Tuesday, August 3, 2010

తోటకూర కాడల పులుసు: Totakura Kadala Pulusu- Amaranth Stalk soup

 Serves: Four. Preparation time: 30 minutes 

1 bunch Totakura/ Cholai/ Amaranth greens
1 Tsp or to taste, Salt
1 Tsp or to taste, Sugar
1 Tbsp Tamarind paste
2 Tsp Putnala pappu podi (Roasted chickpea powder)
Green chillies to taste
1 sprig Cilantro

1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 Tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds
2 Tsp Coriander powder
1 Tsp Fenugreek powder
2 Tsp Red Chilli powder
1/2 Tsp Asafoetida
4 Curry leaves

1. Remove leaves from the Totakura stalks, they can be used to make Totakura pappu. Wash the stalks thoroughly in cold running water and pat dry. Discard any mature fibrous stalks, use tender juicy stalks. Chop stalks into 1" pieces. 
2. Boil stalks immersed in 1" water until they soften, they will be half done in around 7 minutes, cover the boiling pot with a lid.
3. Stir in the salt, sugar and tamarind juice. Boil until the stalks are fully cooked and tamarind juice cooks too, around 5 more minutes of covered cooking.

4. In a bowl, make a runny sauce from the putnala pappu podi by adding 2 Tbsp of cold water, making sure to break up any lumps.
5. Pour the chickpea powder sauce into the Kadalu pulusu while stirring gradually. Let it boil for a minute so the chickpea sauce mixes into the soup, it doesn't need cooking time since it is prepared from roasted powder. 
6. Switch off the heat and add the green chillies and curry leaves. Cover and set aside. 
7. Tempering:
Heat the oil and add the Mustard seeds. When they splutter, add Cumin seeds, coriander powder, red chilli powder and asafoetida. Switch off the heat and add the fenugreek powder. Pour this tempering into the pulusu.
8. Garnish the pulusu with fine chopped cilantro.

Instead of putnala pappu podi, you may add a mixture of 1 tsp Rice flour mixed into 2 tsp Besan (Chickpea flour) dissolved in 3 Tbsp water. However, the pulusu should be boiled for 5 minutes after adding besan/rice flour since they are raw & take time to cook. Alternatively, the besan/rice flour can be roasted along with the tempering as described in Bendakaya pulusu

Culture & Health:
Telugu cuisine is full of a variety of pulusus which are delicious accompaniments with rice, upma, mudda pappu, kandi pacchadi, etc.
I found this a very clever way of utilizing every part of the Totakura, including the stalks! The stalks are a rich source of fibre, and very yummy too. This pulusu is a medley of flavours: salt, sour, sweet, spicy, totally mouth watering.

This is my mother's recipe. I clicked photographs of all her cooking while she was here, and you will soon notice that she made some interesting pulusus! Mommy is fond of tamarind/chilli based dishes, so pulusu is of top priority on her menu ;-) Those are her hands you see cooking in the pics :-)


  1. Vineeta! idi chala mandiki theliyadu. manchi pani chesavu.

  2. ya its quite a newbie for most people....nice recipe