Best Side Dishes For Pongal

In this article you will find 16 side dishes for Pongal. The importance of Pongal as a festival in Tamil culture is great. It is celebrated to honour the Sun God and thank him for the bountiful harvest each year. Pongal is one of the most important festivals that Tamils celebrate. Pongal comes when the season changes to Winter making it an important festival for farmers in Tamil Nadu.

What Is Pongal?

Pongal is a very important festival in South India. It is celebrated as a harvest festival and is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm. During this festival, people pray to Sun God for a good harvest and also thank the Lord for providing them with food grains, vegetables and fruits throughout the year.

As part of the celebrations, there are many traditional dishes that are prepared for Pongal. Some of these are made from rice and some from the vegetables that have been harvested during this time.

One of the most important items served on Pongal day is payasam (kheer). This delicious dessert can be made with many different ingredients like milk, rice powder and sugar syrup. In addition to payasam, there are many other side dishes that are served along with it during this festival.

Pongal Recipe: How to make Pongal Recipe for Pongal at Home | Homemade Pongal Recipe - Times Food

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Pongal?

Pongal is one of the main attractions of the festival season in Tamil Nadu. It is a special dish that is usually prepared and consumed during the harvest season. The main ingredients of pongal include rice, lentils, sugar and ghee. However, there are many side dishes that can be served with Pongal to make it a wholesome meal.

Here are some reasons why you should consider serving side dishes for Pongal:

1. Pongal is made with rice and lentils which are carbohydrates. Side dishes help in balancing this carbohydrate content by providing protein, fat and vegetables to the meal. This helps in fulfilling your nutritional needs from all food groups so that you do not feel hungry after consuming pongal alone!

2. Side dishes also add variety to your meal by introducing new tastes and textures in your diet which may otherwise get monotonous if eaten on its own!

3. Side dishes can also be made using the same ingredients as pongal (rice and lentils) which makes them easy to prepare at home without any difficulty at all!

What to Serve with Pongal? 16 BEST Side Dishes

1. Coconut Chutney

This is one of the most popular side dishes for Pongal. Mix together grated coconut and red chili powder along with tamarind, jaggery and salt to taste. Grind this mixture into a fine paste and store it in an airtight container.

2. Aloo Bhaji

Potatoes are a great addition to any meal, especially when they’re mixed with onions, cumin seeds and other spices like coriander powder and turmeric powder. You can also use green peas in your aloo bhaji if you want something different.

Aloo Bhaji" Images – Browse 74 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

3. Chettinad Eggplant Curry

Chettinad cuisine is known for its flavorful and spicy dishes, so it’s no surprise that their eggplants are also super tasty! This curry has tomatoes along with fresh coconut which gives it a creamy texture without having any dairy products in it at all!

4. Mint Chutney (Maavakkai Puli)

This mint chutney recipe calls for mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chili powder and salt to taste. After combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl, you simply blend them together until they form a smooth paste. This simple preparation makes this chutney easy to make at home without any special equipment or ingredients.

5. Potato Peas Stir-fry (Sambar Vada)

Vada is a savory deep-fried snack made from lentil flour and potatoes. It’s usually served with sambar, which is a spicy vegetable stew made with tamarind, toor dal or pigeon peas, tomatoes and other vegetables like drumstick leaves or okra.

6. Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower is a common vegetable used in Indian cooking. In this recipe, cauliflower florets are cooked in a creamy coconut-based curry. This curried cauliflower can be served with pongal or sambar.

Cauliflower Rice Pongal – Shru's Kitchen

7. Cabbage Poriyal

This dish is made using shredded cabbage and spices. The cabbage is sautéed and tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves before being seasoned with tamarind pulp. This vegetarian side dish goes well with pongal or sambar. It can also be served with yogurt rice or chapatis (Indian flatbread).

8. Coconut-Mint Rice

Coconut and mint are two ingredients that complement each other well and that’s why they are often used together in South Indian cooking. This recipe is a very simple one, but it adds a nice touch of sweetness and freshness to the pongal.

9. Okra Fries

Okra fries are deep fried okra slices that are seasoned with black pepper powder and curry leaves. They are served as a snack or appetizer but can also be served as a side dish for Pongal.

10. Milagai Podi (peanut powder)

The most common side dish for Pongal is the peanut powder known as Milagai Podi. The peanuts are roasted and then ground into a coarse powder using a mixer grinder. This powder is very versatile and can be used as a part of curries or simply sprinkled over your dosa batter before making dosas.

11. Potato Podimas

Another very popular side dish for Pongal are potato podimas (potato chips). These potatoes are sliced into thin slices and deep fried in oil until crisp and golden brown in color. They are then seasoned with salt and pepper along with other spices such as cardamom powder, cinnamon powder, cloves etc..

Potato podimas recipe | Urulai kizhangu podimas - Raks Kitchen

12. Pumpkin Stir-fry with Ginger and Turmeric

This is a simple but delicious dish that goes well with Pongal. The pumpkin tastes wonderful when combined with the turmeric and ginger. You can also add some onions if you want to make it more flavorful.

13. Ven Pongal

This dish is made using black gram (urad dal) and rice (or semolina). The black gram lends its nutty flavor to this dish while the rice makes it soft and fluffy. You can also add vegetables like carrots, green peas, cauliflower or broccoli florets to this dish if you want extra nutrients in your meal.

14. Thayir Pachadi (Spiced Yogurt Raita)

This yogurt side dish goes well with Pongal as well as any other South Indian meal. The yogurt can be strained to give it more body and then seasoned with spices like mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chilies, cumin seeds and salt. It’s best when served chilled but can also be served warm.

15. Gojju (Spiced South Indian Sauce)

This side dish is great with just about any meal! You can serve it with rice, dosa or even chapati or paratha. The combination of tomatoes, onions and garlic make this side dish one of our favorites!

16. Spicy Tomato Pickle with Fenugreek Seeds and Red Chili Powder (Thakkali Oorugai)

This spicy pickle is made with fresh tomatoes, fenugreek seeds and red chili powder. You can make it as hot as you like by adding more chili powder. It tastes best when eaten cold or at room temperature.

Spicy Tomato Pickle Recipe - South Indian Thakkali Thokku by Archana's Kitchen

Tips for choosing your best side dishes

Side dishes can be as simple as some steamed veggies or as complicated as a full-course meal. Here are some tips to help you choose your best side dishes for coconut shrimp:

Match the texture and consistency of your side dish with the main course. If you’re serving rice or noodles with your coconut shrimp, choose a smooth and creamy soup or chowder to accompany it. Likewise, if you’re serving mashed potatoes with your coconut shrimp, serve something crunchy or crispy like fresh vegetables or fried fish.

Choose a flavor profile that matches the main course but isn’t so similar that it’s redundant (for example, don’t serve mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese together).


This list of 16 side dishes for Pongal may not increase the popularity of the dish, but can help you choose what to eat if you are invited over to someone’s house during this festival. And that person may not follow your tastes, but you can prepare any of the dishes mentioned above and create a delicious meal! Thanks for reading this article. Please leave a comment below.

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