Three Traditional Pongal Recipes You Must Try

Published by Community Manager on 13 January 2023

Three Traditional Pongal Recipes You Must Try

Pongal is one of the most important festivals in India, and it is primarily celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm in Tamil Nadu. It is a three-day festival that marks the beginning of the harvest season and Sun God’s transition to the North. This transition of the Sun is called as Uttarayan, and therefore it is celebrated by the same name in Gujarat.

Generally, Pongal and Makar Sankranti fall on the same day, but this year, in 2023, Pongal occurs on the 15th of January. In most parts of Tamil Nadu, Pongal is celebrated for three days, and each day has its own cultural significance. For a three-day celebration, the preparation begins much earlier, from cleaning the house to buying new clothes and making arrangements for the puja. You can feel the festive vibe throughout the state for an entire week.


Like any other Indian festival, the Pongal celebration is incomplete without its range of traditional delicacies. So, if you want to prepare a special meal for your family on Pongal, here are three traditional and utterly delicious Pongal recipes that will make your loved one drool!

Ven Pongal

Pongal celebrations would be incomplete without Ven Pongal. This light and savoury dish is served with sweet Pongal, and it is eaten with sides of Sambhar and chutney. It is a favourite breakfast dish in Tamil Nadu and a must-have on the day of the Pongal festival.


Cooking Time


35 to 40 minutes


Ingredients needed for making Ven Pongal


  • One cup rice (you can choose any rice you want)
  • Half cup moong dal
  • 200 g ghee
  • Salt (to suit your taste)
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • One finely chopped green chilli and ginger (optional)
  • One teaspoon cumin seed
  • Curry leaves
  • 50 g cashew nuts

Method for making Ven Pongal

  • Rinse the rice and moong dal well
  • Pour 100 g of ghee into a pressure cooker and add the rice and moong dal to it
  • For it for about 2-3 minutes
  • Cover the rice and dal with 3-4 cups of water and pressure cook it until the rice is soft and the dal is well cooked
  • Roast the cashew nuts, black pepper, cumin seeds, green chilli, ginger and curry leaves in ghee and add it over the cooked Pongal and mix well
  • Serve it with a bowl of piping hot sambhar and coconut chutney


Sakkari Pongal


The star of the show and a staple dish made on every Pongal is the Sakkari or the sweet Pongal. This rich and wholesome dish is made of rice, ghee, jaggery and a whole lot of love!


Cooking time

40 to 45 minutes

Ingredients required for making Sakkarai Pongal

  • 1 cup rice
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • 1 cup or about 200 g jaggery
  • 150-200 ml milk
  • 200-300 gm ghee
  • 100 g Cashew nuts, raisins
  • Cardamom


Method for making Sakkari Pongal


  • Soak the rice overnight
  • In a cooking pot, add about 100 gm ghee, the rice and the dal (after rinsing it well), cover it with water and let it slow cook until the rice softens and overflows from the pot (allowing the rice to overflow from the pot is a tradition and is symbolic of a good harvest)
  • Once the rice and dal are cooked well, and become soft, add the milk and jaggery
  • Cook until the jaggery dissolves completely
  • Keep stirring the rice every couple of minutes to let the jaggery mix with the rice
  • In a separate pan, roast the cashew nuts, cardamom and raisins in ghee and add it to the rice and mix well
  • Remove the rice from heat and serve it hot with a big dollop of ghee

Paal Payasam

Payasam, also known as kheer in the rest of India, is almost a certainty on the menu during all Tamil festivals, and Pongal is no exception. The dish is easy to make and a delight to eat!

Cooking time

40-50 minutes


Ingredients needed for making Paal Payasam


  • ¼ cup rice
  • 250ml milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 100 g cashew nuts
  • 50 gm raisins
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • 100 g ghee

Method for making Paal Payasam

  • In a large pan, boil the milk
  • Once the milk comes to a boil, add the rice (soaked in water for 2-4 hours)
  • Simmer and cook the rice until it becomes soft and cooked well
  • Gently mash the rice so that you get a mushy and creamy texture
  • You can add another cup of milk to adjust the consistency
  • Add the sugar and stir well, and let the sugar dissolve completely
  • In a separate pan, roast the nuts and cardamom powder and add it to the payasam, and mix well
  • Enjoy the payasam hot or cold, as you like

So, there you have the best traditional Pongal recipes you can try making at home and delight your loved ones.


Three Traditional Pongal Recipes You Must Try