Pulagam | Telegu Ven Pongal / Kitchari | Ghee Pongal

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.

Similar dishes include Ven Pongal, Goan Bisibelebath, and  Masoor Sprouts Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari and Pongal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Monk’s Ayurvedic Dal with Green Peppers

One can’t overemphasise the delicious and nourishing qualities of mung beans. Use the whole green beans for delicious, grounded, darker flavours, and the hulled yellow split mung dal for lighter, summery yet nourishing flavours.

This dal comes again from The Monk’s Cookbook by the beloved Monks on Kauai. A very simple dish but one packed with flavours. Their recipe feeds 20, and I have modified it down to a family meal size. It takes no more than about 45 mins to cook – 35 – 40 for the dal and the rest for the tadka.

Similar dishes include Monk’s Bhindi Subzi, Simple Monk’s Dal, and Fenugreek Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our recipes from the Monk’s Cookbook, and all of our Dals. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essential Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Monk’s Simple Mung Dal with Tomatoes

Periodically I love to go back to The Monk’s Cookbook as it is a connection to the wonderful monks of Kauai, and because the recipes in this book are always simple, not too much fuss, but tasty and healthy. And this Mung Dal is a true comfort dish, using whole mung beans cooked with tomatoes and a few spices.

Similar dishes include Monks Dal with Green PeppersMonk’s Simple Toor Dal, Daikon Dal, and Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach.

Browse all of our recipes from The Monk’s Cookbook, and all of our Dal recipes. Our Mung recipes are here, our Indian dishes here, and our series on Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Sprouts and Pomegranate Kosumalli

Kosumalli is such an easy salad to make, and it is also the type of salad where you can use up what ever is on your kitchen bench – not only sprouts, pomegranates and onions as in this recipe, but also ginger shreds, green tomato, red tomato, capsicums of any colour, some shredded beetroot (but watch the colour will taint every other ingredient), daikon radish, spring onions and spring onion greens, chives, green mango, and so on. You can also micro-plane the zest of the lime or lemon and add that to the salad. This is a great way to bump up flavours and minimise waste.

Kosumali salads are dressed with lemon or lime juice, and the oil component of a dressing is provided by the ghee in the tadka. They are utterly delicious, tangy, sweet, sour, hot, refreshing.

If you want to make your own Kosumalli, use the basic recipe below for a Sprouts Kosumalli, then add what you have available. Kosumalli dishes demand strong flavours – the bite of onion, the sour of lemon and pomegranate, the sweetness of coconut, the crunch of sprouts. This is the only brief for you as you create your own salad.

Similar recipes include Mango and Pineapple Salad, Cucumber Kosumalli, and Daikon Kosumalli.

Browse all of our Kosumalli dishes and Mung Sprout dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Hara Mung Dal Fry with Fenugreek Leaves

Whole Mung beans feature a lot in our kitchen as we love the earthy taste. They are comforting and nourishing and we will cook up a large pot of Mung Soup or Dal in times of stress or tiredness.

This recipe is a North Indian style Green Mung Dal (Hara Mung Dal Tadka with Methi) that is great with chapatti or roti, and rice. Boondhi Raita, Kachumber, or vegetable dish can be added. The dal is cooked and then mixed with a paste of tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic and spices. It is particularly good.

Similar recipes include Khar (Garlicky Mung Beans), Mung Bean Soup with Amaranth Greens, and Sprouted Mung Sundal.

Browse all of our Mung recipes, and all of our Dals. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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A Collection of 22 or So Kitchari Recipes

Kitchari is one of the most well known recipes outside of India amongst people intent on keeping healthy and eating healthily. It is really a simple dish based on rice cooked with lentils, although variations on this theme exist. The simplest is the highly flavoursome Parsi version, and the Bengalis, who adore kitchari, take it to spice heaven by layering different flavours using a dozen or so spices.

Kitchari can be cooked with long grain or short grain rice, resulting in different dishes. Basmati rice is preferred by Ayurveda and other practitioners, due to its digestibility. Long grain rice is also the rice of choice in the North of India. The kitchari is quite loose and open, not unlike a pilaf.

In the South, short and medium grained rices are used for Pongal and other variations on Kitchari. This means that the dish is more porridge-like than pilaf-like.

Kitchari can be made thick or soupy. The ratio of lentils to rice can be adjusted to suit your mood, the season and your health. Also, the lentils can be toasted before cooking to make it warming for the body, good for the Winter months.

All styles are delicious, comforting and very nourishing. It is a dish that you return to again and again when feeling overwrought, tired, anxious or unwell. It lightens the body and lifts the spirits.

