Wheat Pongal

Pongal, a harvest festival, is celebrated here to thank the Sun God. Sun is regarded as the creator and sustainer of life on earth, and worshipping the Sun is an age-old practice still followed in India. We could find several hymns praising the Sun god in our scriptures and also several temples enshrining the Sun god (Surya) as the primary deity across India. Suryanaar temple is one of the Sun temples in south India (Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu) where wheat pongal is offered to the supreme deity, Sun God. So we can also prepare wheat pongal instead of rice pongal and offer to Sun God on this Pongal festival.

sakkarai-pongal-using-samba-gothumai-rava Wheat Pongal
Sakkarai pongal using samba godhumai rava

Now I have prepared both the savoury pongal (venn pongal) and sweet pongal (sakkarai pongal) using broken wheat. I used fresh turmeric root instead of turmeric powder for savoury pongal, and also used banana & dates as natural sweeteners along with little jaggery for sweet pongal.

venn-pongal-scaled Wheat Pongal
Venn pongal using samba godhumai rava

Generally we serve savoury pongal with sambar but my grand mother used to prepare mildly-spiced kathrikai gothsu (eggplant curry) or peerkangai gothsu (ridge gourd curry) and serve with venn pongal.

peerk-gothsu-scaled Wheat Pongal
Peerkangai gothsu,
a perfect side dish for venn pongal

Wheat Pongal (Sweet & savoury versions)

The recipes for venn pongal & sakkarai pongal using broken wheat are as below:

Ingredients:

Pongal: 
Broken Samba wheat1 cup
Green gram lentils (paasi paruppu)1/2 cup
Venn Pongal: 
Neutral oil (I used sunflower oil)25 ml
Ghee1 tbsp
Cumin seeds1/2 tbsp
Peppercorns1/2 tsp
Crushed pepper1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder1/8 tsp
Fresh turmeric root2″
Ginger root2″
Cashew nutsas desired
Curry leaves1 sprig
Salt1 tsp
Sakkarai Pongal: 
Fully ripe banana (I used nendram pazham)1
Dates10
Jaggeryas needed
Cardamom2
Ghee2 tbsp
Cashew nutsas desired
Raisinsas desired

Wheat Pongal:

  • First we need to dry roast both the wheat & lentils until hot & aromatic.
  • Wash them and then add into hot boiling water.
  • Cook in medium flame until soft & mushy.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside.
  • I used 3/4 of pongal for making venn pongal and the remaining for sakkarai pongal.
wheat-pongal Wheat Pongal
How to cook wheat pongal

Savoury Wheat Pongal (Venn Pongal):

  • Heat a large pan with neutral oil in medium flame.
  • Add cumin seeds, pepper, grated turmeric & ginger into the pan.
  • Saute until the raw smell of turmeric & ginger disappeared.
  • Add cashew nuts & curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
  • Then add pongal into the pan and mix well.
  • Finally add crushed pepper, asafoetida powder & salt and stir until combined.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve hot venn pongal after adding little ghee.
venn-pongal-using-wheat Wheat Pongal
Wheat pongal using fresh turmeric root

Sweet Wheat Pongal (Sakkarai Pongal):

  • First prepare a puree of banana & dates using a food processor (or a mixer) and keep aside.
  • Heat a sauce pan with water (50 ml) and add powdered jaggery to prepare the jaggery syrup as below.
  • Pour jaggery syrup over pongal and cook in medium flame.
  • Add mashed banana & dates puree and stir until combined.
  • Add cardamom powder into the pan.
  • Heat a small tadka pan with ghee and fry cashew nuts and raisins and add into pongal.
  • Serve hot sakkarai pongal as a dessert for breakfast or lunch.
sakkarai-pongal-using-wheat Wheat Pongal
Sakkarai Pongal using banana & dates

I served both the savory and sweet pongal for breakfast along with red rice (red kavuni arisi) idli & medhu vadai and also with peerkangai gothsu & coconut chutney as the sides. You can find all other Pongal recipes here.

pongal-platter-scaled Wheat Pongal
Breakfast with godhumai pongal,
kavuni arisi idli, vadai & peerkangai gothsu

78 comments on “Wheat PongalAdd yours →

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  1. Absolutely yummy! I’m almost at your doorstep for the sweet pongal! The blog photos are patiently edited and presented:) You are welcome to send me a guest post, we can do an exchange.

      1. March is your slot? Choose a topic …like why you like to cook, where you go to buy? Or any other hobby you have.
        See my Oct.Story Bites blog…

  2. I really like your beautiful blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon. πŸ™‚

  3. Followed your blog for such simple, easy and delicious food recipes. I write about the topics which are helpful in everyday life and also have travel page. I believe we must learn from each other and exchange knowledge in order to grow in the best possible way. I have started blogging recently and would be really happy if you spare a minute of your precious time to visit my site https://travelwidnik.com/ and give your genuine feedback on my content. Thanks and Happy blogging

  4. That’s so my kind of recipes. I love adding banana in my pats, muesli and replace sugar with dates or jaggery. Just loved this one.

    1. I’ve just moved to a self-hosted site, and I am unable to retrieve the “like”s.
      Thanks much for stopping by.

  5. Is this a new blog site, Megala? I am noticing that my comments / likes are not in any of the post!!! What happened to all those πŸ™

  6. Definitely you have introduced a different variety of pongal for us this time. I have only seen the rice version of it. It’s good to know you can do it with Dalia too.

    1. I heard that wheat pongal is popular in Kerala, perhaps it is new to Tamilians. πŸ™‚
      Thank you.

  7. I am drooling over both the sweet and the savory pongal here, Megala. I like the combination of dates, jaggery and banana in the sweet pongal

    1. Yes, I do like this combo, esp. the addition of dates in here, it elevates sweet pongal to a whole new level in terms of texture, flavour & also nutritive value. Thanks Sandhya!
      Hope you had a wonderful Makar Sankranti.

  8. So Pongal Festival is in winter? It is interesting that the festival for thanking Sun God is in the mild winter. However, when I think deeply, it makes sense — the harvest season is usually autumn, so the festival should be in the end of the year.
    I noticed that cashew nuts are a common ingredient in your recipe. Do they represent any special meaning in culture or seasons?

    1. Yes, Pongal is celebrated after harvesting rice (our staple food grain) and also this festival marks the beginning of summer in our part of world. In other words, we celebrate Pongal when we realize the importance of Sun. πŸ™‚
      We add ghee-roasted cashew nuts into almost every dessert, and they are used mostly to make the dish rich & special.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      1. Thank you, dear Megala! I learned a lot from your writing and sharing. Thank you!
        I found ghee at supermarket here! I am excited. Can I use it on toast?

    1. Indian cuisine boasts of umpteen number of recipes. Most of the recipes I post here are regularly followed in our families, I’m just tweaking them a little to enhance the flavor or improve the nutrition, and also I am compiling our recipes useful for next gen.
      Thank you so much for your time.

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