Puli Milagai – Tamarind Chilli

Green Chillies

When Nandita announced this month’s ingredient for JFI, I decided to submit this childhood favourite of mine – Puli Milagai. Spicy green chillies are simmered in tamarind with, surprisingly, very few spices. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of chilli in the recipe, after all, it is the star of the recipe. The recipe is put together with ingredients that takes care of the spiciness leaving you with mildly spicy and tangy sauce with a hint of sweetness from the jaggery.

A word of caution if you are preparing a chilli dish for the first time. Open all the windows before you set out to prepare this dish. If your kitchen is well ventilated, you can sauté the chillies for 3 more minutes and then simmer in the tamarind sauce which reduces the overall cooking time. If not, as in my case, sauté no more than a minute, else it is very difficult to get rid of the spicy fumes trapped inside. This cooking time is compensated by simmering longer in the tamarind sauce. Also, don’t forget to use gloves while handling chillies. Now, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Ingredients

Chopped green chillies – 1¼ cup
Tamarind paste – 4 tbsp
Jaggery – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida – a pea size
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp or as needed
Sesame or gingelly oil – ¼ cup

Method

In a medium sized dry pan, roast fenugreek seeds till dark brown. Set aside.

Heat oil in the same pan, and fry asafoetida evenly on all sides. Drain and grind with roasted fenugreek seeds and jaggery to a fine powder. In a small bowl, take a cup of water and mix the prepared powder along with tamarind paste, turmeric and salt and set aside.

In the remaining oil, over medium heat, sauté the green chillies for a minute. Add the tamarind mixture to the chillies and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the chillies get cooked. Add more water if necessary. The chillies will turn from bright green to brown-green as they cook.

Variations

  • Use powdered asafoetida instead of chunks. Roast the powder for few seconds and then add the chillies.
  • Slit the chillies instead of cutting them into rings.
  • If you are using raw tamarind instead of the paste, extract juice from a lemon sized ball of tamarind.

Puli Milagai - Tamarind Chilli

This is a must try recipe for all those spice-lovers out there. It goes well with anything, from upma to curd rice, from idly to roti. My favourite combo is with dosa. My mom would make this in the afternoon when I am not home. By the time I am come back from school, the chilli fumes would have subsided and a hot plate of dosa and puli milaga would await me. In an attempt to recreate my childhood memory, I made dosa just to serve with puli milagai :).

Chillies in Tamrind with dosa

Puli milagai starring chillies goes to Nandita, who is hosting JFI – Chillies, an event started by Indira.

52 comments:

indosungod said...

Oh Yes! I can taste that already. Delicious!!

Tee said...

Sweet, sour & Spicy...I'll take it :)
Your dosas with the tamarind chilli looks so inviting...mind if I dig in ? ;)

Roopa said...

wow yummy! i love the taste of puli with chillies can imagine the taste! nice entry!

Laavanya said...

That IS a lot of chillies but it sounds super-good! The combination of ingredients is sure tempting and the dosas look wonderful too.

Priya said...

WOW...that sounds really yummm...I am surely going to try this. And the dosa's look scrumptiously crisp...wish I could take a bite :)

Linda said...

I am learning to love the spicy, flavorful heat of chilies, Suganya. So much that I guess I have to try this! But need the secret to your beautiful dosas first...... :)

Love the photo of chiles on the wooden board. I always take pics on my board, but they don't look near nice as yours!

sra said...

Isn't there another name for this? I knew it but can't recall right now.

archana said...

The golden dosa with the tamarind chilli is looking toooooooo good :)My mouth is watering.

Suganya said...

ISG, it is delicious. Try it!

Tee, You are always welcome :)

Roopa, Thanks.

Laavanya, You will be surprised by the spice level of the final dish for the amount of chillies that goes into this.

Priya, those are shortcut dosas. No fermenting, no waiting :)

Linda, here you go
Par boiled rice - 2 cups
Urad dal - 1/4 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp

Soak all of the above for 2 hrs, grind with salt and make dosas w/o any wait. But this batter works only for dosas and not idlis. Also, the proportions depend on yr rice and dal. Hope this helps :)

Sra, I have always known this as puli milagai. It can also be made with ginger, in which case, it is puli inji. Not sure what you are looking for.

