Here is the recipe for Sorakaya Pulusu (Bottlegourd/Lauki pulusu). Pulusu is somewhere between sambaar and rasam but has its own unique place in telugu families. It has flavour of sambaar because vegetables are cooked using tamarind just like sambaar, but it is different from sambaar as there is no need to add any daal. If daal is being used it is used in very small quantity to enhance the flavour and also to give thickness to the pulusu. I don’t add daal but usually prepare a side dish of palakoora pappu (toor daal cooked with spinach) or tomato pappu (toor daal cooked with tomato). I use rice flour to give thickness to the dish. This is the way I prepare it…
Bottlegourd(Lauki, Sorakaya) – 1 ½ cups of cut bottlegourd
Onions – 1 to 2 onions, sliced
Tamarind – small gooseberry sized(soak and take the juice)
Rice flour – 1 ½ tbsp
Jaggery – small piece (or use 1 ½ tsp of sugar)
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 to 2 tsp
Salt – as required
Red chillies -1
Chana dal (Bengal gram dal) – 2 tsp
Urad dal (split black gram dal) – 1 tsp
Rai (avalu, mustard seeds) – 1 tsp
Jeera (jeelakarra, cumin) – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – few
Coriander leaves – few (optional)
- Heat 1 ½ tbsp. of oil in a pot. Add chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, jeera, red chillies pieces and curry leaves.
- Once mustard seeds starts to splatter, add chopped lauki pieces (wash, peel, and chop the bottle gourd). Add salt and turmeric.
- Let this cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on low to medium heat or until lauki pieces become softer (about 75% cooked).
- Now add sliced onions to this and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add tamarind juice (alternatively use 2 tsp of tamarind paste). Add chillipowder, jaggery and about 4 cups of water.
- Let this come to boil, it takes about 5 minutes.
- Take rice flour in a small bowl, add about ¼ cup of water and make a paste out of this. Add this now and let it boil for another 3 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with hot rice and along with any daal (like palakoora pappu)