Delicious, traditional curry made with butternut squash, coconut and spices. I love to cook simple traditional recipes from my home state, Kerala, and Pacha pulinkari is one of them. Earlier I have blogged about cheera pulinkari/spinach in tamarind gravy, that is my version as it is not traditional as it has no coconut or toor dal. Amma made pulinkari as she need to find some alternative for everyday cooking. This recipe is from a Vanitha magazine about long lost curries of Kerala. There are a few more in my list to do, I will do it as I get time.
I found that difference between pulinkari and pacha pulinkari is that former one use toor dal and coconut while later one uses only coconut. We use a good amount of coconut, I think without coconut we can only make a few dishes we can make such as rasam and sambar. Rest of the curries requires a load of coconut. Trust me there is no tablespoon business, usually a half of coconut for one curry. Since I am buying coconut in dollars I use in cup rather than half of coconut. Yes it is expensive here. Always when I make curries from Kerala, I remember my mom and grandma break the coconut and then grate it in a traditional coconut grater and then cooking them in curries. Now I rarely use traditional grater (I have one in hand), but find it easy to grate small pieces of coconut using a blender. I grind the coconut pieces into a fine paste first, and then add it to the curries.
You can use any vegetables to make this curry; and I used butternut squash, as the sweetness of butternut squash perfectly pair with spiciness of chili in this recipe. The stars of this recipe are coconut, tamarind and red chilies. Since I used the butternut squash I didn’t add any sugar. If you are using any other vegetables, in order bring out the flavor of tamarind it is better to add a pinch of sugar. Here comes the recipe of Pacha pulinkari/Vegetables cooked in spicy tamarind sauce.