Vegetables cooked in bellam (teeya) pulusu aka stew absorb the flavors of spices beautifully and literally melt in the mouth. The mukkalu aka cut vegetables have a savory-sweet-tangy flavor from the spices, jaggery and tamarind which are the main flavor enhancers. A typical Andhra preparation and a popular one in our parts. The recipe I’m blogging today is a one of the many variations of Mukkalu pulusu.
Mukkala Bellam Pulusu Recipe
Recipe source: Amma
Prep & Cooking: 45-50 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
4 cups of cubed vegetables (pumpkin, bottlegourd, drumsticks, sweet potato)
8-10 small sambar onions (or shallots)
3 medium tomatoes quartered
3-4 green chillis (slit length wise) adjust to suit your spice level
pinch of turmeric
1 big lemon sized tamarind (extract the juice in 1 cup water)
1 1/2 tbsps jaggery or sugar (optional)
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnish
For spice pwd: Roast in a tsp of oil for 5 mts, cool and grind to a coarse powder
2-3 dry red chillis
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsps coriander seeds
2 tsps channa dal/senga pappu/Bengal gram
2 tsps urad dal/minapa pappu/split black gram dal
1/4 tsp methi/menthulu/fenugreek seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds/til/nuvvulu (optional)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp urad dal/minapapappu/split black gram
pinch of fenugreek seeds/menthulu/methi
1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing/inguva or 3-4 crushed garlic flakes
1 dry red chilli (tear into pieces and de-seed)
10-12 fresh curry leaves
1 In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the mixed vegetables, shallots, tomatoes, green chillis and turmeric powder. Add 2 1/2 litres of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and let the vegetables half cook.
2 Once vegetables are half cooked, add the tamarind extract, salt and jaggery and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 13-15 mts, till the rawness of the tamarind disappears.
3 Add the ground spice pwd and combine well. Let it cook for another 7-8 mts.
4 Heat oil a separate pan, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the cumin seeds, urad dal, fenugreek, hing, red chillis and fry for half a minute till they turn brown. Don’t burn them. Lastly add curry leaves and immediately add to the vegetable mixture.
5 Simmer for a minute or two and turn off heat. Garnish with fresh coriander and keep covered for 10 mts before serving.
6 Serve with hot steamed rice and vadiyaalu and appadam (papad)
Alternatively, you can pressure cook the vegetables with less water in a separate container. Vegetables like zuchinni, chow chow, carrots, radish and brinjals are also welcome for mukkala pulusu.