which adds to the benefit of being quick and also a one-pot meal. The 2 leading flavors in this dish are ginger and peppercorns. I utilize a mix of whole peppercorns, crushed peppercorns and pepper powder. So the pepper flavor is very prevalent. Optionally few green chillies can be added for a kick. Venn pongal with a spicy and tangy vegetable side dish – this combination can be an easy week day night dinner offering. 

Venn Pongal recipe

Ingredients –

  • Brown rice 1 cup
  • Quinoa 1 cup
  • Yellow split lentils 1 cup 
  • Spices – jeera (2 tsps), whole peppercorns (1/2 tsp), crushed peppercorns (1/2 tsp), pepper powder (1 tsp) 
  • Seasoning – shredded ginger (1 tsp), green chillies (3), curry leaves (2 sprigs)
  • Garnish – cashew nuts 
  • Oil for seasoning 

Procedure –

  1. Start the InstantPot on SAUTE mode
  2. Add the oil and fry jeera and all 3 pepper types
  3. Add ginger and green chillies
  4. Add the cashew and fry to golden brown color
  5. Add brown rice, quinoa and lentils and fry to get a rich aroma
  6. Season with salt, add 7 cups of water
  7. Cook under pressure for 8 minutes 
  8. Let the pressure release naturally
  9. Savory venn pongal is ready ! 

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