Friday, April 8, 2011

Navarathri Pulinkari

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

For Tempering

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.


Priya Suresh said...

Delicious pulinkari,simply inviting..

Suman Singh said...

Thanks for stopping by at my blog and for your comment have a great space here...happy to follow you..
This sounds new to me but looks yummy!

Ila said...

yummy and delicious although new to me :)

Treat and Trick said...

Great combo and looks yummy! Thanks for stopping by and joining in my blog, you have a wonderful space, will be back to discover more....

kitchen queen said...

nice and authentic recipe.

Swathi said...

Navarathri pulinkari looks delicious. Thanks for visiting my blog. You have nice space too.

divya said...

I am hungry now looking at your dish..looks yummy!

Sensible Vegetarian said...

Lovely delicious dish.

Sravs said...

So delicious pulinkari !!

Sonia said...

Hi Kaveri, this dish is looking so good and is cooked for auspicious pooja, makes it all the more delightful. Great post and just loved it ...cheers !

Nithu Bala said...

Dear Kaveri, First time to your have a wonderful space...Pulinkari sounds too good..thanks for the yummy recipe. I'm happy to follow your drop in at my space when you get time.

VK said...

Wow this recipe.will sure give it a try! Olan is our all time fav and next time will try this with olan..

Puja said...

Thee recipes sounds great- very new to me!
US Masala

Shylaja said...

Looks delicious. Have never made this before. Have to try

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

mmmm...innovative combo...nice presentation..
Tasty Appetite

Suma Gandlur said...

This tangy - sweet stew must be yummy.

Padhu Sankar said...

First time to your blog.You have a lovely space Pulinkari looks inviting

Raks said...

This is something new to me,nice recipe!

Rajani said...

Never knew that chopping vegetables could also be done by just dropping them froma height, ha ha that does sound very ingenous and funny.
thanks for the recipe of the famous Puthucode pulunkari!

Anonymous said...

When do you add jaggerry
Thanks for the recipe

Shoba Shrinivasan said...


I have never heard of this preparation. Your explanation of dropping hte veggies and breaking it in to small pieces is very interesting! We are also from palakkad from Payalur, but mmoved to Chennai many years ago. Loved the simplicity of this dish!


Best Income said...

Enjoyable details. Those who like to read details on Lord Siva Temple at Ayalur, the traditional village of Palakkad, please visit

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