Pappu & Pachi Pulusu

Pappu Pachi Pulusu, Pachi Pulusu, Raw Tamarind Rasam, Ulligada pachi Pulusu, Telangana Food, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Food, Indian Food, South Indian Food, Blogging Marathon, Journey Through the Cuisines, A-Z Challenge, A-Z Telangana Cuisine

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In this A-Z challenge, Journey Through Telangana Cuisine, I knew right away what I was going to do for some of the letters. One such letter is ‘P’. It was always ‘P’ for pachi pulusu and since pappu also starts with ‘P’, decided to make it a combo on the day I prepared it. Pappu & pachi pulusu is a classic combination. I made a mildly spiced pappu but mudda pappu (dal seasoned with only salt) is also a choice to serve with pachi pulusu. Pachi is raw and pulusu is tamarind extract/water/juice in Telugu. Pulusu is also refer to tamarind based curries. Pulupu is tangy and, anything that is tangy and predominantly prepared with tamarind is pulusu.

Pappu Pachi Pulusu, Pachi Pulusu, Raw Tamarind Rasam, Ulligada pachi Pulusu,  Telangana Food, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Food, Indian Food, South Indian Food, Blogging Marathon, Journey Through the Cuisines, A-Z Challenge, A-Z Telangana Cuisine

Pachi pulusu is usually prepared in Summer’s when it is scorching hot outside and one would prefer something cool. Due to its cooling properties, pachi pulusu is usually prepared in summers and is usually served chilled. Apart from refreshing and invigorating properties, it also aides in digestion. Pachi pulusu is an easy preparation. Lot of sliced onions are added to tamarind juice, seasoned with crushed roasted chilies, salt and sugar, and a tempering is poured on top. Since pachi means raw, this pulusu is never heated, tempering is poured over the pulusu and not the other way round.

My father loved meat and could not swallow a morsel of rice without non veg. On Saturday’s he didn’t eat meat and this was his favorite combo. When I made this combo, for lunch I served myself some vadiyalu and for dinner I made some chicken fry. The recipe below serves at least 6-8 people and that is lot of pachi pulusu for just the two of us. This lasted me 2 – 3 days and enjoyed each meal. Before getting to the recipe, if you think I have become a vegetarian this month, then you are mistaken. I have non-veg recipes coming up this week.

Pappu Pachi Pulusu, Pachi Pulusu, Raw Tamarind Rasam, Ulligada pachi Pulusu,  Telangana Food, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Food, Indian Food, South Indian Food, Blogging Marathon, Journey Through the Cuisines, A-Z Challenge, A-Z Telangana Cuisine

List of few vegetables, spices and dishes with ‘P’:
Palakura – Spinach
Potlakaya – Snake Gourd
Pudina – Mint
Palli(lu) – Peanut(s) / Groundnut(s)
Pesaru Pappu – Moong Dal
Putnalu – Fried Chana Dal/Roasted Chana Dal
Paalu – Milk
Perugu – Yogurt
Pelalu/Pyalalu – Murmura (Hindi) ~ Puffed Rice
Pachadi (both chutney and pickle)
Palakura – palakura annam (spinach rice) palakura pappu (spinach dal), palakura pesaru pappu koora, palakura koora (spinach fry),
Pappu – pappu (dal), podi pappu (dal cooked like a dry curry),
Pappu Charu – pappu charu (sambar without sambar powder), pappu khut or pesaru pappu charu (moong dal), pappu khut with lime or nimmakaya pappu charu (lemon dal with moong)
Pesarlu – pesaru pappu menthi koora,
Poni annam/popu annam (Indian style fried rice)
Poornam (stuffing for bakshalu ~ pooran poli) – made with pesaru pappu and usually sugar is used
Potlakaya – potlakaya pachadi, potlakaya pesaru pappu koora
Pulihora – with lime or tamarind or mango
Pelalu – Pelalu chudva, pelala upma and my favorite of all is pelalu mixed with some crushed garlic+chili powder+salt+oil

Pachadi – is used to refer to both noorina pachadi (chutney) and niluva pachadi(pickle). Noorina pachadi, also know as roti pachadi is a chutney prepared by grinding together all the ingredients and does not have a shelf life. Rolu is stone mortar and hence roti pachadi since the pachadi is ground in a rolu, though the common usage is noorina pachi to refer to chutneys. The process of grinding using a mortar pestle is called nooradam. For this purpose, a long wooden pestle called rokali is used. The process of grinding lentils and grains for batters (idli, dosa, vada batters), a big stone pestle is used, which almost fits the mortar. This stone pestle is called potram and this process of grinding is called rubbadam. Nowadays grinders and mixies have taken over and hardly anyone uses mortar pestle for grinding. However, the word noorina is still used to differentiate between noorina pachadi (chutney) and nilliva pachadi (pickles).

Niluva pachadulu (plural) are pickles and these are also called pachadi in some areas but the most commonly used word is thokku. Except my immediate paternal family, all my relatives; both paternal, maternal and in-laws, use the word thokku(lu) for pickles.

Pappu Pachi Pulusu, Pachi Pulusu, Raw Tamarind Rasam, Ulligada pachi Pulusu,  Telangana Food, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Food, Indian Food, South Indian Food, Blogging Marathon, Journey Through the Cuisines, A-Z Challenge, A-Z Telangana Cuisine

Here is the pappu recipe.

