Try cooking these three Sankranthi-Pongal special dishes with millets and lentils

Easy-to-cook these can be whipped up in a short time

author_img Ayesha T Published :  15th January 2019 02:27 PM   |   Published :   |  15th January 2019 02:27 PM

A picture of Gokul Pithe served at the Grand Mercure Bangalore

It's the harvest festival week in India. The festival called Sankranthi in Karnataka, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Boghi in Andhra Pradesh is celebrated with much fervour. On the food front, the usual dishes that are cooked for the festivities include pongal, payasam and yellu bella.

For those who want to try the usual dishes with a twist, here are three recipes that are made with millets and lentils - Pearl Millet Besan Laddu, Barnyard Millet Payasam and Ven Pongal made with Split Green Gram.

Pearl millet Besan Laddu
Pearl millet flour - 100g
Besan- 50g
Wheat rawa - 50g
Elaichi powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 50g
Dry fruits - 20g 
Sugar - 100g

• Roast bajra, besan and wheat rawa separately and mix thoroughly
• Add little ghee to the mixture
• Fry dry fruits in a little ghee and add it to the mixture 
• Add sugar and cardamom powder to the mix 
• Shape small amounts of the mixture into laddus

Barnyard Millet Payasam
Barnyard millet - 150g
Sugar - 250g
Milk - 250ml
Saffron - 4-5 threads
Dry fruits (cashew, almond and pistachio) - 50g 
Ghee - 30 ml

• Cook barnyard millet, saffron and milk on slow heat for 15-20 mins
• Add sugar and stir gently
• Roast dry fruits in ghee and add as garnish
• It can be served hot or cold

Ven Pongal
1/2 cup moong dal (split green gram)
1 cup raw rice (chawal)
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp ghee
1 tsp black peppercorns (kalimirch)
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tbsp broken cashewnuts (kaju)
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger (adrak)
Salt to taste
A few curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 tbsp ghee for serving

Heat a pan; add the moong dal and dry roast on a medium flame till the raw smell disappears, while stirring continuously. Keep aside
Clean and wash the rice, drain and add the, milk and 3 cups of water, mix well and pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles or till the rice and dal become soft. Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes
Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Keep aside
Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan, add the peppercorns, cumin seeds, cashewnuts and ginger, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds, while stirring continuously
Add the cooked rice and dal mixture, salt and curry leaves, mix well and cook on a slow flame for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring continuously. Serve hot topped with 1 tbsp of ghee