Want to Pamper Your Taste-Buds this Pongal? Here are Mouth-Watering Pongal Recipes You can't Miss in 2019

Want to Pamper Your Taste-Buds this Pongal? Here are Mouth-Watering Pongal Recipes You can't Miss in 2019

The festival of harvest is finally here! And so are the mouth-watering dishes! Many of us eagerly wait for Pongal because it is time to explore some delicious recipes. We have curated a list of some delightful dishes which you must try this year. Have a look.

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The Difference Between Khara Pongal and Sweet Pongal

Pongal is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a four-day long festival which falls in the month of January. Pongal means overflowing in the Tamil language. The most important tradition is to boil the rice in pots early morning until it overflows. Typical Pongal recipes are khara/ven pongal and sarkarai/sweet pongal.

Khara/ven pongal is the savory version of the pongal which is spicy, healthy, rich and delicious. It is generally a one-pot meal and doesn't need much effort. It is also made during auspicious occasions in temples and at homes. The main ingredient is rice which can also be replaced by millets to increase the health quotient. The right kind of rice is important since it brings out the taste. You can use ponni raw rice or seeraka samba or even sona masuri rice for making khara pongal.

Sarkarai/sweet pongal is the sweet version of pongal which is made using the same types of rice mentioned above. It is sweetened with jaggery and cooked in clay pots. However, in modern times, the clay pots have been replaced by pressure cookers. The point to be noted in both these recipes is that the ingredients used are supposed to be healthy and apt for cold weather.

So What Comprises a Typical Pongal Menu?

Any festival celebrated anywhere in the world comes with a veritable feast. It is much more so in India where every region has its own specialities. The breakfast and the lunch menu on Pongal are quite varied and grand. The only rule is that it must not contain garlic or onion.

The Breakfast Menu

On the day of Pongal, the cooking and the pooja starts early morning. A typical breakfast menu comprises of khara pongal, sarkarai pongal, paal pongal, pongal kuzhambu, sambar, Idli, coconut chutney, vadai and athirasam.

What's Served for Lunch or Dinner

The lunch prepared for Pongal is heavy and is surely a feast. It is always vegetarian and again, with no garlic or onion. It includes a variety of dishes and the aroma is unbeatable. The lunch menu differs from family to family and might include some traditional recipes handed over from generation to generation. The standard lunch menu includes sambar, rasam, rice, curd rice, potato/plantain fry, poriyal, aviyal, kootu, pachadi, vadai and payasam. And of course, There is the sweet pongal too.

6 Mouth-Watering Pongal Recipes

Paal Pongal in Pongal Paanai

Paal pongal is the basic pongal that is cooked on pongal day. It has little to no taste on its own hence it is customary to serve it with pongal kuzhambu. It tastes best when cooked in a bronze pot.


  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Milk - 5 cups
  • Salt


  • Wash the rice and set it aside.
  • Add milk to the bronze pot and bring it to boil.
  • Once it boils over, add the washed rice and let it cook until it is half cooked.
  • At this point add salt. Mix the rice occasionally with a ladle as it cooks.
  • Keep cooking until the rice is soft and mushy.
  • Serve it with pongal kuzhambu.
  • For more information, click here

Sweet Pongal in Pongal Paanai

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Sarakarai pongal or sweet pongal is a delicacy which is made during Pongal and offered for the Gods. It is prepared not just during Pongal but also during other auspicious occasions. It is also shared as a prasad in the temples after being offered to God.


  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Moong Dal - ¼ cup
  • Ghee - 4 tbsp
  • Milk - 1 - 1 ½ cup
  • Jaggery - 1 cup
  • Water - 3 - 4 cups
  • Raisins - 1 tbsp
  • Cashews - 2 tbsp


  • To start with, wash the raw rice with 1 cup of water and save the water.
  • Add the washed water, 1 ½ milk and 1 cup of water in a pongal paanai and bring it to a boil.
  • As the milk boils and rises up, drizzle some water. The milk will now subside.
  • Add the rice and moong dal to the milk.
  • Let it cook until it is little more than soft which means the rice needs to be cooked more than usual.
  • Keep an eye on the water level. Add more if needed.
  • Take the jaggery with a little water and bring it to boil. The mixture should have the consistency of a paste.
  • Filter and add it to the rice and mix it well.
  • Take a small pan and heat ghee.
  • Add cashews to the hot ghee and wait until it has turned golden.
  • Then add the raisins until they balloon up and pop.
  • Add this mixture to the rice. Your sweet pongal is ready to be served.
  • For more information, click here

Temple Style Venpongal

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Ven Pongal or khara pongal is one of the most favorite breakfast in whole South India. The combination of rice and dal makes it one of the nutritious breakfasts and is also filling. It is also shared among the devotees in temples after being offered to God.


