Here is a traditional Palakkad recipe after a long time..
This post is dedicated to Goddess Annapoorneswari of Puthucode. Puthocode – my native place is a small village in Palakkad District. The famous Annapoorneswari Temple is situated in the centre of the village. There are four main streets – North, South, East and West. (Vadakke Gramam, Thekke Gramam, Kizhakke Gramam and Padinjare Gramam). It also has a Siva temple at the other end of the Village. The activities of this village revolve around these temples.
Navarathri Temple Festival is celebrated with great fanfare. The festival starts on the Prathamai Thithi after the Mahalaya Amavasya. The following nine days each of the villages are assigned particular days with the responsibility of flower decorations, garlands, lighting of lamps, annadanam for devotees, elephant procession etc. The festival ends on the 10th day i.e Vijayadasami with the aarattu.
A sheeveli consisting of five elephants take the Utsavmurthy around the village accompanied by Panchvadhyam and Chandai in the morning and evening followed by lunch and dinner respectively. The eighth day or the ettam villakku is the day of the North Village. There is a grand show of lights and fireworks in the evening.
Coming to the lunch, menu consists of Navrathri Pulinkari, Olan and Chadachadyam Payasam on all nine days. And that’s how this pulinkari gained popularity. The pulinkari, and olan have to be made in very large quantities and so the cooks there never bother to cut the veggies. They just drop the whole pumpkin and ashgourd from atop and use the broken pieces as it is in the pulinkari.
Pulinkari is a variant of the Sambar, but surely the taste and aroma is very different. It can be had with rice just like Sambar.
Now here is the recipe for the Navarathri Pulinkari
1. Ashgourd – 1 cup, chopped into big cubes
2. Pumkin – 1 cup, chopped into big cuvrs
3. Raw Bananas – 1 cup, chopped into big cubes
4. Yam or Chenai – 1 cup, chopped into big cubes
5. Tamarind – a big lemon size
6. Tuvar Dal – 4 heaped tblsp
7. Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
8. Green Chillies – 3 – 4 (or according to taste)
9. Powdered Jaggery - 2 tbsp
10. Curry leaves a few
11. Turmeric Powder – a pinch
12. Salt to taste
To be roasted and powdered
1. Methi seeds – ½ tsp
2. Coconut oil – 1 tsp
3. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
4. Dried Red Chillies – 1
1. Cook tuvar dal in pressure cooker until soft, mash and keep aside.
2. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 10 mins. Squeeze and extract tamarind juice. Pour this in a vessel. Add about 3 cups of water.
3. Remove skin and cut the vegetables into big cubes. (Little bigger than usual Sambar). Add these vegetables to the Tamarind juice.
4. Now add turmeric powder, salt and jaggery.
5. Boil this till the vegetables are cooked.
6. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the mashed dal and boil for 2 to 3 mins.
7. Grind coconut and green chillies to a fine paste adding little water.
8. Add this ground paste to the tamarind – veggie – dal mixture. Simmer for 5 mins. Check for salt and also adjust consistency by adding water.
9. Heat a small fry pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds. Pour over pulinkari and garnish with curry leaves.
10. Sprinkle roasted and powdered Methi seeds on top cover and keep for a few mins.
Serve this delicious Pulinkari with rice and olan as an accompaniment.