Khichdi vs Pongal recipe – Many of you must be wondering why this comparison as both are the same recipes. For those who are thinking that way, this blog will be really helpful. As it enables you to understand how they are different while there are some similarities too.

In my current blog, I would like you to detail out the similarities and the differences between Khichdi and Pongal. It is a very interesting food comparison which will help you understand both the recipes. As they are often misunderstood as the same.

Khichdi and Pongal recipes are both commonly prepared in South India. They are commonly prepared as breakfast or dinner. 

Khichdi vs pongal recipe

Khichdi vs Pongal recipe – Interesting Food Comparison

Being a South Indian I have the benefit of understanding the various south Indian cuisines. I am happy to share my knowledge with you. There are so many interesting aspects based on which you will understand these two recipes.

Below are the pointwise comparison between Khichdi and Pongal


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Tamil Nadu                                                          All over India


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Moong Dhal                                                        Other lentils are also used


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Soft  n Chunky                                                    Soft  n Chunky


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

15 minutes                                                         15 Minutes


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Possible                                                              Possible


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Very easy                                                            Very easy


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Yes                                                                       Not all varieties


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Savory                                                                 Savory


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Porridge consistency                                          Some variants are Porridge consistency


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Plain White                                                         Yellow


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Yes                                                                      No


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Possible                                                               Possible


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Yes                                                                      Yes


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Possible                                                                Possible


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

No                                                                        Yes


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Sambar  and Chutney                                         Vegetable stir-fries


Pongal                                                                 Khichdi

Easy                                                                    Little complex


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Slightly More                                                      Less  comparatively


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Yes                                                                       Yes and also lunch n dinner


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

No                                                                        Yes


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Fewer Ingredients                                                 Comparatively more             


Pongal                                                                Khichdi

Yes                                                                      Yes

I am sure this table must have given you a fair idea of the comparison between the two recipes. However, I would like to explain in detail these important aspects of comparison.


Pongal is very commonly prepared in Tamil Nadu as a breakfast food and sometimes as dinner too. While Khichdi is made across various states in India. Khichdi can be used for all the three meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Main Ingredient 

Moong Dhal is one of the main ingredients of Pongal. Rice, moong dhal, cumin seeds, ginger and green chillies are used to make Pongal in a porridge consistency. While Khichdi can also be made with moong dhal, it can also be substituted with other lentils in other variants.


Both Pongal and Khichdi is made of rice and dhal in a porridge consistency. Hence the texture is always soft and chunky. 

Cooker Preparation Time

Pongal and Khichdi both can be prepared in the cooker. It would take hardly 15 mins to prepare the dish. While these recipes can be made without a cooker too. Since cooker is a very easy way to make the recipe, this is often used to prepare these two recipes

Microwave Preparation

These days microwave cooking has become a very commonly used method in urban households. Very similar to how you prepare the rice in a microwave, you can prepare Pongal and Khichdi recipes also in the microwave. Just make sure you use the microwaveable utensils. You can also set the timer in the microwave so that you don’t have to watch while it’s cooked.


Pongal is the best kids friendly breakfast. It is easily digestible and gives the required nutrition also.  It’s the most preferred food for kid’s lunch boxes and evening snacks. Both Pongal and khichdi are equally preferred by the kids


Both Pongal and Khichdi are savory items hence are salty in taste with a little spiciness. Pongal and Khichdi are made of rice and lentils. 


The specialty of the Pongal recipe is to have the porridge consistency always. However, there are many variants of  Khichdi. Some of the khichdi varieties are of porridge consistency and some are not.


Plain White is the color of Rice and moong dhal is yellow. The reason for the color is the ingredient. Pongal is made of rice and moong dhal which gives a slightly yellowish color.  Though the ingredients are similar for Kichdi , turmeric powder is added to make it bright yellow.

Sweet Version

Sweet Pongal Recipe Andhra Style is a mouth-watering South Indian sweet dish commonly made for auspicious occasions and festivals. It is made of moong dhal, rice, and jaggery tempered with ghee, raisins, and cashew nuts.  There is not a sweet recipe in Khichdi

Varieties Possibility

There are few variations of Pongal like Ven Pongal, Sweet Pongal, and Paal Pongal. But there are more variations that can be done with Khichdi.

Is Rice used

Yes, rice is the main ingredient in both recipes. Hence rice is used in both Pongal and Khichdi Recipe. However, Khichdi can be made with Rava, sabudana, vermicelli, quinoa, and many other ingredients. But Pongal is always made of rice.


Another interesting fact is that cooked Pongal and Khichdi can also be refrigerated. How interesting isn’t it? If you have some leftovers or you can make it in advance and store it in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the microwave and consume them. Both the Pongal and the Khichdi can be refrigerated and consumed after reheating.

Diabetic Friendly

Since Pongal s made of rice, it has more carbohydrates and calories. Hence not a diabetic-friendly diet. While Rava Khichdi has fewer calories, less fat, and rich in fiber. It also digests at a slower rate and controls the fluctuations in glucose level. Hence Rava Khichdi is more diabetic-friendly.

Best Accompaniment 

There are so many varieties of accompaniment for Pongal, the best suited is sambar. Sambar is the vegetable stew with pulses and vegetables which is a protein-rich food. While coconut chutney or any chutney is the best accompaniment for the Rava khichdi. Vegetable stir-fries for other khichdi varieties made of rice.

Preparation Methods

Pongal is a rice porridge with a good amount of ghee, moong dhal, cumin seeds, peppercorns chilies, and nuts for garnishing. Rice, Lentils, or Dhal is cooked with sauteed onions, tomatoes, and then tempering with tempering ingredients.

Calories Count

The calories of the Pongal is little more than the khichdi because of the rice. Hence khichdi is preferred for diabetic patients over Pongal

Breakfast Food

Pongal is generally consumed as breakfast food while Khichdi can be used as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Weight loss Food

Rava Khichdi tastes more time to digest the food while Pongal is easily digested. Khichdi also keeps you full for a longer time. This is a great way for the people who are trying to lose weight as it suppresses hunger for a longer time. Hence Rava Khichdi works best for the weight loss

Number of Ingredients

There are very few ingredients used in the preparation of Pongal like rice, moong dhal, cumin seeds, green chillis, and ginger. In Khichdi, there are many ingredients used like rice, vegetables, lentils, and tempering ingredients.

Are Vegetables used

Vegetables are not typically used in the preparation of Pongal. While there are varieties of vegetables that are used in the preparation of many variants of Khichdi. Even the simplest form of khichdi has tomatoes and onions in it.

Hope my current blog has given your better clarity to make your choices of Pongal and Khichdi based on the various dimensions discussed here.  If you are interested in the culinary comparison of Thai and Indian food, you will be amazed to know the similarities and differences between these two cuisines.