Puthucode in the title is the name of a village in the district of Palakkad. The village is famous for its Anapoorneswari temple and the Navarathri celebrations. During Navarathri, feast/sadhya is there in the temple. The menu is fixed - Pulingari, Olan and Chadachadayam payasam. The pulingari served is different from the normal recipe and hence it is associated with the name of the village. To know more about this village, read Ammupatti's Thoughts. During my childhood days, our family made it to atleast one day during the nine day celebrations. As kids, our main attraction was the sadya and the chance to taste the lip smacking pulingari. On one of our visits, we got the souvenir published as part of the festival and the recipe for the famous pulingari was given. From then on, amma made it at home too. It was reseved for special occassions. Not that its difficult to make, but to keep the novelty, its not made often as Sambhar is prepared. In olden days, the vegetable pieces added to the pulingari will be very big. Ash gourd, pumpkin and yam are the veggies added. It is told that after peeling the skin, the whole vegetable is dropped on the ground to break into pieces. The pieces, as is broken, is added to the gravy. During the time when I went, the pieces were not that big, but bigger than what we add in our homes. Just to get that feel, my amma also used to add big pieces. There is no dhanya added here and green chilli is used which is not common in pulingari. Usually pulingari will not have dal added to it. The recipe is simple and easy to make, but the taste is something different from the usual sambhar.
Ash gourd/elavan/kumbalanga - 1/2 kg
Pumpkin/Mathan - 1/2 kg
Yam/chenai - 250 gms
Turmeric - 1/4 tspn
Chilli powder -1/2tspn
Salt to taste
Tamarind - lemon sized
Cooked tuvar dal - 1 cup
Raw rice -2 tblspn
Methi seed - 1 tspn
Roast raw rice and methi seeds separately till light brown. Powder them separately.
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup heaped
Green chilli - 2 nos
Oil - 1 tspn
Mustard - 1 tspn
Red chilli - 2 nos
Wash and peel the vegetables. Chop them into 2 inch cubes. Add two cups of water to the cubed veggies and cook. Add turmeric and red chilli powder and half the amount of salt. The salt is added only for the veggies. The remaining salt will be added to the end. Yam takes more time to cook. You can either cook yam alone in a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking.
When the vegetables are half cooked, extract the tamarind juice and add to it. When the veggies are cooked soft in the tamarind gravy, add cooked tuvar dal and roasted and powdered rice powder.
Grind the coconut and green chilly to a fine paste by adding enough water. Adjust the amount of chillies according to your spice tolerance.
When the gravy starts boiling, add the ground coconut paste and adjust the thickness of the gravy by adding water. The dal, coconut paste and rice powder will thicken the gravy. Add salt and let it simmer for few minutes.
Remove from fire and do the seasoning with mustard seeds and red chillies. Finally add the powdered methi powder and garnish with curry leaves. The methi powder added at the end gives a nice aroma to the dish.
Enjoy with hot rice with a vegetable side dish and papad.