Friday, December 18, 2009
Mukkala Pulusu - Andhra Food Series
My brother went off to college as soon as he finished his 11th. Thereafter, with post graduation and work, he really did not stay at home other than for the vacation breaks. He had no idea about cooking at all, particularly how to cook home style Andhra food. Slowly as time went by, he turned out to be quite good at churning out simple food. The other day he called me and asked me the recipe for this pulusu. So I thought why not just post it. It will be there as a ready reference whenever he needs the recipe.
Pulusu refers to a gravy item in the Andhra menu. It can be made of dal, yoghurt or simply vegetables or even meat. The famous Chapala pulusu is a fish gravy cooked with onions and tamarind. Basically a pulusu includes the use of tamarind as the souring agent and other spices to give it the kick. It is an accompaniment to hot rice. Mukkalu are pieces. I guess it comes from all the vegetables which are diced and added to make the gravy. This is a regular on our table. Very easy to make yet full of flavor.
You can add any vegetables that you fancy - eggplant, lady's finger, drumstick, sweet potato, bottle gourd, pumpkin etc etc.... My mom always only used sweet potato, bottle gourd and pumpkin and I seem to have continued the tradition.
There are any number of ways to make pulusu and one can add spices to add that kick but we tend to make it in a much simpler fashion with very few ingredients.
Anyway, here goes with the recipe...
250 grams bottle gourd diced into 1 inch pieces
250 grams red pumpkin diced into 1 inch pieces
250 grams sweet potato diced into 1 inch pieces
2 green chillies whole
2 stalks coriander leaves
lime sized ball of tamarind soaked in 1/4 cup water and juice extracted
1 teaspoon jaggery powder
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 1/2 teaspoons rice flour powder mixed in 2 tbsp of water
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera( cumin seeds)
2 red chillies
4-5 curry leaves
Put 500 ml of water to boil. Add the salt and turmeric powder along with the green chillies and coriander.
First add the bottle gourd and sweet potato pieces. After about 10 minutes add the pumpkin (otherwise the pumpkin will overcook and disintegrate).
When just about cooked but still very firm, add the tamarind juice along with the jaggery and let cook till raw taste of tamarind disappears and the vegetables cook completely.
Add the rice flour powder mixture to the pulusu to thicken it slightly.
Take off the fire.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small vessel and add all the popu ingredients. When fries, pour on top of the pulusu.
Serve hot along with hot rice and ghee and plain mudda pappu (boiled toor dal lightly salted).