Chicken Pulimunchi

Children, today’s session is called Mangalorean Cuisine 101.

What is Mangalore and what is Mangalorean Cuisine?
Why am I talking to you about them?
What will we have learnt at the end of this session?
Further reading?

What is Mangalore and what is Mangalorean Cuisine?
Mangalore is the chief port city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located about 350 kilometres (220 mi) west of the state capital, Bangalore and is the administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada (formerly South Canara) district in south western Karnataka. (source: Wiki)

Mangalorean cuisine is a collective name given to the cuisine of Tulu Nadu region of India. Tulu Nadu is the Tulu-speaking region spread over parts of present Karnataka and Kerala States of India.

Mangalorean cuisine is largely influenced by the South Indian cuisine. Coconut and curry leaves are common ingredients to most Mangalorean Curry, as are ginger, garlic and chili. (source: cannot not be Wiki)

Why am I talking to you about them?
Because I want to tell you about this scrumptious chicken curry my mum and I cooked the other evening. Chicken Pulimunchi.

Pulimunchi curry is traditionally cooked with fish – mackerel, also called Bangda in India. But we used chicken. At this point, children, I must introduce you to a new word. Evangelist. Your homework is to look it’s meaning up and the first child to tell me the meaning, tomorrow, will rewarded accordingly.

What will we have learnt at the end of this session?
A recipe.

Here it is.

1. 15-20 inch-sized pieces of chicken
2. 1 medium-sized onion, roughly chopped
3. 10 -12 dried red chillies
4. 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
5. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
6. 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek)
7. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
10. 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste
11. 1 lemon sized tamarind
12. A sprig of curry leaves
13. Salt to taste
14. Oil, for cooking
15. Water, for cooking

1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for about an hour and extract the pulp.
2. Dry roast the chillies, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and turmeric.
3. Heat some oil in a pan and saute the onions and ginger-garlic paste, until golden brown. Add the dry spices to this and roast for a few minutes.
4. Use a little water and grind the mixture, from the step above, to a fine thick paste.
5. Rub half of the paste on the pieces of chicken and marinate for up to a couple of hours.
6. Heat oil in a pan. Add the curry leaves. When they splutter, add the remaining paste and cook for a few seconds.
7. Add the pieces of chicken. some water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.

Further reading:
Chicken Pulimunchi goes best with traditional Mangalorean Kori Roti or Neer Dosa. Those, or just plain steamed rice.

Kori Roti is a crisp, paper-thin variety of bread, typical to Mangalorean cuisine. ‘Kori’ means Chicken in Tulu and is usually cooked as a gassi, a coconut-based gravy. Fish is usually cooked the pulimunchi way.

Neer dosa literally means water dosa and is a crêpe – the batter for which is made using rice soaked overnight and then ground to a paste, mixed with coconut water.

Pulimunchi and gassi curries go best with Kori Roti or Neer Dosa, as I mentioned above. But both are very very difficult to make. I have a failed Neer Dosa experiment to my credit. And Kori Roti, it’s going to be a while before I muster the courage to give that a shot. So, we ate our curry with tandoori rotis and rice.

So yeah, that’s all I have for today. Happy cooking!

End of class


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