Elavan Pulissery (Ash gourd puliserry)

The dish ‘pulissery’ is very popular in Kerala. Mambazha Pulissery is the original and authentic dish, prepared with ripe mangoes as its main ingredient. This dish is very common during the mango season in Kerala, around late February to end of May. The pulissery is also, made using any one of these vegetables: – elavan (ash gourd), vellirika (from the cucumber family) and pineapple.

The basic idea of including the fruits, like ripe mangoes or pineapple, is to give the dish a lovely taste of sweetness. The sour taste of the dish is derived from the yoghurt. The grated coconut gives the final touch to the pulissery; it plays the role of blending the combination of spice, salt, sweetness and sourness in the dish.

I learnt this recipe from my mother-in-law. She tells me that this is a tradional and authentic dish, which every Keralite enjoys and relishes. Blushing she recollects, when she was newly married this was one of the dishes she prepared for her in-laws and extended family. Her mother-in-law was impressed and proud that the traditional dish was cooked so well.

This is how ‘the pulissery’ with ash gourd(if ripe mangoes or pineapple is available, substitute the ash gourd with the same) is prepared:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ashgourd (chopped)
  • ½ cup coconut (grated)
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 whole red chilli
  • 1 pod of garlic (crushed)
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cups yoghurt (beaten)
  • Oil and few curry leaves for seasoning
  • Salt to taste

Optional

I added a few curd chillies instead of the red chillies for seasoning to make the pulissery tastier.

 Method

  • Cook chopped ash gourd in a vessel with turmeric, salt, crushed garlic, 2 slit green chillies, cumin seeds, and ½ cup water.
  • Make a fine paste with grated coconut and 1 green chilli.
  • Add this paste to the cooked ash gourd, cover with lid and put off the flame.
  • Stir when it becomes warm and add the beaten yoghurt to it.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil,add mustard. When it splutters add fenugreek seeds, red chilli and curry leaves. Stir and remove from heat,else the chillies will get burnt.
  • Add this piping hot seasoning to the pulissery, this tempering is best done before serving.
  • Serve hot with brown(or white)  rice, vegetable thoran, pickle and papad.

Tip: The curd should be added only when the dish is not too hot but just warm, else the curd will split.

Preparation Time :1/2 hour

Serves : 4-5

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