Total Time: 33 – 40 minutes (most of the time is to soak tamarind)
Preparation: 30 – 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 3-5 minutes
Serves: 6 – 8


  • ¾ – 1 cup loosely packed Tamarind (I used less than 1 cup)
  • 4-5 cups Water (I used 5 cups)
  • 3 Green Chilies, roasted directly on fire
  • 1 small – medium sized Red Onion, sliced, approximately 1 cup
  • Coriander Leaves ~ Kothimeera ~ Coriander Leaves
  • 1 ½ – 2 tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 – 2 tsp. Sugar (adjust to liking)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Oil
  • ⅛ tsp. Aavalu ~ Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp. Jilakara ~ Jeera ~ Cumin
  • 1 – 2 Dry Red Chilies
  • 10 Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp. crushed Garlic


  • Wash and soak tamarind in 1 cup of water for ½ hour.
  • Roast green chilies on direct flame. Let cool and crush the chilies.
  • Slice onions, chop cilantro and transfer to a bowl. Add green chilies to it.
  • Extract tamarind juice. Add more water and squeeze tamarind to extract as much pulp as possible. Add onion mixture to tamarind juice.
  • Add salt and sugar. Mix well, taste the pulusu and adjust salt and sugar accordingly. If pulusu is very tangy, add more water.
  • In a small pan take oil for tempering. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin, red chilies and curry leaves. When seeds sputter, red chilies change color, add garlic and let garlic brown.
  • Add turmeric powder and turn off flame.
  • Pour the tempering over pulusu and stir.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with rice and some pappu.


  • Tamarind – Quantity of water, salt and sugar depends on the degree of sourness. Tanginess of tamarind varies from tree to tree. First time you make pachi pulusu, you need to adjust, water, salt and sugar to taste. Use the measurements above as a guideline.
  • Green Chilies – I roasted green chilies on direct fire. If this is not possible, you could crush chilies and add it to tempering. OR in separate pan, with little oil, lightly roast chilies, either whole or crushed. If you roast whole chilies, crush it after it cools. We usually roast chilies directly on fire but these are other options you could consider.
  • Onions – I used red onions but white or yellow onions can be used, though I prefer red ones. Onion might seem a lot, but trust me, it isn’t. If you are unsure, add less and you can always add more at later point. I prefer sliced onions, but diced can also be used.
  • Other ingredients – This is the basic version and prefer this. Some people add little yogurt and some add sesame seed powder. Yogurt is added if pulusu is not tangy.

This day in 2012: Dondakaya Gutti Masala
This day in 2014: Misa Mach Poora (Grilled Shrimp)
This day in 2016: Pappu
Events: This post also goes to A-Z Challenge for day 16, letter ‘P’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

So far in this A-Z Journey Through Telangana Cuisine,
A for Attu Tunukala Koora
B for Biyyapattlu
C for Chegodi
D for Dondakaya Barada
E for Ellipaya Karam
F for Fenugreek (Menthi) Aaku Pesaru Pappu Koora
G for Garela Pulusu
H for Hyacinth Beans (Anapakaya) Annam
I for Iguru, Goru Chikkudukaya Iguru
J for Jonna Rotte
K for Kudumulu
L for Laddu
M for Makka Gudaalu
N for Nethichamili Muddalu
O for Odappalu

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17 thoughts on “Pappu & Pachi Pulusu

  1. Usha I am so glad that your Telugu is still so intact, no offense meant, I am just comparing with my own, even though I do not mix languages…it feels so wonderful to read all the fine Telugu words that you have used in the post..will help others to understand the habits and culture behind making these dishes…I learnt about Pachi Pulusu from Athamma and she makes it with tomato…Its so wonderful reading about this dish…and love your setup!

  2. I saw a video yesterday, where a Telangana woman was cooking omlette on the floor, in the hot sun and the stuff really got cooked. Can’t believe it is that hot this Summer and no wonder dishes like this are preferred.
    BTW, Kannadigas call pickles ‘thokku’, any connection there?
    And also wanted to know, If you call murmura pelalu, then what do you call those pelalu which we use to make vafiyalu? As Gayaghri, mentioned I too am getting to learn new regional words for some of the ingredients.

    1. Hey Suma, as far as I know thokku is basically instant pickles prepared by grating or grinding the ingredients. They are prepared with tomatoes, gooseberries, mango, ginger, etc. They are very popular in TN and in Karnataka I haven’t done that much research. They prepare thokku with prawns too.

    2. Suma, I remember seeing this video link in FB news feeds but did not watch it. In general Northern part of the state is alway warmer, compared to temperatures in Hyderabad. Even I heard it is very hot this summer.

      I really don’t know the connection between Kannadiga pickles. The only connection I can think of is, parts of Karnataka were also part of Hyderabad state before the states were reorganized on linguistic basis.

      We don’t make vadiyalu with pelalu, at least I have not seen though it could be used in other households. After searching for pelalu vadiyalu on Google, I think the ones you are referring to are jonna pelalu. We usually get three varieties of pelalu; makka pelalu, jonna pelalu and murmura which are boin pelalu (I hope I spelled it correct). Since murmura are easily available in any super market, colloquial word is pelalu

  3. I make pacchi pulusu but a little bit different. I love your version, cooling dish for hot summer.
    My sister and a lot of cousins live in Hyderabad and has been complaining about the heat for a month now:(

  4. Wow, wat a beautiful spread there, makes me hungry, especially that thick pappu, and this pachi pulusu looks prefect to dish out while feel lazy to cook. Lovely dishes.

  5. Usha, love the setup and my husband is a fan of this pacchi pulusu but in my mom’s place never got to taste it.
    Regarding the Pelalu discussion, I think what Suma is referring to is vadla pelalu (made out of rice kernels which are soaked for a while, if I am not wrong) which is very different from murmuralu and jonna pelalu.

  6. My husband vouches for the delicious of this combo. My MIL makes a yummy pachi pulusu, but we never tried it with pappu. You are tempting me to make this combo some time, I’m sure the husband will be very happy.

  7. Wonderful spread,feeling hungry now.Such a simple and authentic recipe..Even in TN a similar preparation is done with green chilly and tamarind also another one with yogurt..

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