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millet pongal served in a bowl with tempering on top and black pepper on side
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5 from 4 votes

Foxtail Millet Pongal

Foxtail Millet or Thinai Pongal is an easy and healthy South Indian recipe made with millets & yellow moong lentils in ghee tempered with few spices in a Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or stovetop.
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Keyword foxtail millet, foxtail pongal, instant pot millet pongal
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 276kcal
Author Bhavana Patil


Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml


Instant Pot Method:

  • Firstly, Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Next, add ghee or oil to the POT. Note: Tastes better with ghee.
  • Once hot, add in the jeera, black pepper. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Next, add the green chilies, ginger, curry leaves, cashew nuts, and asafetida. Saute for another 30 secs till cashews turn light golden brown.
  • Next, add the rinsed moong dal and saute well for 1-2 minutes until dal turns light brown or aromatic.
  • Then add the millets, water, and salt to taste. Mix well. Ensure to Deglaze the bottom of the pot to remove any stuck bits to avoid BURN notice.
  • Close the lid on the pot. Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set the timer to 8 minutes.
  • Once the pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Once the pressure has released, open the lid and mix millet Pongal well. Note: If Pongal is not mushy, select saute mode, add 1 cup of water, and cook for 1-2 minutes or till mixture boils.
  • Serve Foxtail Millet Pongal with yogurt, raita, or coconut chutney.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method:

  • Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a pressure cooker and add the washed dal, Saute well 1-2 minutes till dal turns light brown or till aromatic. Then add millets.
  • Add 4 cups of water, mix well.
    Close the lid and put the whistle weight on. Cook for 4-5 whistles on medium flame and turn off the gas.
  • Once the pressure has released, open the lid and Mix the mixture well.
  • Meanwhile in a pan add remaining ghee, once its hot add jeera, black pepper and saute for few seconds.
  • Next add the green chilies, ginger, curry leaves, cashew nuts and asafetida. Saute for another 30 secs till cashews turn light golden brown.
  • Add this tempered mixture into the pongal and boil. Note: If pongal is not mushy then add 1 cup of water and adjust consistency.
  • Millet Pongal is ready, serve with yogurt, raita or coconut chutney.


I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT

Tips to Make Millet Pongal

  • Pongal tastes best when made fresh and eaten hot.
  • Pongal thickens a little on cooling. You can save leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop (add water if required to adjust consistency) just before serving.


    • The ratio of dal to millet is a personal preference. I have used equal amounts of dal and millet to include more protein into the diet. But you can reduce the dal as well.
    • You can also add some vegetables like carrots, peas, spinach to make this thinai Pongal recipe healthy.
    • Adding ghee enriches the taste of Pongal but Vegans can skip ghee/clarified butter and replace it with any cooking oil.
    • You can also use husked split moong dal, which makes this moong dal millet khichdi more healthy.
    • You can use the same recipe to make quinoa, rice, broken wheat Pongal. Just replace millets with rice, broken wheat, or quinoa.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2.8mg