Kootchulu or Neeragaram is a simple, age-old recipe made from overnight fermentation of cooked rice. For over many generations, this has been a staple health drink in many parts of India. It acts as a natural body cooler, especially in summer. This unique porridge or kanji tastes slightly sour with the aroma of sesame oil and the crunchiness of onions.
This is a basic recipe for preparing tangy, spicy and scrumptious South Indian delicacy ‘Puliyotharai Rice’ that has a long shelf life.
How to make Puliyotharai Gojju | Pulikaachal?
Though there are many versions of this delectable recipe that belong to various parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra, I always have followed the one which is inherited from my family, especially from my father (yes! he is so fond of trying out authentic dishes with great flair).
This version has a fine blend of Andhra style and Iyengar style of making puliyotharai. You can make this recipe in large quantity and store to relish puliyotharai as and when required. It is an ideal option for tiffin box or as a travel food.
Tamarind / Imli – a small orange-sized, appr 150g
Sesame / Til – 1/3 cup
Turmeric powder / Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Jaggery / Gud – a small-lemon sized
Salt to taste
Desi ghee – 1 tbsp
Sesame / Til Oil – 3/4 cup
Mustard Seeds / Rai – 1 tsp
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Channa Dal – 2 tsp
Fenugreek / Methi Seeds – 3/4 tsp
Red Chilly – 6 or 8 nos
Groundnut – a handful, roasted and peeled
Sesame Seeds / Til – 2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 twigs, torn into pieces
Asafoetida / Hing- 1 1/2 tsp
For Puliyotharai Masala
Red Chilly – 10 nos
Urad Dal – 2 tsp
Channa Dal – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek / Methi Seeds – 3/4 tsp
Coriander / Dhania Seeds – 3 tbsp
Soak imli in a cup of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
In the meanwhile, dry roast sesame or til (black or white) and coarsely powder it. Keep it separately.
Dry roast one by one the ingredients given for puliyotharai masala and finely powder it.
Extract the thick juice from the soaked imli.
In a heavy bottomed vessel / kadai, heat til oil and add rai.
When it splutters, add the remaining ingredients given for tadka (please follow the same order mentioned above) and sauté till the dals and groundnuts turn golden in colour.
Add imli water, haldi and give a boil.
Add powdered puliyotharai masala, salt, jaggery, half the amount of powdered til and boil till the raw flavour of imli lessens.
Keep stirring the gravy periodically till it thickens and forms a thick paste like consistency.
Add the remaining til powder and a tbsp of desi ghee, mix well and switch off the flame.
Let it cool and store it in a clean and dry container.
This gojju stays good for at least 2 weeks in normal temperature and almost 2-3 months when refrigerated.
For making puliyotharai rice, mix 2 tbsp of puliyotharai gojju with a cup of steamed rice (increase or decrease the amount of paste as per taste) and serve with papad and curd.
Nellai Milagai Podi is an appetizing, flavourful and quintessential condiment in all the South Indian households and eateries as it goes well with idly, dosa and upma varieties. My version of this Milagai Podi is inherited from my Grandma’s recipe that is with the adaptation of Nellai Tamizhar-style Idly Podi.
How to make Nellai Milagai Podi | Idly Podi?
This recipe has good amount of sesame / til and it needs to be had with sesame oil mixed in it. So, it’s heart-friendly when used regularly. Needless to mention the nutritious value added by urad and channa dals, curry leaves to this humble recipe!
Inclusion of black urad dal as core ingredient gives this recipe a distinctive colour and flavour than usual versions. This recipe can be prepared in bulk and stored in air-tight box. It helps to savour this delicious podi as and when required either in the form of a paste or smeared on idly or dosa. It is an ideal option for tiffin box or as a travel food.
Black urad dhal – 1 cup, splitted
Channa dal – ½ cup
Sesame Seeds / Til – ¼ cup
Dry Red Chilies – 25 to 30
Asafoetida / Hing – 2 to 3 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 to 6 twigs, torn into pieces
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2 tsp (optional)
Sesame / Til Oil – 1 to 2 tsp
Roast black urad dhal, channa dhal, sesame seeds, dry red chilies and curry leaves one by one with little amount of oil till crisp and golden in colour.
Bring it to room temperature and grind it into a coarse powder along with asafoetida, sugar and salt. You can grind it finely also as per your taste.
Transfer it to a large bowl and mix well.
Store it in an air-tight container to keep the flavours intact.
It can be served as an accompaniment for idly, dosa and upma varieties.
This recipe stays fresh for 2-3 months.
If you don’t like to use sesame oil, use any cooking oil or melted ghee.
Either you can have this podi + til oil as accompaniment or smear the podi paste on Idly, dosa vareities.
A delicious south Indian condiment ‘Puzhimilagai’, is nothing but a green chilly pickle that has a chutney-like texture and sweet spicy sour taste in it. As the name suggests, ‘Puzhi’ in Tamil means tamarind and ‘Milagai’ means chilly.
How to make Puzhimilagai | Green Chilly pickle?
The main ingredients of this recipe are fresh green chillies and tamarind. There are many versions of making this recipe, but I have always followed my Grandma’s method that calls for very few ingredients but tastes absolutely delectable.
This green chilly pickle goes well with idly, dosa and upma varieties, stuffed parathas, teplas and also with any rice varieties like curd rice, coconut rice, lemon rice etc.
Green Chillies – 250 g
Imli / Tamarind – medium lemon-sized
Haldi / Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Jaggery – gooseberry-sized
Salt to taste
Hing – 1/2 tsp
Mustard / Rai – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – few twigs
Sesame /Til Oil – 3 to 4 tbsp
Soak imli in 1/2 cup of water for 15 minutes, squeeze and extract the imli water.
Wash and pat dry the green chillies. Grind it into a thick paste. If required, little bit of imli water can be used to grind the chillies.
Take a thick bottomed kadai. Heat sesame / til oil, add rai, hing, curry leaves.
When the mustard seeds splutters, add green chillies paste, imli water, haldi, salt, jaggery.
Keep stirring in between and let it simmer till the oil separates. Adjust salt.
Let it cool and store it in a clean airtight container, preferably a glass bottle.
This recipe stays fresh for 1 or 2 months at room temperature and more if it is stored in fridge.