Pongal (dish)

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Pongal Pot from Pongal
Place of originIndian subcontinent
Region or stateJaffna, Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, India
Associated national cuisineIndia, Sri Lanka
Serving temperatureSweet: rice, milk, jaggery, coconut pieces or mung bean
Spicy: rice, pepper or tamarind
Main ingredientsRice
VariationsChakkara pongal, venn pongal, melagu pongal, puli pongal

Pongal is a popular rice dish, originating from the Indian subcontinent, in Sri Lanka and Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In Tamil "pongal" or in Telugu "pongu" means to " boil over" or "spill over".

There are two varieties of pongal, Chakkara Pongal which is a sweet, and Venn Pongal, made from clarified butter. The unqualified word pongal usually refers to spicy pongal, and is a common breakfast food in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The rice boiled with milk and jaggery during the Pongal festival is called Chakkara pongal - this is sweet pongal made specially in earthenware pots with a wood fire.

Types of pongal dish[edit]

Chakkara pongal[edit]

Chakkara pongal (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 / Sankranti in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India.

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 Sri Lankan and South Indian homes and is typically served as a special breakfast in parts of Sri Lanka (Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka) ,South India, especially Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. 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]

Every January, Tamils celebrate the harvest festival as Thai Pongal during which pongal is made and the rest of India celebrate as Makar Sankranthi.

External links[edit]