I'm all for tangy dishes... and if they are also spicy then it's a win-win combination. Puli pongal is a dish that is normally made with rice rava (coarsely ground rice), similar to what is used for arisi upma but I had some pearl barley on hand and wanted to use that instead. I prefer a slightly chewy texture so I thought that this would be a great substitute for the rice and really liked the end result. It had a slight creaminess to it and not very chewy but had a bit of bite instead of being mushy.
BARLEY PULI PONGAL
Pearl Barley - Half cup, soaked for about an hour
Tamarind (gooseberry sized) - soaked and juice extracted
Onions (red / shallots) - 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped
Dried Red Chillies - 2, broken into bits (or to taste)
Curry leaves - few
Nallennai (Gingelly oil) - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Channa dhal - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste
1) Heat oil in a pressure cooker, and season with mustard seeds, urad dhal, channa dhal, asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves. Then add the chopped onions and saute till browned.
2) Next, add the soaked & drained barley, 2.5 cups of water, tamarind extract (which should amount to about half cup) & salt. Cover and pressure cook for 3 whistles (1 on Med-High and 2 on medium)... till done. Serve warm.