Across India there are many versions of rice cooked with lentils, called various names such as kitchari (and variations on this) and pongal. In Andra Pradesh, it is called Pulagam and is made with short grain rice and mung dal.
It is a very pared-back version of pongal, without any tempering and with only turmeric as spice. But it is surprisingly delicious, mixed with a little ghee and well seasoned.
It is often used as naivedyam in festival such as Sankranti and Varalakshmi Puja.
You might want to browse our 25 or so Kitchari recipes, collected together for you.
Pulagam | Telegu Ven Pongal / Kitchari
1 cup short grained rice – sona masoori or pooni rice, 0r use any short grain rice
0.25 cup mung dal
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
sea salt, to taste
2 – 3 tspn ghee
To cook in a rice cooker, place the rice and dal into the rice cooker, with the turmeric and about 1.5 cups more water than would normally be used with the rice you are using. For my rice cooker, I use 4.5 – 5 cups water for this recipe, to cook the rice and dal to a soft consistency. It might be slightly less for your rice cooker.
For a pressure cooker, use 3.5 cups water. For stove top use about 4 cups water and cook until the rice is very soft and the water absorbed.
When the rice and dal is cooked, season well and stir through ghee.
recipe notes and alternatives
Saute some cumin seeds, curry leaves and black peppercorns in some ghee and add to the rice before cooking.
Top the rice with some toasted cashew nuts.
Ghee is important when making Pongal. The flavour and taste of Pongal depends on the amount ghee you use.