Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pongal and Chicken

Wait, wait, wait! Stop looking all confused by the title. I know that you probably think it sounds strange to eat chicken with pongal (and PLEASE let me know if it doesn't), but you have GOT to try this combination. I've been getting strange looks every time I tell it to anyone, but have managed to convert most to liking this!

Pongal and chicken gravy was probably my all time favorite breakfast combination growing up. Pongal, however, was probably the only thing where my brother would disagree with me in terms of food. He would eat anything, but just never liked pongal. So, Amma would be stuck making 2 breakfasts. Poor thing!

This pongal and chicken goes back generations in my family. Actually, the recipe for the chicken gravy comes from Amma's periyamma (Mom's uncle's wife). So, Amma grew up on this too! I guess you could call it a connector of generations. It makes me feel connected to my ancestors when making it and eating it...

I love this combo so much that I often turn to it as a comfort food when I don't feel well. I hope you will try out my beloved pongal with chicken gravy and be pleasantly surprised with the taste!

pongal and chicken gravy



Rice - 1 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Water - 4 cups
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Whole black peppercorns, cracked - 2 teaspoons
Ginger, cut in small dice - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds, crushed - 2 teaspoons
Ghee - 2 teaspoons


1. Put rice, moong dal, and water in pressure cooker.

2. Cook for 3-4 whistles. Let pressure subside on its own.

3. Once pressure is released, open the cooker and do the seasoning.

4. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add ginger and fry until fragrant and cooked. Then, add peppercorns and cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds.

5. Add this to the cooked rice-dal mixture along with required salt. Mix well and serve hot with chicken gravy.

Chicken gravy/kuzhambu:


Chicken, cut in small pieces - 1.5 to 2 lbs
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 4-5 cloves, crushed
Ginger - 1 inch piece, crushed
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 medium, sliced
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Dry roast and coarsely grind:

Whole red chillies - 8, or to taste
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp


1. Heat oil in pan. When hot, add fennel seeds and fry until brown. Then, do seasoning with onion and curry leaves.

2. Once onion is browned, add chicken, cover, and let cook on medium high until water evaporates and it begins to slightly brown.

3. At this point, add the crushed garlic, ginger, ground masala powder, turmeric powder, and salt, along with enough water to cover the chicken.

4. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Let cook until chicken is cooked. Add more water if needed. *This gravy should be fairly thin so as to have enough to eat with the pongal.

5. Enjoy piping hot with the hot pongal!

We have this in our family on Maatu Pongal, as well as any normal day. :)

This one is headed over to Meeta's monthly mingle for January. The theme is comfort foods, and for me, there's nothing better than this dish!


Cynthia said...

Well, I'd love to tell you if it's strange to have pongal with chicken but unfortunately, I can't :)

Hello Kalai, thanks very much for stopping by my blog and leaving such kind comments. I do hope you come back and visit. I know I'll definitely be checking out your blog everytime you post.

Have a great weekend.

Pravs said...

What a nice combo! I am sure this is finger licking good.

Kalai said...

Cynthia: Thanks soooo much for dropping by and being so encouraging. As a new blogger, I really appreciate it! Will be coming by your blog often as well!

Pravs: You have no idea how good it is, my dear! Try it and you just might become an addict... Lol :)

sra said...

Kalai, even I was surprised at the combination but come to think of it, I think Parsis eat this way too - after all, pongal is like khichdi and one of the traditional accompaniments to khichdi is a meat curry.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I have never had pongal, but I think this combination sounds great! Plus that is the joy of cooking - making up great combinations!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Bharathy said...

Pongal with Chicken curry ! :D!!
This sounds great, Kalai!!!
I cannot go for this dish for the day of Pongal as I am into a veg family.May be when I make chicken curry @ my mom's place,I can make pongal too and try this combo :)
Interesting!!..Fine recipe too :)

Lavanya said...

kalai..its a very strange combination. being a veggie..i cant try. nice blog.

Kalai said...

Sra: Welcome to my blog! Yeah, most people I've met are surprised. I had no idea Parsis eat this way, too. Thanks for the info!

Jenn: Thanks for adding me to the blogroll! You should definitely try this sometime.:)

Bharathy: Definitely try it at your mom's place. Your mom would probably like it too! :)

Kalai said...


Thanks so much for coming to my blog! Sorry that you can't try it out, but I'll be posting more veg dishes that you can try out in the future! :)

MeetaK said...

Interesting combination. Chicken curry is something I always enjoy. Thanks!

Kalai said...

Thanks, Meeta. If you like pongal, you should definitely give this a try! :)

farah said...

hi kalai,
it's a co incidence that i tried out this combo just a month back and enjoyed it very much. not odd at all, i can say.
i stumbled to ur blog from mishmash. nice site.will be stopping more often now.

Kalai said...

Farah, a warm welcome to you! Glad to hear that you liked it so much! I look forward to more visits from you in the future. :)