Little Millet Pongal | Saame Pongal Recipe

Healthy, light, easy and loaded with proteins and fiber, this little millet pongal recipe is the healthiest dish you can make for Sankranthi. Cooked with split moong dal, little millet and seasoned with pepper, cumin and a generous hint of ginger – there’s no better way to start your day than with this healthy dish.

Little Millet Pongal - Slurpy Platter - Saame Pongal

Come January, it is the time for harvesting happiness as Makara Sankranthi – the harvest festival falls on either the 14th or 15th of January, every year. It is the time when the winter sun marks the transition of the Sun into its celestial path and begins his northward journey. The traditional Indian calendar is based on lunar positions, Sankranti is a solar event.

This is also the time when all the farmers celebrate their first harvest of the season and offer it to the Gods. It is a way of expressing gratitude for all the good things that have been received.

Of course, Sankranti celebrations and rituals vary from region to region and in Karnataka we celebrate it with a special mixture of yellu ( til), bella (jaggery) that is mixed with roasted and peeled groundnuts, dried coconut and fried gram dal which is just right for the season (winter) to keep the body warm.

Little Millet Pongal - Slurpy Platter - Saame Pongal

Little Millet Pongal

Here’s what little millet looks like when you buy it from the store. I buy mine from the organic farmer’s market that happens once a month near my place. This is an unpolished version of the little millet which has nutrients intact.

Saame pongal-Little Millet Pongal - Slurpy Platter

Significance of yellu bella during Sankranti:

The til is known to negate all the toxins in our body and the jaggery keeps our body warm, since both these are warmers, the dried coconut is known to have cooling properties which balances the heat. The groundnut of course is for the protein and anti-oxidants. So it is a perfect balance of all the ingredients to keep the body in sync with the season.

Nostalgia

I remember the days when I was young and my grandmom would painstakingly cut the jaggery, dried coconut with a scissor specifically designed for cutting them into small chunks. She would lay them on the terrace to sun dry and how we’d sneak into the space to stealthily pop in some jaggery and coconut only to get yelled by her later ha ha ha. Those are the days I really miss the most and the memories still remain afresh.¬†If only we could travel back in time! Phew!

Little Millet Pongal - Slurpy Platter - Saame Pongal

Anyway, coming back to little millet pongal – the general norm at most household is to make pongal with rice and moong dal. However, owing to curb some carbs and eating healthy, we switched to millets 3 years ago. ever since then it has been millets pongal on Sankranthi. Of course, you could make this with red rice/brown rice. But making it with millets keeps you all the more lighter.

Little millet tastes the closest to rice and is not too bland either. It tastes just right and would be the perfect breakfast even on other days or as an option for lunch box.

Why little millet:

  • Because it is high on fiber
  • Simple to cook
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Is great for diabetics

You might also like:

Barnyard Millet Idly

Foxtail Millet Payasa

Foxtail Millet and Lentil Dumplings

Little Millet Pongal - Slurpy Platter - Saame Pongal
Little Millet Pongal | Saame Pongal Recipe
Healthy, light, easy and loaded with proteins and fiber, this little millet pongal recipe is the healthiest dish you can make for Sankranthi. Cooked with split moong dal, little millet and seasoned with pepper, cumin and a generous hint of ginger - there's no better way to start your day than with this healthy dish.
Little Millet Pongal - Slurpy Platter - Saame Pongal
Little Millet Pongal | Saame Pongal Recipe
Healthy, light, easy and loaded with proteins and fiber, this little millet pongal recipe is the healthiest dish you can make for Sankranthi. Cooked with split moong dal, little millet and seasoned with pepper, cumin and a generous hint of ginger - there's no better way to start your day than with this healthy dish.
Servings Prep Time
4People 15Minutes
Cook Time
20Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4People 15Minutes
Cook Time
20Minutes
Ingredients
For tempering
Instructions
  1. To begin making the little millet saame pongal, mix the little millet and moong dal together and wash it 3-4 times. Keep it aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add the mustard, jeera - once they crackle add the green chillies, hing, turmeric and curry leaves. Now add the cashews and fry till they turn golden brown. Keep a small portion of this for garnishing.
  3. Now add the little millet and moong dal - give it a quick mix. Add 2 cups of water to this and wait till it comes to a slight boil.
  4. Time to add the ginger, pepper powder and salt - give it a quick mix. Close the pressure cooker and let it cook until 2-3 whistles. Once the cooker cools, open and give it a fluff, check if you need to add more water in case it is a bit dry. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a bit of seasoning.
Recipe Notes

You can use foxtail millet/ barnyard millet as well instead of little millet if you want to experiment.

You could also try this recipe with brown/red rice instead of millets.



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