|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||South India|
|Associated national cuisine||Indian cuisine, Sri Lanka|
|Main ingredients||Sweet: rice, milk, jaggery, coconut pieces, or mung bean|
Spicy: rice, pepper or tamarind rice
|Variations||chakkara pongali/chakarai pongal, venn pongal, milagu pongal, puli pongal|
Pongal, also known as pongali or huggi, is an Indian rice dish. In Tamil, "pongal" means "boil" or "bubbling up". The two varieties of pongal are chakarai pongal, which is sweet, and venn pongal, which is savoury and made with clarified butter. Pongal generally refers to the savoury venn pongal and is sometimes served for breakfast with vada and chutney. Chakarai pongal is typically made during the Pongal festival.
Chakarai pongal or chakkara pongali (transl. 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 (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.
Melagu (Tamil word for pepper) Pongal is a spicy variant of the same dish made with pepper, rice, and moong daal.
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.
Pongal is prepared as an important dish during Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and Sankranthi festival in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.