Archana, only way to find out how it tastes is to try it out :)

Raaga said...

Sounds like the Milagai Thuvayal that Amma makes. I wanted to make that and post it, but given all that's happened in the past month, I stuck to a simple recipe :-)

Looks great. Am sure the hubby will love it.

Vcuisine said...

Lovely Suganya. I could feel the taste by seeing itself. Nice photo as usual. Viji

GV Barve - Gokhale said...

this is the one i thought of posting it today:( u did it.what a coincidence.I love this so much and nice dosa.i am a big fan of both.

Anupama said...

Suganya, those chilles look lethal. Beautiful photographs. That Dosa is to die for. BTW you have been tagged for a meme.

zlamushka said...

You make really beautiful pictures of your dishes and ingredients. This one looks like a dish i would definitelly enjoy (looooove hot food). And funny with the ventillation. Each time I cook, my boy friend is coughing his eyes out :) Now, I learned that opening the windows should be smart.... Thanx a lot.

Mandira said...

this looks sour and spicy... yummy. I especially like the pic with dosa... can you pass it here please ;)

SeeC said...

Hey...how do you do this? !!! Excellent photography.

Anything spicy...am for it.
Thanks for the post.

Asha said...

Ahhh!!! I am salivating!! Dosa and chilli looks so good together.Thank you.
Photos look fabulous!

Sharmi said...

waw my mouth is watering dear. those dosas and the tamarind chilli looks toooooo good.

Priyanka said...

The dosas must taste so gud with the chilies.... thats a lovely and spicy recipe... thanks for sharing:)

Shyam said...

Ah jeez... puli milagai... my mother had to forcibly stop me from eating it with everything, when I was younger! :) I LOVE this stuff! Your photos are soooooooo gorgeous, too. I wish someone would make puli milagai for me!

Mishmash ! said...

Puli milagai sounds something like puli inji we make which is a sweet & sour sauce...i think this will be hot, sweet and sour :) Pictures are superb !

Shn

USHA said...

hmmm....like hot...along with that cripsy dosai it looks awesome...

Nupur said...

That just looks tooo tasty for words!

Susan said...

Suganya, this looks dangerous! I'm all for it. Do the dosas have that slightly sour flavor (which I love), or is that only when fermented?

Foodie said...

I am just drooling over the chillies that you made. Wow, what an accompaniment to the meal. Lovely!!
Pintoo

Vanamala Hebbar said...

hmm yummy hot !! puli and milagi are the nice combo..looks tasty ...

ushaprashanth said...

Hi suganya!
chilli looks great! and dosas are lovely!!!!!!

Suganya said...

Raaga, I have never had milaga thogayal. Can you pls post the recipe?

Viji, Thanks.

GV, I am eager to see yr version.

Anupama, Thank you for tagging me. I just finished doing that meme.

Zlamushka, Ventilation is a must. The fumes linger for a long time.

Mandira, That dosa is long gone now :(. I have given the recipe in a previous comment if you wanna make one.

SeeC, Asha, Sharmi, Priyanka Thank you :)

Shammi, My mom used to make this with lotsa jaggery before. I would eat it like halwa. This is an easy recipe, I am sure you wud make it.

Shn, The recipe is the same. In this same recipe, you can add chunks of ginger for a 2-in-1 dish.

Thank you, Usha and Nupur!

Susan, Whats life w/o spice? This dosa is not fermented, hence it does not taste sour.

Pintoo, Vanamala, Usha, Thank you very much!

Anupama said...

Hi suganya,
Of course you have done it. I should have noticed it in your side bar. Well another bit of news is that I am hosting an event for the first time on my blog and would like you to come over and participate if you can

Suma Gandlur said...

What a recipe for people like my husband who will die for spicy food.
Recently, I pay more attention to your pictures than your recipe. Can't help it.

Dee said...

Hey, I make a similar one but my mom just calls it pachadi, I add a few extra ingredients

Neelam said...

Wow love your hot recipe!

Coffee said...

And how many glasses of water did you gulp after this?? Just kidding! ;)
It sounds good with dosa.... I am generally not a spice eater... but this one tempts me to try out! :)

Sig said...

wow, looks beautiful suganya! Love spice and tamarind combos, and with Dosa, must be divine!

