Get 46 Pongal festival recipes curated specially for you, which comprises of lunch, sweets and snacks recipes. This list mostly contains South Indian recipes that are usually made or can be made during the popular Pongal festival.
What is Pongal
Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu from 14 January to 17 January. Pongal festival is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya Bhagwan) and is one of the most important festival for the people from Tamil Nadu.
On the same date (14th January), the festival of Makar Sankranti is also celebrated all over India in various ways. Both these festivals are celebrated during the harvest time and also signals the end of winters.
They are celebrated by farmers as a day of thanksgiving to sun god for their abundant crops. so it is the time of joy as well as gratitude. People exchange sweets and celebrate the festival with lot of joy and happiness.
About Pongal Festival Food Collection
This collection has mostly South Indian recipes that are made during Pongal festival. Most of the recipes listed below are made without onion and garlic.
However, in case if any recipe has onion or garlic, then you can skip them when preparing for the Pongal festival or for the deities.
This Pongal festival collection has recipes that can be made for main course as well as snack recipes and sweet recipes.
Wishing a Happy Pongal Festival to all our readers who celebrate.
Pongal Festival Lunch
1. Ven Pongal – Popular South Indian breakfast made with rice and yellow moong lentils.
2. Sweet Pongal – Sweet porridge like dish made with rice and mung lentils, flavored with cardamoms and dry fruits. Sweet Pongal is also known as sakkarai Pongal in tamil language is a sweet dish made during festive occasions in south India.
4. Chakkara Pongal – A variation of sweet Pongal that is made with rock sugar or sugar candy. Sugar candy is also known “mishri” in hindi. You can even use regular sugar to make this Pongal.
5. Tamarind Rice – Popular South Indian recipe of a tangy, sour & spiced rice. The recipe dish is also known as puliyodharai in tamil language.
6. Curd Rice – A popular South Indian rice variety that is served with a South Indian meal or South Indian thali.
7. Bisi Bele Bath – One of the most popular traditional rice-lentil-vegetable dish from the Karnataka cuisine. bisi bele bath is so popular that you get it so easily in the South Indian restaurants in bangalore.
8. Lemon Rice – Crunchy, flavorful and sour rice recipe from south India. this lemon rice dish is one of the easiest to make. Already cooked or steamed rice is mixed with a spiced lemon and peanut mixture.
9. Coconut Rice – Mild and light South Indian coconut rice also known as thengai sadam. tastes best with freshly grated coconut. But you can use frozen coconut too.
10. Arachuvitta Sambar – Tasty mix vegetable sambar made with roasted & ground sambar masala. Arachuvitta sambar is made in tambrahm homes. So a tamil brahmin specialty. This sambar recipe is without onions and garlic. Also no sambar powder is added.
11. Idli – Idli is a traditional breakfast made in every South Indian household. It taste yum when served with Coconut Chutney or Sambar. there are many Varieties of Idli recipes made like Rava Idli or Poha Idli or Kanchipuram Idli or Kotte Kadubu.
12. Poricha Kuzhambu – A healthy and delicious mix veggie based lentil gravy made with coconut+spice paste. The lentils used are tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils). Though even moong lentils can be used.
13. Tomato Rice – Spicy South Indian tomato rice. to reduce the spiciness, just use less amounts of ginger-garlic paste, black pepper and red chili powder.
14. Ghee Rice – Aromatic one pot rice made with ghee and spices from the South Indian cuisine.
Sweets for Pongal Festival
1. Til ke Ladoo – Simple recipe of ladoo prepared with sesame seeds, jaggery, peanuts and desiccated coconut. In this till ladoo recipe, I have cooked the jaggery syrup to a soft ball stage. So this gives the ladoo a soft and chewy texture. You can also cook the jaggery syrup to hard ball stage and you will get firm and dense ladoos.
2. Til Gud ke Ladoo – Delicious ladoo made with sesame seeds and jaggery. this is one of those healthy ladoo that not only has sesame seeds, but also has peanuts and desiccated coconut. A very easy recipe and within half an hour the ladoo will be ready.
3. Kadalai Paruppu Payasam – a delicious sweet dessert made with coconut milk, chana dal and jaggery.
4. Bobbatlu Recipe – Bobbatu or puran poli is one of the sweets that is made during festivals. In Telugu language, puran polis are known as bobbatlu or bobbatu. In Kannada language, they are called Holige or obbattu.
5. Unniyappam – these are sweet fritters made with rice, banana, a few spices and coconut. Unniyappam is one of those special sweets snacks from Kerala and are also served in the Onam sadya. unniyappam are also offered as prasad in some temples in Kerala.
6. Poornam Boorelu – this is one of the most popular sweet snack from Andhra cuisine. These are deep fried snacks made with a stuffing of chana dal+jaggery and coated with rice+urad dal batter.
8. Maladu Recipe – Quick, easy and tasty variant of ladoo made from roasted gram or roasted chana dal.
9. Rava Kheer – A quick, easy and tasty kheer made with semolina or sooji. gets done in about 20 minutes and is so simple that even a newbie can make it easily.
10. Aval Payasam – Delicious poha payasam made with flattened rice, ghee and milk.
12. Rava Ladoo – Easy, quick and tasty recipe of ladoos made with semolina and coconut. Gets done in 20 minutes.
14. Mysore Pak – Super delicious and a popular sweet from mysore. It is made with just three main ingredients – besan, ghee and sugar. This melt in the mouth rich sweet is so called as its was invented in the kitchens of the mysore palace.
16. Badam Halwa – South Indian style delicious badam halwa recipe. the recipe gives a really good badam halwa, which has the right sweetness and a lovely texture which is not soft and firm. But kind of between. One which gives a heavenly feeling when you savor the halwa.
18. Peanut Ladoo – A two ingredient easy recipe of ladoo made with roasted peanuts and jaggery.
19. Coconut Ladoo – These are melt in the mouth coconut ladoo and I share two ways to make them.
20. Coconut Barfi – An easy step by step recipe of coconut barfi made with condensed milk.
21. Whole Wheat Appam – Quick, sweet appams made with whole wheat flour, bananas and jaggery.
22. Puran Poli – Flat bread stuffed with a sweet lentil filling made from skinned spilt bengal gram/chana dal and jaggery.
1. Butter Murukku – Simple, easy recipe of butter murukku. Murruku is the South Indian variation of the chakli that is made in maharashtra and Gujarat.
3. Coconut Chutney – Quick to prepare coconut chutney recipe that goes extremely well with idli, dosa, uttapam and medu vada. I share two tasty coconut recipes in this link.
4. Ribbon Pakoda – A delicious variation of murukku and is also known as ribbon murukku, ola pakoda and nada thenkuzhal. These crisp fried ribbon shaped savory snack is easy to prepare and tastes good too.
5. Omapodi – A delicious and crispy South Indian snack of sev laced with the delicate aroma and flavor of ajwain or carom seeds. In tamil language they are called as omam.
6. Kara Boondi – A spiced version of boondi and a mixture consisting of boondi, peanuts, cashews, curry leaves and a few spices.
8. Medu Vada – Crispy, soft and fluffy donut shaped fritters made with urad dal batter. These deep fried fritters are popularly known as medu vadai or minapa garelu.
9. Chakli – Crispy and crunchy chakli recipe. Chakli is a deep fried snack made from rice flour, gram flour, wheat flour or a mixture of lentil flours.
This Pongal Festival Recipes collection from the archives was first published in January 2018. It has been updated and republished on January 2023.