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Vegetable Curry (Mukkalu Pulusu)


Vegetable Curry (Mukkalu Pulusu)

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 2 to 4 people
  • Spice Level: Medium

Authenticity Slice

If you so desire, you could add in some rice flour mixed in water, or some toor dal, to thicken the pulusu. Boil it along with the pulusu until you get the desired consistency. The use of tamarind pulp in the dish needs to be liberal, so remember to adjust the jaggery and the salt accordingly. You can also consider adding in some red chilli powder or sambar powder, or a mix of both, for a twist in the taste. Also, always cut up the selected vegetables into big chunks for this pulusu.

Trivia Tadka

'Mukkalu' in Telugu literally means 'pieces' and 'pulusu' means 'stew'. In Mukkalu Pulusu, big chunks of various vegetables are cooked in a tamarind extract and are then lightly spiced up. It is usually paired with ‘mudda pappu’ (mashed plain toor dal) and pappadams. In olden days, sambar-like dishes were made without using tomatoes and onions, so this pulusu was originally made using just 1 vegetable and no onions or tomatoes at all. Over the years, however, the dish’s recipe has evolved to include several vegetables.


  • Vegetables (pumpkin, bottle gourd, drumsticks, sweet potato), cut into large chunks (4 cups)
  • Small onions, halved (8 to 10)
  • Tomato, finely chopped (3)
  • Green chillies (hari mirch), slit vertically (3 to 4)
  • MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder (a pinch)
  • Tamarind (imli) juice (1 cup water )
  • Jaggery (gud) (2 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Coriander leaves (hara dhania) (for garnish)

For spice powder

  • Dry red chillies (sabut lal mirch) (2 to 3)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (½ tsp)
  • Coriander seeds (sabut dhania) (2 tsp)
  • Chana dal (split chickpeas) (2 tsp)
  • Urad dal (black gram) (2 tsp)
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) (¼ tsp)
  • White sesame seeds (safed til) (1 tsp)

For tempering poppu

  • Oil (1 tsp)
  • Black mustard seeds (sarson) (½ tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (¼ tsp)
  • Urad dal (black gram) (1 tsp)
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) (a pinch)
  • Asafoetida (hing) (¼ tsp)
  • Dry red chillies (sabut lal mirch) (1)
  • Curry leaves (kadipatta) (10 to 12)


  • For spice powder:
  • In a tsp of oil, roast the dry red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, split chickpeas, black gram, fenugreek seeds, and white sesame seeds. Let it cool and then, grind into a coarse powder
  • For the remaining recipe:
  • Take 3 lal mirch, 2 tsp mustard, ½ a tsp of salt and 2 tsp oil and grind them all into a fine paste. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai and add in the sarson and red chillies. Sauté for a while and then, add in the small onions, hing, garlic and kadipatta. Keep frying.
  • Next, toss in all the vegetable pieces, the MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder and salt as required. Keep frying the contents till some of the oil begins to rise up.
  • Then, add in 2 cups of water, the tamarind juice and jaggery and mix well. 
  • Toss in the green chillies next along with the MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder and boil well. 
  • When the vegetable pieces begin to soften, add in mustard paste. 
  • Stir well and take the vessel off the stove. 
  • Top the preparation with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

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