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Instant Pot Pongal Recipe: Traditional Taste Instant Pot Pongal Recipe: Traditional Taste


Instant Pot Pongal Recipe: Traditional Taste

Written by: Lucas Johnson

This Instant Pot Pongal is my go-to comfort food. It's a hearty mix of rice and dal, spiced with cumin and pepper, and topped with golden fried cashews. Pure bliss in a bowl!

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Call me old-school, but there's something incredibly comforting about a steamy bowl of Pongal. Hearty, filling, and bursting with flavor, this Indian delicacy is cooked in my household every other week. Can't resist its savory charm where rice and moong dal mingle with spices. Don't even get me started on the golden fried cashews that add a delightful crunch! I promise you, once you've tried your hand at this Instant Pot recipe, you'll be hooked for life. Ready to embark on this flavor ride? Let's dive in!

Ingredients for Delicious Pongal

  • Rice: Essential base for the dish, provides bulk and texture to the pongal, absorbing flavors and creating a hearty meal.
  • Split yellow moong dal: Adds a creamy texture and nutty flavor, complements the rice, and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Cumin seeds: Imparts a warm, earthy flavor to the pongal, enhancing the overall aroma and adding depth to the dish.
  • Black pepper: Adds a subtle heat and pungent flavor, balancing the dish and providing a gentle kick of spiciness.
  • Ginger: Adds a fresh, zesty flavor to the pongal, providing a hint of warmth and a subtle kick of spice.
  • Cashew nuts: Provides a crunchy texture and nutty flavor, adding a delightful contrast to the creamy pongal.

Essential Tools for Making Instant Pot Pongal

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the rice and dal quickly and efficiently.
  • Pan: Used for frying the cashew nuts to a golden brown, adding a crunchy texture to the dish.

Instant Pot Pongal Recipe: Traditional Taste

This Instant Pot Pongal recipe brings the traditional taste of South Indian comfort food to your kitchen. Made with rice, split yellow moong dal, and flavored with cumin, black pepper, and ginger, this dish is perfect for a quick and nutritious meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • Instant Pot
  • Pan


Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 0.5 cup split yellow moong dal
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 10-12 pieces cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  • Rinse the rice and dal together in water.
  • In the Instant Pot, add the rinsed rice and dal, water, cumin seeds, black pepper, ginger, and salt.
  • Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • Once done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
  • In a separate pan, heat ghee and fry the cashew nuts until golden brown.
  • Open the Instant Pot, give the Pongal a good mix, and add the fried cashews and ghee.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.


This dish is perfect for breakfast or lunch and pairs well with coconut chutney or sambar.


Calories: 350kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 12gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 500mgPotassium: 300mgFiber: 8gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Comfort Food, Instant Pot, Pongal, South Indian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Can You Make Pongal Ahead of Time or Freeze It?

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Cook the pongal as per the recipe instructions.
  • Let it cool down to room temperature.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • Allow the pongal to cool completely.
  • Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag, removing any excess air.
  • Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

In South India, Pongal is not only a delicious dish but also a festival celebrated in mid-January to mark the end of the winter solstice and the start of the sun's six-month-long journey northwards.

Common Questions About Making Instant Pot Pongal Recipe

Can I use any type of rice for this pongal recipe?
Yes, you can use any type of rice, but traditionally raw rice or short-grain rice is preferred for this dish.
How can I adjust the consistency of the pongal?
If you prefer a thicker consistency, reduce the amount of water used. For a thinner consistency, you can add more water after cooking.
Can I skip adding cashew nuts to the pongal?
Yes, you can omit the cashew nuts if you prefer or if you have allergies. The dish will still taste delicious without them.
Is there a substitute for ghee in this recipe?
You can use butter or oil as a substitute for ghee if needed. However, ghee adds a traditional flavor to the dish.
Can I add vegetables to this pongal recipe?
Yes, you can add vegetables like carrots, peas, or beans to make the dish more nutritious and flavorful. Just ensure they are cooked along with the rice and dal.

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