In a pressure cooker, add paasi paruppu (yellow moong dal) and roast till you get a nice aroma over low flame. Take care not to change the color.
Meanwhile wash rice well and add it to the pressure cooker. Add salt, water, milk (if using), mix well and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
In a mortar using a pestle, pound together pepper corns and cumin seeds coarsely. You can also use them as whole, but it will be more flavourful if you add pounded spices.
Heat a pan with ghee and oil. Add the pounded cumin-pepper and broken cashew nuts and cook over low flame till they become crisp and crunchy.
Next add ginger and curry leaves, Asafoetida and switch off the stove.
Open the cooker lid and check the consistency of the rice between your fingers whether its soft and easily mashable.
Transfer the tadka or seasoning to the pressure cooker and using a spatula mix vigorously distributing the seasoning evenly. A wooden spatula will work well.
Serve this ven pongal very hot along with medhu vada, coconut chutney, sambar and filter coffee for a sumptuous breakfast.
Drizzle more ghee on top of ven pongal before serving if you do not mind the calories.