Thursday, May 24, 2007

Regional Cuisines of India - Andhra Pradesh: Pullihora & Pesarattu

The first time I tasted this cuisine was when I was visiting my cousin who lives in Bangalore. We went to a place called 'Nagarjuna' which I believe is in MG Road. The place was jam packed, and I attributed that to the fact that it was dinner time , so it was natural... foolish me! on entering the eating area, one whiff of the enticing aromas and I was ..........behaving like I was one who was deprived meals for a long time!

For a long time,I lost touch with this wonderful cuisine (and I shamefully admit, in college, Bschool.. whenever I ate anything from the South of India, I never categorised it.. it was just southie food!)

But as luck would have it, I am married to a Kannadiga who is a total Andhra Food FAN!! And as luck would have it again.... we lived in Bangalore for a short while before USA.. and Bangalore has a plethora of Andhra restaurants to choose from, so cooking an evening meal was a rare event.... so we freaked out on the food practically every evening Bheemas, Nandhini Palace, RR's, Gongura, Madhuri's to name a few regular haunts( till one day I refused... the proud cook rebelled!)

But now, I miss the yummy food too.. and try my hand at some (easy) stuff and congratulate myself when it turns out well!!

So for RCI -Andhra I made Pulihora and Pesarattu (Spicy Onion Pancakes)
For the recipes I peeped into Lokpriya and from the variety there, I chose this rice dish. This is a simple and easy to make recipe and which is great for our lunch boxes, no need for any accompaniments, but a pickle / raita (because I am partial to it!) may go well with it.Here's the recipe:

1 cup Rice
1/4 cup Bengal gram dal
1/2 cup Tamarind pulp
12 Curry leaves
4 tablespoons Oil
2 tablespoons Urad dal
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
2 Red chillies
2 Green chillies
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
4 tablespoons Sesame seed powder
1 tablespoon Cashew nuts
1 piece Ginger
1 pinch Asafoetida
Salt (As per taste)

Wash the rice and dal together and cook adding enough water. Make sure not to overcook.Pour the cooked rice into a big bowl, add turmeric powder, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, tamarind pulp and 7-8 curry leaves.Heat oil in a sauce pan, add the urad dal, mustard seeds and cashew nuts. When the seeds begin to crackle, add red chillies(broken into half), ginger, curry leaves, slit green chillies and asafoetida. Remove from fire and add it to the rice. Add the sesame powder, mix well and leave it covered for an hour to allow the rice to absorb the ingredients.

Pessarettu : Now anything that comes into the Dosa line is always , always welcome in our home! Both M and I enjoy dosas with variations! So when I read this recipe and saw how easy it was to make it, I jumped to it! Surprisingly, I have never eaten this when in B'lore! Maybe I was too happy pigging out over the meals! And those were so filling that all we were capable of, after dinner , was staggering home, rolling like fat ducks (no make that one duck-me!!). Now I made a combination of recipes here ... the basic recipe source is Lokpriya and after looking atPrema's recipe I did the same! used upma as a stuffing ! This was an unsual combination for us and we both absolutely LOVED it!!! I made Onion chutney to go with the Pesarattu, which was a HIT!!! and the usual Sambar.
For the Pesarattu :

1/2 kg whole green gram (moong)
2 cups Water
1 teaspoon Chopped ginger
4 Green chillies
2 Sliced onions
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
1/2 bunch Chopped coriander leaves
1 cup Oil
Salt (As per taste)

Method: Soak moong dal (green gram) in water for 2-3 hours. Drain all but one cup water and grind to a paste with ginger, salt and green chillies. Add enough water to make a thick batter, mix well. Add cumin powder and coriander leaves to the chopped onion and keep aside.Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, pour one ladle of the batter into the frying pan and spread out like a thin pancake. Pour ½ tsp oil around the edges and cook the pancake on medium heat.Sprinkle some of the chopped onion mixture in the middle of the pancake and spread evenly. When the pesarattu is well cooked, add more oil and fry till edges are crisp. Fold in half and take off flame. Repeat for rest of the batter.Serve hot with sambhar, pickle or chutney.

For the Upma:
I roasted 1 cup Sooji/ Rava/ Farina in 1 tsp. oil, till fragrant. In a wok / kadhai, heat 1-2 tbsp oil, add 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 1/2 tbsp. Urid daal , 1/2 tbsp. Channa Daal. After the Mustard pops, and the dals are a lovely golden brown, add 1/2 tsp Jeera/ Cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp Hing/ Asafetida. To this tadka, add 1 finely chopped Green Chilly and a few curry leaves.
Add 2 1/4 cups water. Once the water boils, add juice of 1 lemon, 2 tsp sugar. Slowly add the roasted Sooji. Mix well, so that no lumps are formed. Cover and cook for 4-5 mins. Drizzle 1 tsp. of butter/ ghee on the sides and cover and cook for another 2 mins.

Upma is ready!

Makes only 6-7 Pesarattu with this measure.... which is not enough :( , well, maybe for one meal ( this can become a meal!!!), but I feel like I want to have some more today as well!
This is going to Lata of Masala Magic as my entry for RCI- Andhra Pradesh Cuisine. Thank U Lata for hosting the event for this month!
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  1. Your hubby is a Kannadiga!! Hurray!!:)
    I remember Nagarjuna and remember food being very spicy!
    I love Puliyagarai,looks great.I have one too in my blog.Pesarattu is one I have never made it at home or tasted it,will try.Great entries Manasi:))
    Now do you like Jackfruit?

  2. I love the rice and the taste of tamarind mixed in...lovely entries, Manasi.

  3. My husband loves Pesarattu and we make it atleast once in a week but never got time to take a picture as it has to be eaten hot.

    I am glad you like South Indian food.

  4. Manasi,

    yummy looking dishes, hit the nail with true andhra recipes. Man love all the resturants you mentioned, we were regulars at those too

  5. waw those to are typical Andhra recipes. you have done a great job with them. pulihara looks yummy.

  6. Hmm,you have hit the nail on the head Manasi!came here thru foodblogdesam..pesarattu and pulihora are like the alterego of telugu people!:)

  7. This is really Andhra Dish I like this recipes.
    I like to see more recipes in your site.......
    Thanks for share.......


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