Huggi (khara pongal) step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Huggi or khara pongal is a traditional Karnataka dish made with rice and moong dal (yellow lentils). It is similar to khichdi but is flavoured mainly with cumin seeds and black pepper.
Huggi is an integral part of Makara Sankranti celebrations. It is also offered as "prasada" in many temples in South India and is made during festivals and puja at home too.
There are two versions of huggi - one the savoury and a sweet version called sihi huggi. The savoury version of huggi is served with a tamarind-jaggery chutney called gojju.
About Makara Sankranti
Makara Sankranti or the harvest festival is widely celebrated in India, which falls on the 14th or 15th of January. In Karnataka, grains in the form of 'yellu-bella' is exchanged with family and friends. Makara Sankranti or Maghi is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the deity Surya. It is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar. This usually falls on the 14th or 15th of January and the people of India celebrate their harvest
'Yellu' is a Sankranti offering where white sesame seeds are mixed with jaggery, roasted Bengal gram, coconut, and peanuts. As a child, we loved to go for "yellu beerodu" where yellu, sugarcane, and sakkare achhu (sugar candy shapes) are exchanged with family and friends.
Rice: I make this dish with Basmati rice; however, any Indian variety of rice works well with this dish.
Moong dal: Moong dal (mung dal) or yellow lentils is used here (similar to khichdi).
Spices: Huggi is flavoured with cumin seeds and black pepper, which are the main spices used.
Cashew: Cashew adds richness and a great nutty flavour to the huggi.
Ghee: Use ghee for best tasting huggi.
Gojju: Gojju is an accompaniment with huggi and is made with tamarind extract and jaggery.
Step by step instructions
Dry roast moong dal for a few minutes (step 1).
Boil roasted moong dal and rice together until completely cooked (steps 2,3).
Temper ghee with cumin seeds, peppercorn, curry leaves, and cashew. Add the rest of the ingredients and fry (steps 4,5).
Add cooked rice-dal and salt (step 6).
Adjust consistency and simmer until it comes together (steps 7,8).
To make gojju, combine tamarind extract, jaggery, green chili, and salt (step 9).
Bring it to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes (step 10).
Prepare the tempering and add to gojju (steps 11,12).
Tips for making best huggi
Use ghee for best-tasting huggi. If you are wanting to make a vegan version of this dish, you may use oil but sadly, it will not taste as good as it does with ghee.
Don’t over roast the moong dal, else it will take a long time to cook. At the same time, don’t skip dry-roasting the moong dal, else it will become sticky.
Add water and adjust consistency as per your preference. You can either keep it dry and make it slightly runny (which I prefer). Make sure you simmer well after adding water until it comes together.
Traditionally, this dish is served with gojju which is a sweet-tangy side dish made with tamarind and jaggery. You can find the recipe for gojju here along with huggi.
Always serve huggi hot and top it with some ghee just before serving.
This dish also tastes good with coconut-coriander chutney and can be served for breakfast.
Click here for more festival food recipes.
This huggi is:
- traditional and authentic
- perfect for festivals
- wholesome and comforting
- great for lunchboxes
Huggi (Khara Pongal)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup yellow lentils (moong dal)
- ¼ cup ghee (3-4 tbsp)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 10-12 cashew
- ¼ cup coconut dried or desiccated, grated
- ½ inch ginger grated or 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 6-7 curry leaves
- 2-3 green chilli finely chopped, or as per taste
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup tamarind soaked in water
- ¼ cup jaggery grated
- 1-2 green chilli slit
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 4-5 curry leaves
- Dry roast the moong dal until aromatic (a few minutes)
- Wash it along with rice. Cook them with 4 cups of water in a rice cooker or pressure cooker
- Heat ghee in a kadhai or fry pan. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter
- Add black pepper and cashew. Fry till the cashew is light golden
- Add curry leaves, ginger, dry coconut, green chilli and turmeric powder. Fry for a minute
- Add the dal-rice mixture and salt. Add 2 cups water
- Mix together and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes
- Turn off the flame and serve hot with gojju
- To make gojju, combine tamarind extract, jaggery, green chilli, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Turn off the flame. To prepare the tempering, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add curry leaves and turn off the flame. Add the tempering to gojju and serve
Click here to watch Huggi (Khara Pongal) web story.