Food & Drink Magazine

Puli Koddel…

By Anithanayak

A very quintessential dish for the Konkani's.. Reminds me of Kodiyal Teru/Car festival & all other festivals where this dish is served. A wonderful dish which has all the flavours - chilli, sweet, sourness with a little bitterness!! It has been ages since I attended any festival back home or even the Teru to get my dose of this!! I'm not a big fan of sweet tasting dishes but then I always loved this one..!!

The best part was that the Iyengars too make their version of something very similar & Keshav loves it..The Hebbar Iyengar's call it Kadag Puli.. so even more a reason for me to indulge :). I did not have the right kind of chilli's for the colour I suppose.. this is usually deep reddish brown in colour whenever my grandmother made or served anywhere else .. But I nailed the right flavours with a quick call to mum.. 🙂

Ingredients: Serves 3-4 Preparation time- 30 mins
Ash gourd - about 300 gms, cut into cubes. Skin off
Jaggery - 1 tbsp, else adjust according to your taste
Mustard Seeds - 1.5 - 2 tsps
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Salt to taste

Puli Koddel…

For the Paste:
Cooking Oil - 1 tbsp or more
Grated Coconut - 1/2 of a medium sized coconut
Dried Red Chilli's - 5 spicy variety, 3 Byadge chilli's
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 tbsp
Tamarind - one marble-sized piece
White raw rice - 1 tbsp
Separately oil roast each of the ingredients mentioned "for the paste", except the Tamarind. Do not let any of the ingredients burn. Use oil as required. The rice & the grated coconut need to be roasted till it turns reddish.

Grind the ingredients into a smooth paste, using water as required.

Cook the ash gourd in a pressure cooker with some water till 2 whistles. Salt the ash gourd while cooking. Make sure the water covers the chopped ash gourd. Once the steam in the cooker goes away check if the ash gourd is cooked. The ash gourd should be cooked in 2 whistles, but depends on the size you have cubed them. So check, else cook again till you hear another whistle.
Transfer the ground coconut paste into a pot with the water used to cook the ash gourd. Season the curry with some salt, remember we have salted water in which we cooked the ash gourd, so add accordingly. Check the chilli too & adjust. Now add the jaggery & turmeric. Let the curry bubble for a couple of minutes, then transfer the cooked ash gourd pieces. Check the consistency, the curry is a little on the thicker side. Add water & bring it to the right consistency. If you end up adding more water check the seasoning & adjust accordingly. Let the curry bubble away for 5-10 minutes or till any raw flavours fade away.

For the seasoning, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a tempering pan & add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot, let the mustard seeds splutter. Next throw in the curry leaves & add the tempering to the curry & turn the heat off.

Puli Koddel…

Serving Suggestions:
Traditionally served with a bowl of hot steamed rice, along with pappad or sabji on the side. But tastes good with chapathi's too.:)

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