Pappu pulusu aka Pappu charu is a traditional Andhra favorite, nutritionally complete, delicious and easy to cook. A tamarind based lentil stew cooked with vegetables, Pappu pulusu is redolent with the delicate flavor of curry leaves and seasoned with Indian spices like cumin, mustard, fenugreek and garlic.
There are certain foods which have comfort written all over them and Pappu pulusu falls in the comfort food category, which when eaten with rice, makes a soothing combination. It makes a great meat-less main course and is cooked with seasonal vegetables like ladies finger (okra), brinjal (egg plant), shallots, tomatoes, sweet potato, radish, carrot, pumpkin and drumsticks, each of which gives the â€˜pulusuâ€™ a distinctive flavor of its own.
In fact, left over pappu charu tastes even better the next day by absorbing all the wonderful flavors of the vegetables. As one savors the pulusu-rice combination, it releases an tangy sweet mix of flavors from the tamarind, lentils and the vegetables, that its difficult to resist the temptation of having another serving of this earthy, hearty and filling dish 🙂
Pappu Pulusu Recipe
Recipe source: Amma
Prep & Cooking: 40 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
1 cup kandi pappu (tur dal, red gram dal) pressure cooked and mashed
2 cups of chopped mixed vegetables (like okra, carrot, radish, drumsticks, brinjal or sweet potato)
8-10 small sambar onions (or shallots)
2 medium tomatoes quartered
3-4 green chillis (slit length wise) adjust to suit your spice level
pinch of turmeric
3 cups of water
1 big lemon sized tamarind (extract the juice in 1 cup water)
1/2 tsp jaggery or sugar (optional)
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnish
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
Â¾ tsp fenugreek seeds
7- 8 crushed garlic flakes
4-5 dry red chillis (tear into pieces and de-seed)
10-12 fresh curry leaves
1 In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the mashed dal and water. To this, add the mixed vegetables, shallots, tomatoes, green chillis and turmeric powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let the vegetables get cooked.
2 Once vegetables are cooked, add the tamarind extract, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 8-10 mts, till the rawness of the tamarind disappears.
3 Pre-heat oil a pan, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the cumin seeds, fenugreek, garlic, red chillis and fry for a few seconds till they turn brown. Donâ€™t burn them. Lastly add curry leaves and immediately add to the dal-vegetable mixture.
4 Simmer for a minute or two and turn off heat. Garnish with fresh coriander and keep covered for 10 mts before serving.
5 Serve with hot steamed rice and vadiyaalu and appadam (papad)
Alternatively, you can pressure cook the vegetables with less water in a seperate container (i.e not along with the dal). Vegetables like bottle gourd and zuchinni can also be used. Okra, carrots, onions, drumsticks, sweet potato and shallots are best suited for pappu pulusu.