I read Veda's account of her grandmother's recipe for Iyengar Puliogare alongwith her description, detailed steps and photos and it compelled me to try this at once. The making of the gojju or pulikaachal does take a while because slow simmering is key to getting the correct consistency and flavour but since this can be stored for a while, it's a sound investment of time and enables a delicious and quick meal later on. Thank you Veda for sharing such a winning recipe.
I halved her recipe and also made some changes because my rasam and sambar powders are storebought and so I had to compensate the ingredients to account for that.
PULIKAACHAL / TAMARIND GOJJU
Puli (Dark tamarind) - 3/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Rasam powder - 3 tbsp
Sambar powder - 1 tbsp
Viji's SIMP - 2 tsp
Salt - 1.5 to 2 tbsp
Jaggery (Vellam) - 1 cube
Powdered methi - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Nallennai (Sesame/gingelly oil) - 3 tbsp
Channa dhal - 3 tbsp, soaked in hot water
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 to 2 tsp
Red Chillies - 8, broken into two
Ginger - 1.5 inch piece, cut into tiny bits
Curry leaves - 2 stalks
Asafoetida - 1/4 inch piece, crushed
1) Soak the tamarind in about about a cup or 1.5 cups of warm water. When very soft, squeeze and extract as much juice as possible from the pulp, strain, keep the juice and discard the leftover pulp.
2) Heat a deep pan, and add nallennai, season with mustard seeds, urad dhal, soaked channa dhal, crushed asafoetida, curry leaves, ginger and broken bits of red chillies. Once the mustard seeds splutter add the tamarind extract.
3) When the tamarind water begins to boil, add the rasam powder, sambar powder, turmeric powder and mix thoroughly to blend. Reduce the flame to low and allow this mixture to simmer.
4) After about 15 minutes, add the salt, jaggery and allow to thicken some more.
5) After another 15 minutes, add Viji's SIMP and let the mixture continue to simmer until it thickens up really well. For me, the entire process took about 90 mins total. Towards the end, add the powdered pepper and methi and switch off the stove. The thick paste (pulikaachal) can then be cooled completely and spooned into a dry bottle and refrigerated until ready to use.
Rice - 1 cup, raw cooked
Channa dhal - 2 tsp, soaked
Peanuts - 1 tbsp, chopped
Red Chillies - 2
Sambar powder - 1 to 2 tsp
Onions - 1/4 c. chopped (optional)
Curry leaves -few
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Nallennai (Gingelly oil) - 2 to 3 tsp
1) Cook the rice separately with about 3 cups of water and allow to cool completely so the grains are separate.
2) Heat a pan with some oil and add the seasonings (Mustard seeds, Urad dhal, Channa dhal, curry leaves, asafoetida, broken red chillies & peanuts) and fry them till golden.
3) I added red onions but that is not traditional - so, if you are using it, add them along with sambar powder and turn for a few seconds. Switch off the flame and pour this on the cooled rice.
4) Add the pulikaachal/gojju to taste and mix thoroughly so every grain of rice is coated with the masala. Let it sit for a while for the flavours to be absorbed before serving with (microwaved) vadaam or potato chips.