Years ago, while we were staying at Thalassery, one of our neighbors was an old couple living in their ancestral home. Adjacent to our property with a five-foot laterite wall in between, we would spend some time every day talking across the wall. As the lady was having cardiac trouble and her husband had a partial renal failure, they found it hard to cook for themselves. So often, they would find me calling out to them over the wall with hot parcels of some of our food. Rarely, however, when the old lady would be feeling healthier, she would cook some delicious Tamilian dishes. On a lazy Sunday morning, I would wake up to hear her calling me loudly over the wall. Being settled at Pollachi in Tamil Nadu for decades, she was proficient in Tamil cooking. A dish of fragrant pongal and chutney in my hands, off I would go to our table and we would happily tuck in.
My husband and children just love pongal and chutney, so I make it more or less every week for them. Pongal is made with rice and dal (lentils), the rice supplying the carbohydrates, and the dal the protein. The coconut and chickpea dal chutney serves only to enhance the delightful taste and nutrition of pongal, sometimes called ven-pongal or thai-pongal. Here is the recipe for you. Do cook and enjoy this delicious, healthy, filling and easily digested dish.