Spicy Broken Wheat Pongal/ Dalia Khichidi

Pongal is a famous tiffin item in South India. It is usually made of rice and moong daal in a pressure cooker with appropriate seasonings. I mostly make it with rice the traditional way, on occasions I make it with rava (Rava Pongal) but this time I made this Spicy Pongal using broken wheat/dalia

I had a packet of broken wheat lying in the pantry for a long time and was looking for ways of using it. I have tried some kheer with it before, but have not used it much in regular cooking. After looking around on the web, I decided to make this Khichidi/Pongal.

I love the texture of cooked broken wheat in this spicy khichidi. Even though it is soft, you can feel its mild presence while eating it. Also it does not hurt that dalia is better in nutrients compared to rice. Taste wise there is no difference compared to the rice based khichidi/pongal

This is a comfort in a bowl especially during cold wintery days. I enjoy eating this eating with lemon pickle, pappads and some raita.


  • ¾ cup broken wheat/dalia
  • ½ cup split moong daal
  • 3-4 green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 2 red chillies (broken into 3 pieces)
  • 5-10 whole black peppercorn [you can add powder if you do not like it whole]
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 5-10 curry leaves
  • ¼ cup grated coconut (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • pinch of hing/asafetida
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste 


  • Pressure cook the moong daal, along with the broken wheat in 2 cups of water. Keep aside.
  • Take a big pan and heat 1 Tbsp of oil/ghee. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add the curry leaves, broken red chillies, hing/asafetida, pepper corns and green chillies and fry for for few seconds.
  • Add the cooked daal-dalia to this, salt, ginger and keep stirring.
  • Cover it with a lid and it cook for a minute for two. Garnish with chopped coriander, coconut and 1 tsp ghee and switch off the gas.
  • Ghee imparts a wonderful aroma to the dish. Serve Hot along with lemon pickle, raita, pappads. 

Konkani Undi/ Steamed Rice dumpling

Blame it on the winter season, but lately I have been on the lookout for ‘chatpata’ steamed food that can be made ‘zhatpat’. One some really cold days, I don’t care for heavy meals, but feel like nibbling on some warm finger food along with hearty soup. So while on quest for such recipes on the net I landed on Lakshmi Canteen a wonderful blog which is a store house of tradition Konkani recipes.

 When I looked at her “Undi recipe, I froze as I had completely forgotten about it. It is a well loved breakfast/snack dish our favorite and one my mom-in-law makes for us often when we are in Bangalore. Traditionally this is made by soaking rice overnight and then grinding it in the morning along with coconut. But I took some shortcuts and made it the quicker way using Idli rava. 

Note that the rava that is used here in this dish is rice rava (used for making idlis) and not the sooji rava. Also using chopped coriander leaves in this is traditionally scoffed upon, but I for one cannot do without these leaves and use it in almost anything savory. If you do not like then do skip them. 

I have been told that these are called as upma khozukattai in Tamil.

Recipe Adapted from Lakshmi Canteen 


  • 1 cup idli rava [not sooji rava]
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves 


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds
  • 4- curry leaves (broken)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated) [optional]
  • 2-3 Green chillies [chopped finely]
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal  


  • Heat a big pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter then add urad daal and continue to stir until it turns light brown
  • Add the methi seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger and mix again.
  • Now add 2.5 cups of water and let it come to boil.
  • Add the idli rava, salt and continue to stir until the water has evaporated.  Add the shredded coconut, chopped coriander and stir. Turn off the gas.
  • Let this cool (not completely).Rub some oil on the palms and make small balls out of the dough. Using index finger make a hole in the middle.
  • Now take these balls and steam it in a pressure cooker like idli for 8-10 minutes.  (Without the weight). I used the idli stand greased it and placed 6-8 undis on one plate.
  • Serve hot as is or along with coconut oil or podi. 

Kesar Phirni

Hope you are having a great start to the New Year with all resolutions intact. Also hope you had a great weekend. We had a fun and relaxing weekend with a potluck dinner at a friends’ place. With great food, chatter and laughter it was a good way to re-charge the ‘batteries’ and gear up for the hectic week ahead. 

I had prepared this Kheer during the beginning of the New Year. Even though the weather is awesome for January, it has been cloudy on days. As a result I could not take some good pictures, depicting the actual color and texture of this kheer/pudding. 

Phirni tastes pretty much like rice kheer but with a different texture. Phirni is made of ground rice and so it has a different texture, but the good thing is that it cooks fast. 


  • 4 Tbsp raw Rice( I used Basmati)
  • 1 liter Milk (use whole milk)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8-10 saffron strands/ Kesar
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 Tbsp slivered/chopped almonds
  • 5-10 pistachios (pista), finely chopped  


  • Soak the rice in ¾ cup water and keep aside for 1 hour.
  • Also soak the saffron strands in 1 Tbsp of warm milk.
  • Grind the soaked rice in 1/2 cup water and make a thick paste. While grinding it should be thick. Add little water and bring its consistency to that of idli batter.
  •  Heat the milk in a big sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Continue to heat it on simmer.
  • Add the sugar and stir well. After it has settled, add the rice paste, saffron milk in small intervals and keep stirring.
  • Note: Do not add the rice paste all at one time as it may form lumps.
  • Continue stirring for 5-10 minutes until the mixture half way thickens up. Add the cardamom powder and mix.
  • Note: The mixture will thicken up more after cooling.
  • Keep this refrigerated. Garnish with almonds and pista before serving. This is traditionally served in earthenware.