Pongal (dish)

Pongal or Huggi is a popular South Indian rice dish. In Tamil "pongal" means "bubbling up". In Telugu and Kannada Pongali is a dish of rice mixed with boiled milk and sugar.[1] Huggi is derived from the Old Kannada word Puggi meaning "bubbled up, ballooned"[citation needed]

A bowl of Pongal
Alternative namesPongali
Place of originIndia
Region or stateSouth India
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

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 venn pongal and is a common breakfast food. Chakarai Pongal is made during the Pongal festival.


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

Chakarai PongalEdit

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 PongalEdit

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 PongalEdit

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

Puli PongalEdit

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 importanceEdit

Pongal is prepared as an important dish during Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu and Sankranthi festival in Andhra Pradesh.[2]


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

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