Puliseri, or Pulissery, is a yoghurt curry with simple spicing and thickened slightly with rice flour, designed to eat over rice. It can also be eaten as a soup, but this is non-traditional.
Pulissery is often associated with Kerala on the West coast of India, where it is also often cooked with vegetables. This recipe is from its neighbour, Tamil Nadu, and is kept simple without any additions.
The recipe is another from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books, full of traditional Tamil recipes. This one is from a recipe in Volume 3, and she calls it the Raw Variety of Pulissery.
Puliseri | Simple Yoghurt Curry
1 cup coconut shreds – use frozen if you cannot get fresh. Frozen are available from your Indian grocery
6 dried red chillies
3 cups yoghurt thinned with 1 cup water
salt to taste, about 2 tspns
4 tspns ghee
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
0.5 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 tspn rice or 1.5 tspn rice flour
curry leaves (optional)
coriander leaves to garnish
Saute 4 dried red chillies (or to taste) in 2 tspns ghee. Make sure the chillies have their ends pinched off, so they don’t explored. Add the coconut pieces and the rice. Saute quickly and then grind to a paste in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle. Add just enough water to have it grind the ingredients well.
Add to the yoghurt and water to make a loose batter. If you are using rice flour instead of rice, add that now to the batter, and mix well. The batter should be of medium consistency.
Heat 2 tspns of ghee in a kadhai or saucepan and pop the mustard seeds. As they finish popping, add the fenugreek seeds and 2 dried red chillies with their ends pinched off. Add the yoghurt batter and cook over a low – medium heat (don’t boil),stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from the heat. Add curry leaves and mix through (if desired).
Garnish with coriander leaves when cooled.