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February 11, 2012

This recipe is my all time favorite one. The combination of sweet spicy and tangy in this recipe exemplifies the layers of flavors that Indian cuisine showcases, turning the humblest of ingredients into mouthwatering dishes. Loosely translated, Pulinkari means vegetables in tamarind ( puli). This dish is an integral part of the Kerala Iyer cook’s repertoire, and my mom’s is the best in the family. This is her recipe. I don’t have a picture as I am always excited to start eating and then there is little left for a good picture 🙂

What You Need

  • 2 cups diced Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 5 dried red chillies
  • 1 Tblsp rice
  • 1 Tblsp oil
  • 1 Tblsp tamarind extract
  • 1 Tsp Mustard (for tempering)
  • 1/2 Tsp fenugreek seeds ( for tempering)
  • 1/2 Tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 Cups of water
  • How it’s done

  • Cook the squash and potatoes in the microwave till almost done (but not fully cooked) about 5-6 minutes, depending on the microwave power
  • Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the chillies, rice and fenugreek seeds till fragrant. Take off fire, add the coconut and grind into a smooth paste
  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds. When they start sputtering, add the fenugreek seeds. When fragrant add the turmeric and fry for a minute.
  • Add the par-cooked vegetables and water to cover and the tamarind and let come to boil
  • Add the coconut spice paste, salt mix and the rest of the water and let cook till the mixture comes to a boil and the vegetables are fully cooked.
  • Serve warm with plain rice
  • This is the perfect recipe for sweet vegetables as the sweetness of the potatoes and squash is balanced with the tangy tamarind and the heat from the chilies… Always takes me back to my mom’s kitchen growing up…

    1. Yummy. With me, it’s the descriptions that tempt me into trying other people’s recipes, not fabulous photographs. In fact, the fabulouser the photo, the more I feel that I can’t do justice to the recipe. (For that matter, the simpler the description, the more convincing and sincere I find it.) So the lack of a photo for this post does absolutely NOTHING to detract from my wanting to make it rightaway! Ok, I’ll have to wait to get home from work, of course, but other than that… 🙂

      • Thanks, Shyam!!! That is extemely glattering….I don’t have your talent of storytelling, tho…love each of your posts to how the story and recipe come alive in my mind 🙂

        Sent from my iPhone

    2. Rekha permalink

      Nice recipe dude..Does bring back memories of Ma’s pulinkari! yummilicious!

    3. Hey, I’ve been wanting to get a butternut squash recipe from you ever since I helped out in the kitchen while you guys cooked it. So glad to have found your blog! You really know food.


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