Friday, August 20, 2010

Traditional Onam Delicacies: Mulaga Pacchadi/ Molaga Pacchadi

Mulaga Pacchadi/ Molaga Pacchadi: Green chillies stewed in a tangy tamarind sauce. Mulaga Pacchadi is a close relative of the more famous Puli Inji, the tamarind-ginger relish served in traditional feasts.

Did a search for this and did come across a similar recipe but not much. However Puli Milaga   is quite well know in Tamil cuisine and in the other South Indian regions. The  variations in this recipe include the use of turmeric powder, pearl onions, methi/ fenugreek seeds, cummin, ginger and jaggery. Tempering spices also varied to include or omit urad dal seeds, asafoetida,  alongwith mustard, dried red chillies  and curry leaves. The way chillies are used also differ; one Tamil recipe grinds the chillies into a paste, but the most  require chopped green chillies.

Mulaga pacchadi uses whole slit green chillies which have been deep fried in gingelly oil/ sesame seed oil. The chillies are then stewed in a tamarind pulp, spicing with just a touch of crushed mustard seeds and sesame seeds.  This dish is meant to stay for a few days, without refrigeration,  in a warm huimd climate with the light monsoon rains that accompany the Onam festival.

Traditionally,  round green chillies [unda mulagu] were used, the idea was to get shorter plumper one's which can be easily portioned  and served. Since this was not feasible for big feasts,  it was left to the server to decide which person's leaf got the chilli or just the sauce! Either way, the result was a delicious combination of flavours on the green leaf.
6 long green cayenne chillies/ green chillies
[ have used 4 Thai hot chillies and 2 green cayenne ]
Gingelly Oil/ Sesame Oil for frying
A lemon sized ball of dark tamarind/ 4 tbsps of dark tamarind paste
2-3 broken red chillies
1 stem curry leaves
1/4 tsp sesame seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp mustard seeds, crushed
3/4 tbsp jaggery

Soak the tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of water in small batches/ quantities, sqeezing out all the pulp.
Keep aside,
Heat 1/4 cup of gingelly oil and deep the slit green chillies until glossy
Drain and keep aside
Heat 2 tbsp of oil and temper the mustard seeds, broken red chillies and the curry leaves
Add the green chillies and the sqeezed out pulp
Add salt  and cook on medium high heat for at least 10 mintues
Add the crushed jaggery and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Add the crushed sesame seeds and mustard seeds powder
Add more water if needed.
Check for seasoning and salt
The final dish should have thick, clinging, sauce; it  should be  reduced to half of the original amount.
Note: more amount of crushed mustard seeds will reduce the shelf-life of the Pacchadi; it will ferment soon.


  1. That is a very new for me. Loving the recipe and the pic. Will surely give it a try.

  2. We do not make this one, but it's cousin, as you have called it, puli inji :-)This looks great
    Happy Onam !!

  3. Thanks Gulmohar! Happy Onam to you too! We love Puli Inji but have seen this Mulaga Pacchadi appear in many homes around our place.

  4. Dear Q
    Happy Onam!!!
    Nowadays dont get much time to read or many great dishes I am missing..I like this one and the other onam new for me!! Time to try those as a departure from Bong dishes.:-)
    I feel good reading your comment at shrimp coconut paste..But I am under the impression that you are vegetarian !!!!
    I am setting sail for a week , Eastward Ho!!! to Taipei.
    Have a nice weekend

  5. Thankyou Ushnishda! Wish you a safe and successful journey.
    Your shrimp chutney reminded me of dishes made by the Muslim community in Southern Malabar...where dried fish is used more unlike further south.
    We do have non-vegetarian dishes but prefer vegetarian food.

  6. My mouth is watering, Kalan and puli ingi,
    Happy Onam greetings to you.

  7. Thankyou Chitra, just feels like another weekend but since Sunday is Uthradom we are planning a small 'sadya'...
    The big feast was held on Uthradom, in the paddy growing regions around Valluvanad, a remnant of the fuedal days when food was served to all who came.
    Thiru-onam was much smaller with focus on the immediate family and visits to one's maternal home.


Thank you for your valuable feedback!