  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Moong dal - 1 cup
  • Water - 6 cups
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Mustard - 1 tsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
  • Coriander leaves
  • Salt - to taste


  • Dry roast the moong dal until it is golden brown.
  • Wash the raw rice and add it to the moong dal.
  • In a pressure cooker add the rice and moong dal mix along with 6 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook it for 3 whistles. Let the pressure die down on its own.
  • Open the cooker and ensure the rice and the dal are mushy and soft to touch.
  • In a small pan, add oil and ghee and wait for it to get hot.
  • Once it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to sputter.
  • Then add cumin, pepper, curry leaves, crushed ginger and a pinch of asafoetida.
  • Add the mixture and salt to the cooked rice and dal. Make sure to add salt little by little and mix everything thoroughly.
  • Add coriander leaves at the last and serve it hot with sambar and chutney.
  • For more information, click here

Dalia Pongal

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Pongal is one of the most loved breakfast down south. However, the calorie content is high due to the presence of rice and ghee. Adding wheat rava instead of rice makes it easier for the stomach and is an apt breakfast when you want something light yet delicious.


  • Wheat rava - 1 cup
  • Moong dal - ½ cup
  • Ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Peppercorn - 1 tsp
  • Cumin - 1 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Asafoetida
  • Turmeric powder
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
  • Salt


  • Wash the wheat rava and moong dal separately. You will need to cook them in separate pressure cookers.
  • Add 3 cups of water to wheat rava and pressure cook them.
  • Take 1 cup of water, moong dal and add a pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp ghee and a pinch of asafoetida. Pressure cook them in another vessel.
  • Heat a small pan and add ghee. When the ghee is hot add cumin, finely chopped ginger, pepper, asafoetida and finally add cashews. When the cashews are golden, remove it from the heat.
  • Mix cooked rava, moong dal, salt and the tadka mix together thoroughly.
  • Serve it hot with chutney.
  • For more information, click here

Kodo Millet Ven Pongal

Source i.redd.it

Millets are the new superfoods. Though they have been rediscovered in recent times, they were around since a long time. Millets have a low glycemic index, low in cholesterol and are gluten-free. Kodo Millet otherwise called as Varagarisi has B vitamins, folic acid, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc.


  • Kodo millet - ½ cup
  • Moong dal - 2 tbsp
  • Water - 2 ¼ cup
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Peppercorn - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Ginger - 1 tbsp finely chopped
  • Cashew nuts
  • Salt


  • Dry roast the moong dal until it turns golden. Wash the millet and moong dal well before use.
  • Add the moong dal and kodo millet along with water and salt to a pressure cooker. Pressure cook it for 4 whistles.
  • Wait for the pressure to subside on its own and open the cooker.
  • In a small pan add ghee, oil, cumin, peppercorn and cashew nuts. After the cumin sizzles, add curry leaves and chopped ginger.
  • Add this mixture to the pressure cooker and mix the contents well.
  • Healthy kodo millet pongal is ready to be served. Serve it hot with chutney and sambar.
  • For more information, click here

Foxtail Millet Sweet Pongal

Millets are a much-coveted alternative for rice due to the fact that they don't alter the taste much. Hence, rice enthusiasts can enjoy a much healthier version without having to worry much about calories. Foxtail millet is one of the oldest grain crops and is known to reduce the cholesterol in our body. It is also ideal for diabetics due to its low glycemic index.


