Here is a recipe that is just in time for Pongal - the Harvest Festival celebrated in various parts of India. In my home back in Chennai, it is a day for new clothes, eating raw sugar cane fresh from the market, and a feast with family and friends. The star of this festival is the "sakara pongal" - the sweet version, made with jaggery. Also is this "venpongal" which is the spicy version. This is also a standard breakfast dish in my household. One of the simplest recipes to make, it is generally served with coconut chutney and sambar. I made this dish a few weeks back for brunch on Sunday.
Equal portions of rice and toor dal are pressure cooked, with some salt. In a separate pan, heat ghee (clarified butter), brown some cashew nuts, add either whole black peppers or as I have in this version, coarse ground pepper, and mix this with the cooked rice & dal. That's it! I have also played around with this dish with different kinds of lentils, other spices. But the classic & simple version will always be a comfort food for us.