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Freekeh Pongal

Pongal brings back memories of temples, prasadams, warm breakfast and the smell of pure ghee. Though I did not grow up eating or making Pongal, it is now a comfort food that I had started enjoying during my short time in Chennai. Here, in New England, I make Pongal with all sorts of whole grains and seeds like red rice, black rice, quinoa, millet, farro, etc. Today, it is Freekeh since I have plenty in my pantry thanks to organic cracked Freekeh which started showing up in Costco shelves in the recent past.

Now talking of ghee, I grew up in India, the land of Ayurveda and other ancient medicines. I have read about (and experienced as well) the medicinal, therapeutic and nutritional benefits of ghee. I believe that consuming ghee in small amounts is very beneficial if not essential. Like any other dairy product I only recommend using ghee made from organic, grass fed cow's milk. I make my own ghee and I also buy it from here

  • Cracked Freekeh - 3/4 cup (soaked overnight )
  • Whole mung bean - 1/2 cup (soaked overnight) 
  • Black pepper corns - 1-2 tspn (coarsely crushed)
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Ghee -  2 Tbs.
  • Sea salt -  as per taste 
  • Fresh coconut slices - 1/2 cup
  • Fresh ginger - 1 Tbs. (juliennes)

  • Drain the Freekeh and mung from soaking liquid. 
  • Heat 1 Tbsn of ghee in a small pan and add cumin seeds and crushed pepper and sauté for couple minutes. Add this to drained Freekeh.
  • Add a cup of water and salt and cook well. (I use a pressure cooker, but a rice cooker or a sauce pan would work well too ). Pongal is almost ready you just need to garnish now.
  • Heat remaining ghee in the small pan again and add coconut slices and roast till slightly golden. Add ginger juliennes and sauté for couple of minutes more. Garnish this over the Pongal.
  • Serve warm with coconut chutney.
  • Enjoy!


  1. I would like to know whether Freekeh grain is available in India?

    1. I am not sure, I would suggest you check with any of the speciality grocery stores..for example in Chennai, you have Dhanyam Organic Store in 3 locations ..


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