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Pongal (dish)

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 or Huggi 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". In Telugu and Kannada Pongali is a dish of rice mixed with boiled milk and sugar.[2] Huggi is derived from Old Kannada word Puggi meaning "bubbled up, ballooned"[citation needed]

The two varieties of Pongal are chakarai Pongal which is sweet, and venn Pongal, which is made from clarified butter. The word Pongal generally refers to spicy pongal and is a common breakfast food. The rice boiled with milk and jaggery during the Pongal festival is called chakarai Pongal, made specially in earthenware pots with a wood fire.


Pongal or Pongali being cooked in Salem, Tamil Nadu, India for the Pongal Festival

Chakarai Pongal

Chakarai Pongal or Chakkara Pongali (lit. Sweet pongal) is generally prepared in temples as a prasadam, (an offering made to a deity). This type of pongal is made during the Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu and during Sankranthi festival in Andhra Pradesh.

Ingredients can include rice, coconut and mung bean. Chakarai Pongal is often sweetened with jaggery, which gives pongal a brown color, though it can be sweetened with white sugar instead.

Venn Pongal

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 Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. It is usually served with Sambar and coconut Chutney.

Pongal in Nagercoil, India

Melagu Pongal

Melagu (Tamil word for pepper) Pongal is a spicy variant of the same dish made with pepper, rice and moong daal.

Puli Pongal

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

Festive importance

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


  1. ^ a b 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