PULiogare Gojju – Tamarind Rice Paste

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IMG_6198.JPGPuliogare, has to be made the way it should be. It is just made it in such a non authentic way in hotels,marriages or as prasada during festival ( i am taking about the public temple prasada or pandal prasada)
What you get in most most of these places are just tamarind rice with some chilly powder and some tempering. It angers me to even see this ( i love food, and it shouldnt be made for the sake of making )

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So lets make the paste on our own like how my mum or my aunts or my grandmother has been making it from years. It is a tedious job. But its worth the pain. We have over the years tried to make it a little easier. So now it would take you around 3 to 4 hours to make the paste from a kilo of tamarind :) and some bit of cleaning.

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NOTE: i will not be able to give you the right measurement to this. Depending on how tangy the tamarind is, you will need to add the other ingredients. I will still try and give an approximate measurement.

Ingredients

1kg – Tamarind deseeded
1 1/2 cup – Jaggery
10 to 12 tbsp – Rasam powder ( store bought is fine too)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp – Haldi
1/2 cup – Oil
2 tsp – Mustard seed
1 tsp – Asafoetida
20 to 25 no – Curry leaves

Tempering (optional)
2 tbsp – Oil
10 nos- Curry leaves
1 tsp – Mustard seeds
2 tbsp – Urad dal
2 tbsp – Chana dal
1/4 cup – Peanuts

Method
Soak tamarind in warm water just for half an hour. Soak in water just enough to cover the tamarind.

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Pressure cook tamarind along with the soaked water and 6 tbsps of rasam powder till the cooker releases 2 whistles. ( originally this step does not exist. Originally pulp is extracted by manually squeezing the soaked tamarind. But this step helps speed the process just a bit)

Let the mixture cool and grind it in a mixer till you get a smooth paste. Strain it to remove any unwanted pieces of seeds, peel or fiber. Please take time to do this step.

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Now transfer this into a deep kadhai with a LID. Lid is very important. You’ll know why later :) Place it on a medium burner on low.
Add salt and jaggery to this. Keep the salt to minimum as you can add as you go. Mix it well.

IMG_6215.JPGNow add 1 tsp of asafoetida and haldi and mix well.

IMG_6216-0.JPGCover it and let it cook on low flame for an hour. Stir occassionally so it doesnt burn and be careful as the mixture splatters everywhere. The trick is to remove the pan from the flame. Leave it for couple of seconds and then remove the lid, stir and place it back on the flame.
After an hour the mixture turns a little darker in colour and thicker in consistency. At this stage heat oil in a small pan. Add the remaining asafoetida, mustard seeds to it. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add curry leaves to it. Once they crisp up, add it to the tamarind paste mixture. Stir and cover and cook for an hour more.

IMG_6217.JPGThe mixture has to thicken and start looking like dark chocolate sauce. Puliogare paste is done at this stage. Cool it and store it in an airtight bottle and refrigerate.

In my family we also add some bit of tempering to this. As we not only use it to make puliogare but also as a side dish. It goes really well with roti, curd rice or sometimes just with plain rice… You can choose not to add tempering as we anyways will add all this while making puliogare
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Tempering
Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal and peanuts to this. Let the dals turn gold. Add curry leaves and switch of the flame. Add this to the paste, mix well and store it in an airtight bottle and refrigerate.

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IMG_6196.JPGUse this stored paste to make puliogare. It keeps well for months as we have used a lot of oil in making it.


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