  • Foxtail millet - ½ cup
  • Moong dal - 1 ½ tbsp
  • Ghee - 1 ½ tbsp
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Jaggery - 1 cup
  • Raisins - 7
  • Cashew - 6
  • Cardamom powder - ¼ tsp


  • Dry roast the moong dal and foxtail millet together until they are hot to touch.
  • Pressure cook them in 2 cups of water for about 4 whistles.
  • Dissolve jaggery in a small amount of water and filter to remove any contamination.
  • Boil it in a medium flame for about 3 minutes. Add the cooked mix of millet and moong dal to the jaggery water.
  • Mix well and cook until jaggery gets incorporated well into the millet and dal. Also, add cardamom powder.
  • In a separate small pan or tadka pan, add ghee and when it’s hot, add cashew nuts and raisins. Wait until the cashews are golden and the raisins are popped, and add this mixture to the millet and dal.
  • Delicious foxtail millet sweet pongal is ready for you to gorge on.

Three Must-Have Pongal Side Dishes

As much as ven pongal and sweet pongal take the spotlight on Pongal day, there are a few side dishes that are a must-have during Pongal. We cannot list everything for you but these three take the crown.

Moong Dal Sambhar

Pongal is a very heavy dish that needs something light to be easy on your digestive system. This quick and easy moong dal sambhar is the perfect combination for your ven pongal.


  • Onion - 2
  • Tomato - 2
  • Potato - 1
  • Brinjal - 1
  • Carrot - 1
  • Moong dal - ¼ cup
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - ¼ tsp
  • Urad dal - ¾ tsp
  • Sambar Powder - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprig


  • Wash the vegetables and chop them finely.
  • Pressure cook moong dal along with carrot, brinjal and potato for 3 whistles.
  • In a kadai, take oil and add mustard seeds and asafoetida.
  • After the mustard pops, add urad dal and curry leaves.
  • Wait until the urad dal turns brown and add onions. Saute them until they go transparent.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute them until they go mushy.
  • Add the pressure cooked dal and vegetable mix and then add sambar powder, salt and 1 cup of water.
  • Boil the mixture in medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves. Your sambar is ready to be served.

Pongal Kuzhambu

Source www.india.com

Pongal kuzhambu is a side dish prepared during Pongal with mixed country veggies. It is a perfect side dish for paal pongal(milk pongal) and sarkarai pongal (sweet pongal).


  • Mixed country vegetables - 3 cups
  • Small onion - 15
  • Tomato - 2
  • Garlic - 2tsp
  • Tamarind - ¼ cup
  • Salt
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
  • Sambar powder - 1 tsp
  • Fennel - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig


  • Wash the vegetables and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Take little water in a bowl and extract juice from the tamarind.
  • In a heavy bottomed kadai, add oil and heat it.
  • Add fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and also curry leaves.
  • Once it splutters, add onions and garlic and saute until the onion becomes transparent.
  • Then add tomatoes and once they are mushy add the vegetables along with turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and sambar powder.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked add the tamarind water and allow it to get incorporated in the vegetables.
  • Boil for a few minutes until it reaches the correct consistency of curry.
  • Your pongal kuzhambu is ready to be served with your favorite variety of pongal.

Urad Dal Vada

If there is a side dish that fits pongal perfectly it is urad dal vada. It is a common snack in southern states and is often had with tea.


  • Urad dal (skin removed) - 1 cup
  • Raw rice - ½ tsp
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Roasted gram - ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil


  • Soak the urad dal, raw rice and the roasted gram for 30 minutes and refrigerate for another an hour.
  • Drain the mixture and grind it along with the green chillies and salt. The batter should be smooth without any lumps. Take care not to add any water in order to prevent the batter from being diluted. If needed sprinkle water now and then.
  • Heat oil in a deep kadhai. Once the oil reached the necessary temperature it is ready to cook the vada.
  • Wet your hands and take some batter in your palms. Flatten it and make a hole in the middle.
  • Slide the vada in the hot oil carefully.
  • Fry it until is golden on both sides. Take it out and place it on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  • Your vada is ready to be served. Serve it hot with chutney or sambar.
  • Or you can soak it in rasam and make rasa vada.
Sunandha Wilis
After spending 12 years in the hectic corporate world, Sunandha quit the industry to follow her passion for writing. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects including travel, health, beauty, fashion and technology. Apart from writing she also dons the hat of an editor from time to time. Her time off is spent listening to music and wrestling with her boys.
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Dip Yourself in The Exquisite Taste of These Dishes on Pongal

Light, healthy and tasty are the main characteristics of these Pongal dishes. So if you like foods which are both tasty and easy to digest, you must give these recipes a try. So, what are you waiting for?