Monday, January 15, 2007

Venn Pongal - variation

Pete tasted the Venn Pongal I made yesterday, a little doubtfully.

No green chillies lurking in it? he asked.

No, honestly. Just black pepper.

Hmmmm, he said, after a mouthful. There's something missing, it's a bit bland.

Bland? With the lashings of black pepper in it?

Yep, bland, he insisted.

Perhaps it was lacking in salt?

Nope, it tasted fine for salt, he said. Just bland.

I got the idea. My nice hot pongal was, apparently, bland. So I went away and had another go at sampling it, tasting the combined flavours of the moong dal and pepper and ghee and cashews and curry leaves and cumin seeds on my tongue, wondering exactly which of these ingredients was the offender.

I was tasting my 7th or 8th spoonful of pongal - with no clear decision on the elusive bland item (but I wasnt complaining as the tasting was going quite well) - when the Lord of the Manor sauntered into the kitchen.

I have it, he said. I know how to remedy the blandness.

Really? Wanna tell me how?

Sure, he said. Let's see... got any fresh carrots?

Carrots? Sure. One fresh carrot coming up.

Right, he said. Got any lemons?

Got those too. What next? What's your plan?

Well, he said. The plan is to grate the carrot, relieve the lemon of its juice and combine the two with the pongal.


You heard me, he said, as he grated the carrot and relieved the lemon of its juice with an extra flashy squeeze, a la Ainsley Harriot. Let me have some of that pongal... what do you mean, over your dead body? Blimey, anyone would think I'm going to do vile unmentionable things with it. JUST GIVE IT HERE, will you?!

Ohhh, my pongal, my nice pongal!

Ok, it's ready, he said. Now try it.

And because it seemed like I would be force-fed if I didnt try it, I did.

So, he said. What do you think?

Hmmm... actually, it's surprisingly yummy.

Excellent, he said. I knew the lemon juice would give that much-needed zing and cut through the heat of the black peppercorns, and fresh carrot would give it some crunch.


I'd like some too, you know, he said. ...WHAT DO YOU MEAN, OVER YOUR DEAD BODY???!!!!

Recipe for:
Venn Pongal - variation


1 cup
Venn pongal
1 medium carrot, grated
Juice of one large lemon, or as required


Mix the lemon juice and carrots with the hot pongal. Taste for blandness (or lack thereof), adding more lemon juice if required. Serve at once.


Anonymous said...

Sweet conversation. I have a thing for British accent and style of writing :)

Ultimate Foodie said...

Hi shammai, going to try this crunchy,lemony version next time I make pongal...hope u had a nice time celebrating Pongal...

Ultimate Foodie said...

oops shammi,sorry for the typo "shammai" :(

Ultimate Foodie said...

Thanks for visiting the blog shammi and your nice words.I'm honoured :) (i really mean it). I don't think you need detailed write-ups. Ur excellent way of making the everyday conversations into nice posts more than compensates for it and makes me come back for more...

TNL said...

How cute!! I just love the word "blimey"...!
Nice looking Pongal btw!


Anonymous said...

Ha Ha! lovely post Shammi! very nice idea to pep up Venn Pongal. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Vaishali said...

Hahahahahaha...and then...hehehehehehe...and then...heeheeheehee... :)

Mrs. K said...

Now that sounds like a must try.

Anonymous said...

you know what you missed - the kothsu (veggies for crunchiness and tamarind for the tangy taste). Well your hubby compensated for that with the carrot and lime combo!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shyamala,

First time I am penning down here, but have been for lotta times to see what's the new cake from your side; as my baking classes(self), started only recently...Iam waiting to try out every recipe of yours.

Are you from TN? Iam though, and I have added you in blog roll as tamilian...anything wrong?

Anonymous said...

Nice variation of venn pongal. Lovely photo, especially the garnishing with the carrot shreds add a dashing color to the pongal.
Here is yet another unique variation of the pongal - kollu pongal:

Anonymous said...

hehehe...i was having more fun reading your conversation....thats not say,i won't try your recipe....