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Barnyard Millet Pongal / Kuthiraivali Pongal

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Pongal is a popular rice based dish prepared widely in Tamil Nadu. There are many variations available including sweet and savory versions. Kara pongal or venpongal or savory pongal is the savory version prepared for breakfast and generally served with sambar and coconut chutney. In some part of Tamil Nadu, people prefer to have this with gosthu, a type of gravy using tamarind.

Today, We are going to make the pongal recipe using millet. We are going to follow the same procedure that we follow for pongal recipe but replace the rice with millet. I have taken barnyard millet which almost tastes like the usual rice. However, one can substitute this with any kind of millets.(Other available millets are Foxtail millet, Sorghum millet, Finger millet, Pearl Millet, Kodo Millet, Little Millet and Proso Millet)

Similar to rice, we have both raw and cooked variety of millets available in the market. As far as I have seen, the raw millet variety is widely available, so I have used the raw millet for making this pongal. It does not need any pre soaking. If you plan to use thinai or foxtail millet, then just soak it for 15 minutes or increase the whistle, as it tends to take bit longer time to cook. If you use cooked/par boiled millet, then increase the water quantity from 3 cups to 3 and 1/2 cup.

It is always good to wash millets as it washes away the loose starch and doesn’t stick together while cooking. As it is in the form of tiny grains, one has to take extra care while washing it. Almost all Indian supermarkets and rice mandi are selling millet these day. I have used the brand parambariyam which i have got it from a supermarket in chennai. Now, we’ll see the method of cooking kuthiraivali pongal below.

It is called as Kodisama or udalu pongal in telugu and Oordhalu pongal in kannada. If you are interested to know more millet based recipes, please check here.


Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3


Ghee -2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Whole Black Pepper – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Green chilli – 1, chopped

Ginger – 1 inch, chopped

Barnyard millet – 3/4 cup

Yellow moong dal – 1/4 cup

Water – 3 cups

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – to taste

Asafoetida – a big pinch

Video Recipe:

Recipe with step by step pictures:

1) In a wide bowl, add both barnyard millet and yellow moong dal. Add water, mix well and wash it two or three times to remove any dust and starch. Once the water is drained, keep the mixture aside.

2) Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.


3) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and pepper. Let it splutter.


4) Add curryleaves, green chilli and ginger. Saute till it becomes aromatic.


5) Add the millet and dal mixture and saute it for a minute.


6) Add 3 cups of water. Add turmeric powder, salt and asafoetida. Mix well.


7) Close the pressure cooker using lid and pressure cook it for 3 whistles. Wait for the pressure to subside.

8) Once the pressure is released, open the lid, mix the pongal.


9) The pongal looks watery but as it cools down, it becomes thick.

10) Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.


Serving Suggestions:

1) Pongal is typically served as a breakfast along with sambar and coconut chutney in a southindian household.

2) It can also be served as a dinner.



1) No need to soak the millet.

2) Pressure cooking according the cooking instructions given in the millet package. If it is not given, first pressure cook it for 3 whistles and check if further cooking is needed.

3) Increase or decrease the water according to the personal preference.

4) It tastes more flavorful if we add powdered cumin and pepper powder mixture. If you prefer to add this, add half a teaspoon for this measurement given. 

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