Monday, February 7, 2011

Pulikuthi Upperi

A tangy blend of stir fried country vegetables best describes Pulikuthi upperi. Yet another palakkad special. This yummy curry serves as a great side dish with the mild molagootal. The upperi also goes well with rasam. It is usually prepared with a variety of country vegetables like Raw bananas, Brinjal, Okra, Pumpkin, and Colocassia leaves (Arbi Leaves). It can be made with a combination of any of these vegetables or can be made with only raw bananas.

I have updated the recipe with an alternate method, which I feel comfortable with. Though traditionally, all the veggies are cooked in the tamarind water until done, I find the end result to be very mushy which is not the way I like it, though my grandmother makes the perfect upperi with this method itself. But just for my convenience I have started using the the second method which is a good alternate method, if you don't like your upperi mushy and soggy. So let’s get on with the recipe:

Ingredients                  (Serves: 3-)

  1. Raw Bananas – 2, medium sized
  2. Yellow Pumpkin – 200 gms
  3. Brinjals – 3 – 4
  4. Lady’s finger – 10
  5. Tamarind – A gooeseberry sized ball
  6. Asfoetida a pinch
  7. Turmeric Powder – a pinch
  8. Jaggery – a little
  9. Salt to taste

To grind

  1.  Raw rice – 3 tbsps
  2. Fenugreek/methi seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Dried Red Chillies – 3 -4

For Seasoning

  1. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  2. Curry Leaves – a few
  3. Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp

Method- 1

  1. Cut all the vegetables lengthwise into about 1 ½ inch pieces. 
  2. Soak tamarind in hot water for about 10 mins. Extract thick tamarind extract.
  3. In a vessel, add the vegetables and the tamarind extract. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt to taste and a bit of jaggery. Cover the vessel and cook till vegetables are done. Once the vegetables are cooked and if some water remains then cook without cover till the water evaporates.
  4. In the meanwhile, dry roast the ingredients mentioned under the to grind section. While roasting first add rice, once it starts changing color then add methi seeds and chillies as these will roast very quickly and if add in the beginning itself will get burnt. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
  5. Heat a non stick kadai with about 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add mustard seed. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and then add the vegetables cooked in tamarind extract. Let it roast for some time stirring in between. After the vegetables are roasted well, add the curry powder. Mix it well. Take care not to mash the vegetables while stirring.
Delicious Pulikuthi Upperi is ready!

Method 2

  1. Heat a non stick kadai with oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  2. Add the raw banana pieces and turmeric powder. lower the heat to medium and cook covered till the raw banana pieces are 3/4 cooked. Keep stirring in between and sprinkle some water if required.
  3. Now add the brinjal, lady's finger and pumpkin pieces. add salt to taste and mix well.
  4. Cook covered for 4 to 5 minutes or until all the veggies are cooked.
  5. In the meanwhile, extract a thick tamarind juice with about 1/2 cup of water add this tamarind extract to the cooked veggies, add the jaggery now if using and cook uncovered on medium heat stirring occasionally until all the moisture has evaporated.
  6. Now add the roasted and ground powder mix well and remove from heat. You can cook for 3 to 5 minutes on low heat after adding the powder if you like.


  1. Add Raw Bananas first let these be half done then add brinjals, lady’s finger and Pumpkin as these take lesser time to cook.
  2. Adjust the amount of tamarind depending on the quantity of vegetables used.


Shanthi Krishnakumar said...

Nice and authentic way. Keep rocking and congrats on being featured.

Shilpi Bose said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, I am glad to see that you are keeping alive age old recipes that is what I am trying to do in my blog.

Unknown said...


Upperi looks yumm and inviting..:)


themustardseed said...

I love your authentic palakkad recipes here. This is one cuisine I would love to learn more about as I have not had much chance to try it. Look forward to learning from you the delicious regional cuisine. Also thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Anonymous said...

Just happened to stumble upon your blog today, and the first thing I was looking for, was Pulikuthi upperi! :) Reminds me of my grandma's cooking! She would put chundaikkai, chembu elai, vazhakkai and miscellaneous vegetables that were in our backyard. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


i remembered my mother making this along with chembu elai also. tried torecollect and wanted to make it. thanks to your blog. this item i had last is in 1978 before i left for Mumbai. afterwards i did notget a chance to make this.

Anonymous said...

We used to add chembu and chembu leaves rolled and knotted

Subha said...

very nice one Kaveri..Have not tried it though I am from Palakkad..Will try your method.

Padma Venkat said...

Well explained

Hema Khurana said...

Thanks Kaveri. Was looking for this recipe. It's my dad's favourite and I am using your recipe today. Can we add yam to this?
Thanks again for bringing back these well loved curries. Hema

Myths said...

Thanks for the wonderful upperi...during my growing up years v used to make keera molakootal and this very upperi to go along with it...and yes finger licking combination it was.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...