Pongal (dish)

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A bowl of Pongal
Alternative namesPongali
Place of originIndia
Region or stateAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
Associated national cuisineIndian cuisine, Sri Lanka
Main ingredientsSweet: rice, milk, jaggery, coconut pieces or mung bean
Spicy: rice, pepper or tamarind Rice
VariationsSakkarai pongal, venn pongal, milagu pongal, puli pongal

Pongal or Pongali is a popular rice dish in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh,[1] Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.[2] In Tamil "pongal" means "bubbling up" and in Telugu and Kannada Pongali is a dish of rice mixed with boiled milk and sugar.[2]

There are two varieties of pongal, Sakkarai Pongal which is a sweet, and Venn Pongal, made from clarified butter; the word pongal generally refers to spicy pongal, and is a common breakfast food in Tamil Nadu and other south Indian states. The rice boiled with milk and jaggery during the Pongal festival is called Sakkaraippongal - this is sweet pongal made specially in earthenware pots with a wood fire.

Types of Pongal[edit]

Chakkera Pongali/Sakkarai Pongal[edit]

Sakkarai pongal or Chakkera Pongali (literally sweet pongal) is generally prepared in temples as a prasadam, (an offering made to a deity); this type of pongal is also made during Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu and during Sankranthi festival in Andhra Pradesh.[1]

Ingredients can include rice, coconut and mung bean. Sakarai pongal is traditionally sweetened with jaggery, which gives the pongal a brown colour, though it can be sweetened with white sugar instead.

Venn pongal[edit]

Venn (Tamil word for white) pongal is a popular savory dish in Tamil, Sri Lankan and other South Indian homes and is typically served as a special breakfast especially in Tamil Nadu, and other parts of Sri Lanka (Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka), South India, it is usually served with Sambar and coconut Chutney.

Pongal in Nagercoil, India

Melagu pongal[edit]

Melagu (Tamil word of pepper) pongal is a spicy variant made with pepper, rice and moong daal.

Puli pongal[edit]

Puli (Tamil word for Tamarind) pongal is a variant that is made with tamarind and boiled rice, it is not specifically associated with the Pongal festival and is often eaten for dinner.

Festive importance[edit]

Pongal is prepared as a important dish during pongal festival in Tamil Nadu and Sankranthi festival in Andhra Pradesh.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Medieval Andhra: A Socio-Historical Perspective. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b Essays and Lectures Chiefly on the Religion of the Hindus, Volume 2. Retrieved 3 October 2019.

External links[edit]