WokandSpoon said...

I love spicy food! I remember when my mum used to cook spicy food, I used to sneeze a lot because of the chilli! Your photos look lovely!

Ashwini said...

I think I will kill a few of my taste buds with that dish! But looks great

Sobila said...

so authentic old old recipe....this is my favorite recipes of my mom's.... actually i thought of preparing this for JFI,,, u saved my time & your's looks differnt and appetizing...

Prema Sundar said...

Suganya I prepare more or less the same way and we call it milagai kuzhambu. Instead of jaggery we add a lot of onions too. I have posted one in my blog too a couple of months before.
Crispy dosa with puli milagai would sure taste yummmm... But in opinion,it goes very well with curd rice.

Suganya said...

Anupama, Looks like an exciting theme. I will participate if i can come up with something presentable :)

Thank you Suma, Dee and Nelam.

Coffee, it was pleasantly spicy I should say. No Blog Patrolling this month? Yeah, We all need a break once in a while!

Sig, It was divine. Else, I wudn't have made a suitable main dish to go with it :D

W&S, I was sneezing the first time when I din't ventilate my kitchen. That should help you too :)

Ashwini, When I had this today, all the spice had gone down. Infact it even tasted a little sweet due to the jaggery. Looks can be deceiving ;)

Sobila, You can post yrs too. I love to learn variations the in yr recipe.

Prema, I saw that recipe. Looks like another version of this. But adding onions brings in a whole new dimension, don't you agree?

Nandita said...

Looks absolutely delicious,with huge windows in Indian kitchens, ventilation is really not a problem here...i must comment on the dosais that look the perfect golden colour!
Thanks for this entry!

Nandita said...

what pan did you use for the dosais if I may ask!

Kajal said...

Nice entry for JFI-chillies....mouthwatering....spicy with sweet.:)

Suganya said...

Thank you Nandita. I use anodized pans. The colour has got to do with the recipe than the pan (you can see dosa recipe in my previous comment). Its ordinary vendhiyam dosai. I think no fermenting and predominantly rice gives dosa that color. Hope that helps.

Thank you Kajal.

Pelicano said...

Suganya- What beautiful dosas to accompany this dish- you really know how to tempt your readers!

I'll be getting more chiles soon to try this (and soaking rice and urad dhal too)

Graeme said...

Your photography is top-notch. Absolutely beautfiul and really clear.

I saw your entry for July's DMBLGIT, I'll be suprised if it doesn't win something.

Suganya said...

Pelicano, It was a temptation for me to try 'em with dosas :D

Thank you Graeme. Your kind words are appreciated :)

Shyam said...

I made your puli milagai recipe a couple of weeks back and it's still going strong. I didnt bother putting up a post on my blog because it would have been the exact copy of yours :) Man, it's yummy!

I've made a similar recipe before but as a thokku - basically, ground up the green chillies to a paste before cooking. Just as yummy, but I like the texture of chopped chillies better. GORGEOUS pickle!

Suganya said...

Glad the recipe was a success, Shyamala. I have tried thokku too, but it releases too much spice into the air in our 'small' apartment. I had a very horrible experience that our faces started burning and we had to leave the house till it subsided. That is something I will never try as long as I am in an apartment. Thank you for letting me know Shammi! I know, from your previous comment, you like to eat this like candy. I literally had it like candy with curd rice.

Hannah said...

I bought a huge bag of beautiful green chillies for one dollar at the market, and couldn't think of a way to use them all up... I looked for a recipe online and stumbled on this one. WOW is it good! It's so delicious I'm going to get more chillies now so I can make it again. ;-)

susvaad said...

I wanted to make pidi kozhakattai and puli molagai. This recipe sounds authentically close to the taste of my grandma's puli milagai.Thanks!

dharma said...

this is also called as milagai pachadi.
for those who cannot stand the spicy chillies
you can add a few tomatoes chopped and saute well before adding the tamarind pulp
but remember you will have to reduce the amount of tamarind and chillies in this variation which my grandma has handed down to us
dharma

Jayajothi said...

hi dear, how long we can keep ths dish...tht means shall we use it as pickle? for about 10 days?

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