Pongal is a unique Tamil cuisine. There are two varieties of pongal, namely sakarai pongal (sweet pongal) and ven pongal (spicy pongal).

       Spicy pongal, is a common breakfast food in several parts of southern India. In this recipe I have replaced rice with oats, so it is a diet recipe. It’s way better than the sweet porridge versions generally prepared at home. You can cook this recipe in 15-20mts. Can be eaten as breakfast or as dinner.

       Generally all pongals are little sticky, so not much difference is felt in the taste or texture by using oats instead of rice. Spicy and tasty diet pongal…


Quick cooking oats/ flaked Oats - 1cup
Moong Dhal - 1/2 cup
Asafetida (hing)-small piece
Water - 1-1 ½ cup
Salt - to taste
Ghee - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Cashews (broken) - 5-6 (optional)

To Temper:
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Green Chilli (chopped) - 1
Ginger (finely chopped) - 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper (whole) - 1/2 teaspoon
Jeera - ½ teaspoon
Curry leaves - few

  • Pressure cook moong dhal with asafetida along with 1 ½ cup of water for 3 whistles on medium heat until mushy. Mash it well with a backside if the ladle/masher, set aside.
  • In a pan heat oil add the green chilli then ginger & cook for a minute. Don’t allow ginger to brown because if you over cook the ginger it gives bitter taste while eating. Add pepper, jeera and curry leaves fry for a minute.
  • Add water and let it boil, add oats and mashed dhal together, mix well and let it cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Once oats is cooked and it reaches a semi thick consistency, switch off the gas.
  • Fry the cashews until golden brown on ghee and add on top of pongal.
  • Could be eaten alongside sambar or coconut chutney.