Saturday, 12 November 2011



Puliogare, for many would remind of the prasadam given in many perumal temples. It is a very popular iyengar dish, I say iyengar dish because I have heard many many people speaking of the iyengar version of pulihogare. Normally, the ‘puli kachal’, the basic paste made with tamarind and spices, is prepared in advance and stored in an air tight container. As and when needed, it is mixed with rice and serves. Although it is not a big deal to make the puli kachal, it takes a wee bit of time on the stove. You do not have to stand there stirring it constantly but by the time you finish making it, you may get a bit restless. Do I even have to say explicitly that the fruits of this labour is indeed brilliant. Puliogare is a popular packed lunch recipe as it has great flavours and keeps well but if you plan a trip at the last minute you may not manage to make this as puli kachal may not be ready. This recipe, although not the traditional iyengar version, is an interesting one and can be made much quicker than the traditional one. While I scramble for my photos of the traditional one, I thought I will post this for now. It tastes very similar to traditional version. Here is the recipe…

1 big lemon sized tamarind ball, soaked in warm water
5-8 dry red chillies
Cooking oil, Gingelly oil or groundnut oil are great
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Curry leaves
Roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon channa dal

For the powder:
1/3 cup peanuts
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
¼ spoon asafoetida (I used some solid form as well as it is more flavourful)
2 dry red chillies

Roast the peanuts mentioned for the powder, the red chillies and also the fenugreek, cool and grind to powder along with the asafoetida

Heat a thick bottomed saucepan or wok/kadai and heat about a tablespoon oil, add the mustard seeds, channa dal and wait for seeds to splutter and add red chillies and curry leaves

Add the roasted powder and stir quickly

Add tamarind extract, required salt, turmeric powder, curry leaves and cook on low flame until all raw smell goes away and mixture thickens. You may have to add wee bit more oil to enhance the flavour and when done, the oil separates from the paste

Mix this with freshly steamed rice fluffed up and serve with vadam/papad or chips.

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