Melkottai Puliyodarai


The simple mention of puliyodarai is enough start salivating and the Iyengar puliyodarai sends one spinning to the world of koil  prasadam. Melkotai in Karnataka is very famous for puliyodarai and the pulikachal (concentrate ) has a very long shelf life and stays good and aromatic for many weeks.Every street in that place sells the rice and pulikachal in pushcarts all over the place and is a sight to be seen. The mix is like a thick paste soaked in oil and the secret is I guess in the dry ingredients that go into the mix. The instant mix I have posted is based on this principle and the rice is certainly worth the expectation.


Puliyodarai mix  3 tbsp

Cooking oil 2 to 3 tbsp

Raw rice 1 cup

Asafotida ½ tsp

Salt  ¼ tsp

Skinned peanuts 2 tbsp

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs


  • Wash the rice with enough water and after draining water add two cups of water, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil. Cook the rice for three whistles. After the rice cools down fluff it up with a fork to get grainy texture. Transfer the rice to a platter.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds to the hot oil. AS it starts spluttering, add the peanuts and let it remain on low flame for a couple of minutes . Add asafotida and curry leaves and a minute later add the powder mix and switch off the flame.

  • Mix well to get a thick paste and  transfer  the paste to the rice in the platter. Mix gently making sure that rice does not break the rice grains.


Serve with appalam or vadam.

Chef’s note

  • In case you have added the tempering to the mix already,  add the mix in hot oil and mix with rice.

Udupi Rasam



Time we visited the coastal Karnataka after reveling in the land of mangoes for a festive cuisine …. Udupi rasam! No meal offered in the Udupi temples/Dharmasthala or any of the Brahmin Mangalorean wedding feast is complete without the famous Udupi rasam. The specialty of the rasam powder for this is the inclusion of mustard seeds as also fenugreek seeds. Furthermore, the ingredients are roasted in a generous amount of coconut oil and often the tempering is also done in coconut oil. Naturally with so much of coconut flavor to it, fresh coconut is only optional. The powder is made in bulk and used for other stir fry dishes too. I used coconut oil minimally to roast the condiments and I love the aroma of ghee in tempering; so tempering in ghee. To balance the heat from the chilies I used coconut and also jaggery. Byadagi chilli is used to give the vibrant color and one can use a mix of normal red chilies and Byadagi chilies to give color and taste.

This recipe is adapted from the recipe from  Chitra Amma’s Kitchen


Tamarind 1 lemon/gooseberry sized ball or  1 tbsp of pulp

Green chili 1 (slit)

Arahar dal 2 tbsp (to be pressure cooked)

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Tomato 2 medium-sized

Fresh coconut 1 tbsp (grated)

Curry leaves frpom 3 sprigs

Salt 1 tsp or as per taste

Jaggery powder ½ tsp

Ghee 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida ¼ tsp

Water 4 cups


For rasam powder

rasam condiments


Red chillies 4

Byadage chilies 4

Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Coconut oil  ¼ tsp

 Mustard seeds 1/3 tsp

Fenugreek seeds ¼ tsp

udupi rasam ingred


  • Add turmeric powder to the washed arahar dal and pressure cook the dal for 4 whistles.
  • For rasam powder: In a wide and thick-bottomed pan add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and dry roast till the color starts changing to brown. Remove from fire and transfer to a platter to cool.

Add the coconut oil to the same pan and roast the chilies, followed by cumin seeds, coriander seeds and urad dal. As the aroma is released switch off the flame and transfer to the platter to cool down.

Powder the roasted condiments to a slightly coarse texture.

  • Blanch the tomato in hot water or by microwaving for a minute. Blend the blanched tomato, coconut and curry leaves to a smooth paste.
  • Extract the pulp from tamarind soaked in warm water into the cooking vessel or add the ready pulp and make up the volume to 1 cup. Add salt and slit chilly and keep it on slow fire till the raw smell of tamarind is gone.
  • Add the mashed dal and tomato-coconut paste to the vessel and make up the volume to 1 liter.
  • When the mix starts boiling add the rasam powder, asafotida, and jaggery. Switch off the flame when the mix starts boiling and gets frothy.
  • Temper the mustard seeds and transfer to the ready rasam.

udupi saaru


Normally this rasam uses coconut oil for tempering and those who love strong coconut flavor can use coconut oil. The condiments are also roasted (fried?) in a fairly large scoop of oil

Red chili is commonly used in tempering but I decided to skip it.