Oats Pongal is a healthy and delicious dish made with oats, moong dal, spices and curry leaves. It makes for a great and filling breakfast or a light dinner. Oats Pongal is a variation of the popular South Indian Ven Pongal but here rice is replaced with oats. This is best served hot with a pickle or chutney & papad.
At home we love this with ginger pickle or tomato pickle as it provides a good amount of heat to the dish. Here I have used rolled oats also known as old fashioned oats but you can easily use steel cut oats or quick cook oats.
Usually no veggies are used to make any Pongal. But for a healthier and nutritious option, I sometimes add baby spinach & chopped carrots.
Oats Pongal can be made on the stovetop in a regular cooker or pot. It can also be made in an instant pot. I have included the instructions to make in a pot, stovetop cooker and instant pot.
For this recipe I have used dal and oats in the ratio of 1:2. You may also use less dal but reduce the water proportionately. I have also shared a similar version but made with steel cut oats and more spices. You may check it here – Steel cut oats recipe.
How to make oats pongal
1. Dry roast 1 cup rolled oats on a medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly crisp. They won’t become crisp but this step will make them less sticky. Set this aside.
2. Add ½ cup moong dal to a pot or pressure cooker. Dry roast on a medium heat until aromatic and light golden. Turn off and rinse them well.
3. Pour 1 ½ cups water and pressure cook for 3 whistles until soft. If cooking in a pot cook until soft and mushy adding more water as needed.
4. When the lentils are soft, pour another ¾ to 1 cup hot water. Then add roasted oats.
5. Stir and cook covered until the oats are done to your liking. If needed add more water. For a thicker consistency, cook on a medium heat until the water is absorbed. Add ½ teaspoon salt as well.
6. In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoon ghee. Add 1 teaspoon grated ginger and let it fry for 30 seconds.
7. Then add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 slit green chilli (optional), ½ teaspoon crushed pepper, 1 sprig curry leaves and 10 cashew nuts. When the cashew nuts fry to golden color, add hing and turmeric.
8. Pour this to the oats pongal and mix well. Stir and turn off. Let the flavors absorb for 5 minutes.
Then serve it with pickle or chutney.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup moong dal (skinned split mung lentils)
- 2 to 2½ cups water (4 cups for instant pot)
- 8 to 10 cashews
- ½ teaspoon black pepper corn (crushed, adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon salt (more to adjust)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated or fine minced
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoon ghee or as needed
- ⅛ teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
- 1 green chilli slit (optional)
- Dry roast oats in a pot or pressure cooker for 3 to 4 minutes and remove them to a bowl. This step helps to make less sticky oats pongal.
- To the same pot or cooker, add moong dal and dry roast for 5 to 6 minutes on a medium heat until aromatic. This makes your oats pongal aromatic.
- Pour water and rinse the dal well at least thrice. Pour 1½ cups water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. If cooking in a pot, cook until moong dal becomes soft and mushy. If needed add more water while you cook.
- Once the pressure releases, open the lid and check. Dal has to be soft cooked. Pour ¾ to 1 cup hot water and add roasted oats.
- Cover and cook on a low to medium heat until oats are softened. Rolled oats do not take too long to cook as they are pre-steamed.
- Add salt as required and taste test it to adjust.
- Heat a pan with ghee. Add ginger and green chilli (optional). Saute for 30 to 40 seconds, then add cumin seeds, cashew nuts, curry leaves and black pepper.
- Fry until the cashews become light golden. Then add hing and turmeric. Turn off the stove.
- Pour the tempering to the cooked oats and moong dal. Stir and cover for 5 minutes before serving.
- Press the saute button and add ghee to the steel insert. Fry the cashews until golden and remove them to a bowl for garnishing later.
- Add ginger, green chilies (optional), cumin seeds, black pepper and curry leaves. Saute until you begin to smell the curry leaves good.
- Then add hing and oats. Roast for 2 to 3 mins. If the IP becomes too hot, press cancel in between and continue.
- Add rinsed moong dal, turmeric and salt. Continue to sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. I found this step makes the dish aromatic and less sticky.
- Press cancel. Pour 4 cups water and deglaze the pot.
- Secure the instant pot with the lid. Press pressure cook and set the timer to 8 minutes.
- After the IP beeps, wait for natural pressure release for 8 minutes. Release the rest of the pressure manually.
- Stir oats pongal. I prefer to top with little ghee. Serve with papads, pickle or chutney.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes