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Simple Menu Ideas for your Summer BBQ's

This Simple Menu Plan will help make putting together your own Backyard BBQ a breeze!

Instant Pot Pepper Pongal

Over the holiday break we had our friends visiting from India. We had a lovely time spending Christmas and New Year's together, celebrating with our multicultural family's traditions. The day before they left, NJ was hit with the 'bomb cyclone'  and at least 12" of snow. This gave us a relaxing snow day to learn and trade recipes! This Pepper Pongal is her recipe adapted for an Instapot, and just in time for Makar Sankrati!

Makar Sankranti marks the start of longer days. It is also known by various names such as Lohri, and Pongal.  In Telangana, people wear new clothes, pray to God, fly kites, and make offerings of traditional food to loved ones who've past on. Kishore often talks about his childhood memories of flying kites from the apartment rooftop, competing with others to capture each others kites. For this festival traditional foods are prepared like: Murukulu, Vadas, Sweet and Savory Pongals and other sweets and snacks.

This hearty gingery bean and rice dish is perfect for a cold winter day's lunch. Tasty, and filling with just the right amount of crisp warming spice from the ginger and black pepper to keep a cold at bay.

Here's my recipe for Instant Pot Pepper Pongal:
Instant Pot Pepper Pongal
Serves 4 - 6

2 1/2 cups Moong dal (Mung beans, shelled & halved)
1 cup Basmati Rice
1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
~10 Curry leaves
3-5 Green Chilies
3 tsp Fresh Ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 small bunch Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp Ghee or Olive Oil
8 cups Water
1 tsp Salt
Instapot or Pressure cooker


1. Set your Instant Pot to the Saute setting. Add Ghee, Cumin, Curry leaves, Beans, Green chilies, Garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook bean mixture till slightly golden. Then add the water, rice, salt, pepper and cilantro. Put the lid on and change the setting of your Instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure for 12 minutes. Make sure the pressure valve on the lid is set to Sealing.

3. After pressure cooking is done, allow the pot to vent slowly. Carefully remove lid and serve with  a little ghee and ginger pickle.

 Serve Hot with Ginger Pickle and Enjoy!

I have entered this post to My Legume Love Affair #115, hosted by Sowmya at Tuma's Tongue Treats and Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen and Susan's The Well Seasoned Cook.


  1. That's an awesome peppery recipe. Thanks much for coming over to my space and for linking this lovely recipe.


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