Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Kerala Onam Special Recipe: Pullissery with Vellarikka

This is my own tried and tested recipe. Cucumber pullissery is not just an onam delicacy, it’s a standard every day dish in many Kerala homes. Made from yoghurt and coconut paste, this tangy and mildly spicy curry is quick and easy to make. Pullisssery/ Pullisseri can also be made with ripe mango, pineapple and banana.

It’s actually amazing how easily people mess up such a simple recipe. They add too much water or they end up boiling the curd. The tempering coconut oil becomes overheated and the mustard seeds tend to get burned. The shallots in the tempering oil also tend to get burned and this imparts a bitter flavor to the curry. So watch out for these mistakes that can ruin your dish.

My today's lunch menu is rice, cucumber pullissery, achingapayar mezhukkupurattiaviyal, fish curry in coconut milk, mango pickle and pappadam ;-) You are invited too.


1.       Cucumber – 1 cup
2.       Turmeric – ¼ tsp
3.       Salt – to taste
4.       Green chilli -1
5.       Water – for cooking

Chop the golden curry cucumber into one inch cubes. Cook the chopped cucumber pieces with salt, turmeric and slit green chillies.

6.       Grated coconut – 1 cup
7.       Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
8.       Turmeric – ¼ tsp
9.       Green chilli - 2

Grind coconut with other ingredients, adding a little water, to make a smooth paste. Add this to the cooked cucumber pieces. Mix well. Cook on low flame for a few minutes.

10.   Thick curd – 2 cups

Add beaten curd and cook on low flame for a minute. Do not boil. Take off the fire.

11.   Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
12.   Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
13.   Fenugreek seeds -1/2 tsp
14.   Shallots- 3
15.   Curry leaves - 1 sprig
16.   Dry red chillies - 2
17.   Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp

Heat the coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and then the fenugreek seeds. Add remaining ingredients and saute. Pour this over the pulliserry. Serve hot with rice.

Grandma’s Secret Tips:
  • Do not boil the curd. Use minimum amount of water for cooking. The gravy should have a certain thickness of consistency, but still easily flowing.
  • The addition of asafoetida is a must.
  • The tempering coconut oil controls the flavor of the curry, so be careful not to get it burned.
  • A pinch of powdered roasted fenugreek powder can be added if you dislike biting the fenugreek seeds.
  • Raw rice can be added to the tempering oil for an additional crunch.
  • The difference between cucumber pulliserry and cucumber pachadi: cucumber pachadi is white in colour with thin short juliennes of cucumber in very thick gravy. Pacchadi has mustard seeds ground along with the coconut. The gravy basically coats the numerous pieces of cucumber. Cucumber pullissery has more flowing yellow gravy with a few cubes of cucumber floating in it. 


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