Pulagam Recipe: A Comforting South Indian Delight

If you’re looking for a warm and comforting dish that’s both delicious and nutritious, look no further than Pulagam Recipe. This traditional South Indian recipe has been a favorite for generations, offering a perfect blend of flavors and textures. In this article, we’ll explore the art of making Pulagam, step by step, and uncover the secrets to creating this heartwarming dish in your own kitchen.

What is Pulagam?

A Taste of South Indian Tradition

Pulagam, also known as Pulihora Undrallu, is a popular South Indian dish that hails from the state of Andhra Pradesh. It’s a simple yet flavorful preparation made with rice and split yellow moong dal. What sets Pulagam apart is its tangy and spicy twist, achieved by incorporating tamarind and a special tempering of spices.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For a Perfect Pot of Pulagam

Before you start cooking, make sure you have the following ingredients on hand:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup split yellow moong dal (lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • A few curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

Cooking Instructions

Crafting Pulagam with Love

Now, let’s dive into the process of making Pulagam step by step:

  1. Wash and Soak: Begin by washing the rice and moong dal thoroughly. Then, soak them together in water for about 20-30 minutes. After soaking, drain the water.
  2. Pressure Cook: Transfer the soaked rice and dal mixture to a pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Also, add turmeric powder, slit green chilies, and tamarind pulp.
  3. Cooking Time: Close the pressure cooker with its lid and cook for approximately 3-4 whistles or until the rice and dal are soft and well-cooked. Once done, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.
  4. Mash It Up: After the pressure has released, open the cooker and gently mash the rice and dal mixture. You can use a masher or the back of a ladle to achieve a smooth consistency.
  5. Tempering: In a separate pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Let them splutter and release their aromatic flavors.
  6. Combine: Pour the tempering mixture over the mashed rice and dal. Add salt to taste and mix everything thoroughly. Ensure that the tempering is evenly distributed.
  7. Final Touch: If you prefer, you can garnish Pulagam with some freshly chopped coriander leaves for a burst of freshness.

Serving and Enjoying

Pulagam, a Taste of Home

Pulagam is best served hot, and it pairs wonderfully with a side of yogurt, pickle, or even a crispy papad. It’s a dish that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also provides a sense of comfort and nostalgia, making it a staple in many South Indian households.


In the world of South Indian cuisine, Pulagam stands out as a soul-warming dish that brings families together over a shared meal. Its simplicity, combined with its bold flavors, makes it a must-try for anyone looking to explore the diverse culinary landscape of India. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary journey that will leave you craving more.

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FAQs about Pulagam Recipe

Q1: Can I use brown rice instead of white rice for Pulagam?

Absolutely! You can substitute brown rice for white rice in this recipe. Keep in mind that brown rice may require a slightly longer cooking time.

Q2: Is Pulagam a vegan-friendly dish?

Yes, Pulagam is inherently vegan as long as you use vegetable oil for tempering. It’s a great choice for those following a vegan lifestyle.

Q3: Can I adjust the spiciness of Pulagam?

Certainly! You can control the level of spiciness by adjusting the number of green chilies you use. For a milder version, reduce the amount, or for extra heat, add more chilies.

Q4: How can I make Pulagam even healthier?

To make Pulagam even more nutritious, consider adding vegetables like carrots, peas, or spinach during the tempering stage. This will increase its fiber and vitamin content.

Q5: What are some common variations of Pulagam?

While the classic Pulagam recipe is beloved, you can experiment with variations by adding ingredients like peanuts, cashews, or grated coconut for added texture and flavor. These variations are popular in different regions of South India.