Polligum (South Indian mung dal and rice)  or can use millet

Lentils for breakfast???? It sounds odd but Indians have lentils for breakfast all the time.  They prepare lentils as sponge cakes called idlis, as crepes called dosas, and a rice dish called polligum or pongal.  Here is a great recipe, especially if you are a runner.  It is a lentil and rice dish that has the consistency of a porridge.

 Mung dal and rice: (polligum) 


1/3 of a cup of raw unsalted cashews (can omit if you are cutting out the fat)

1/2 inch of crushed ginger

one chopped jalapeño (can omit if you don't like hot spicy food)

one teaspoon of cumin seeds

one teaspoon of black pepercorns

6 curry leaves (can omit if you don't have any)

one teaspoon of oil

1/4 cup of unsweetened grated coconut

5 cups of water

two cups brown rice or millet

3/4 cup of mung dal

turmeric for color

salt to taste

In a small skillet, add one teaspoon of oil and heat to medium.  To oil add 1/3 cup chopped raw unsalted cashews.  Just as cashews are starting to brown, add 1/2 inch crushed ginger, and one chopped jalapeno, one teaspoon cumin seeds and one teaspoon of whole black peppercorns, and 6 curry leaves.   Sauté until cashews have browned nicely and set aside.

In a blender, add 1/4 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut with 5  cups of water.  In a pressure cooker, add two cups of brown rice or millet, the contents of the blender, and 3/4 cup of yellow mung dal, and the contents of the skillet.  Cook under high pressure for 15 minutes.

Remove from the pressure cooker and one 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and salt to taste. Mix well. Goes well with tomato chutney.

Dr. Padma Garvey

The plant-based Doctor Mom