Please enjoy these different kitchari dishes. Note that kitchari can be spelled a dozen different ways throughout India, and beyond. There are many English alternate spellings — kitchari, kitchadi, khichdi, kitchari, khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari, kitcheree, kitchree, khichdi,  and many other variants, and each Indian language has it’s own variation e.g. Hindi खिचड़ी khicṛī, Urdu: کھچڑی‎ khicṛī, Oriya: ଖେଚେଡ଼ି khecheṛi, Bengali: খিচুড়ী khichuṛi, Gujarati: ખીચડી khichḍi. And more….

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Carrot and Mung Bean Sprouts Kosumalli

It is another 43C day, as I write, and the whole of Australia is in the grip of a heatwave. So we look for refreshing and cooling salads each day. Kosumalli salads from South India fit the bill perfectly. With fresh raw ingredients mixed with coconut and dressed just with lime or lemon juice, they are what we crave in the heat.

I wonder about the origin of these salads – raw ingredients are uncommon in India, so perhaps they were a consequence of the British occupation. If you know, can you enlighten us?

Similar recipes include Sprouts and Pomegranate Kosumalli, Mung Sprout and Edamame Salad, Mushroom and Mung Sprout Salad, and Bean Sprout Sundal.

Browse all of our Kosumalli dishes and Mung Sprout dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Green Mango and Masoor Dal | Aamer Dal | Tok Dal

Green Mango goes well with Indian lentils, and this time we pair it with Masoor Dal (called red lentils outside of India, but not to be confused with Indian red gram dal / toor dal). The recipe today is a tangy, simple Bengali dish with a touch of mustard oil. Simply spiced, it is delicious.

This recipe can also be made with Mung Dal instead of Masoor Dal, or with a mixture of both.

Similar recipes include Hara Mung Dal TakaAmbe Dal (Channa Dal with Green Mango), Mung Dal with Green Mango, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, and Masoor Dal with Green Chillies.

Browse our Green Mango recipes and our Dals. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Hesarubele Koshambari | South Indian Mung Dal and Cucumber Salad

Koshambari (also known as Kosumali) is a lovely crunchy and refreshing salad from Karnataka in the south of India which is made in a variety of ways. While it almost always contains cucumber and mung dal or channa dal, it can also be made with carrots, sprouted lentils or green mangoes.

It is a traditional salad and it is typically served as a part of the meal during festivals, weddings and gatherings. It is also often made at home for daily meals.

The ratio of cucumber to lentils can vary with the region, the household, and the season. Some will make it and emphasise the cucumbers. Others will make it with a predominance of lentils. Other places will balance the two.

For such a simple salad, there are endless ways of making it, so much so that you could eat it at every house in a street, and every salad will taste slightly different. I tend to increase the cucumber component here in Summer where the temperatures can get up to 45C – 46C at times, and increase the lentils in the Autumn and into Winter.

Serve this Kosambari with hot Masala Chai during your tea time break or with your lunch or dinner. Generally it is served as just a couple of Tblspn or so on each plate along with the other dishes.

Similar recipes include a Collection of Kosumalli Salads, Cucumber Kosumalli, Carrot Koshambari, Ambe DalCucumber and Mung Salad, Meenakshi Ammal’s Kosumalli, and Indian Cucumber Salad.

Browse all of our Koshambari Salads, and all of our Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Khar | Assamese Garlicky Flavoured Mung Beans with Greens

Khar is a unique Assamese dish, traditionally served as a starter. Traditionally, pure khar uses kola khar as its main ingredient. Kola Khar is prepared by sun-drying the peels of the bheem khol banana tree trunk, burning them to ashes, and then filtering water through them. It is an alkaline preparation that is believed to have medicinal properties. The dish is served before the main meal to help prepare the digestion for the flavours to come in the main meal.

These days kola khar is often substituted with other items, usually baking soda. Khar can be made with a variety of ingredients – pulpy vegetables such as gourds, papaya, pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant and cucumber, as well as lentils and a variety of greens. Today we are using Mung Beans although toor dal and urad dal are also common. We have seen it made with rice flour and no lentils.

Mustard greens and some chilli leaves are used in our dish today, although Spinach would be equally as fine. I have added a couple of betel leaves, because they are in the fridge and they give a lovely flavour. However, there is no need to be so exotic. Use spinach and/or mustard greens, or whatever greens you have. The recipe has a lot of garlic in it which softens its raw bite due to the cooking and adds a lovely umami flavour. Don’t confuse this dish with Lebon Khar, which is a Middle Eastern dish of cucumber and sour cream or yoghurt with a vinegar and mustard dressing.

Similar dishes include Mung Dal with Green Mango, Bengali Mung Dal, and Mung Dal with Ghee.

Browse more of our Assamese recipes, all of our Mung Bean dishes, and our Dals. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring dishes.

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