This cookbook lists 1000 simplified sour stews, the Pulusu, cooked in Andhra. Ten bases are combined with ten different additives and ten different flavouring to create a thousand different pulusus. The building blocks are listed below:
The following sour bases as listed in column 1 are used in most pulusu.
0.: Pacchi Pulusu is raw tamarind curry, unique to Andhra cuisine.
1.: Pulusu has a variety of additives simmered in tamarind water.
2.: Bellam Pulusu has jaggery added to tamarind water, making it a sweet and sour stew.
3.: Majjiga Pulusu uses buttermilk as a souring agent instead of tamarind.
4.: Tomato Pulusu uses sour tomatoes in place of (or in addition to) tamarind.
5.: Mamdikkaya Pacchi Pulusu uses sour, boiled raw mangoes as a souring agent.
6.: Gongura Pulusu uses the sour spinach ( sorrel) for its sourness
7.: Pesarapappu Pulusu has boiled and mashed mung dal mixed in along with tamarind water
8.: Pappu Pulusu has boiled and mashed tuvar dal mixed in with tamarind water.
9.: Fusion : You can try using a variety of souring agents like gooseberry or even vinegar. Or try using a combination of the above souring agents.
A variety of additives are simmered in a sour base to cook up various pulusu. Column 3 lists the most commonly used additives in Andhra.
0.: Garlic is cooked into the velluli pulusu
1.: Red Pumpkin gives us gumidikaya pulusu
2.: Eggplant , the much loved vegetable across Andhra gives us the Vankaya pulusu
3.: Okra is slimy and by stir frying it for a few minutes minimizes the sliminess.
4.: Bitter gourd can be made less bitter by rubbing it with salt, resting it for half an hour and washing it to remove excess salt.
5.: Bottle gourd is cooked into the Anapakkaya pulusu
6.: Drumstick gives the munnakaya pulusu.
7.: Mixed Vegetables : A variety of mixed vegetables can be cooked into the mukkula pulusu.
8.: Non Veg pulusus : Chicken and mutton can be boiled first and then simmered into the pulusu. Fast cooking sea food like fish , crab or prawns can be simmered in the pulusu without prior cooking. Hard boiled eggs are added after scouring them with a knife so that the flavouring can reach inside the egg. Marinating meats prior to cooking makes them more flavourful. Chopped Chicken can be pressure cooked without water for two whistles, mutton for three whistles and then added to the pulusu. Cleaned fish, crab or prawns can be directly added to the boiling pulusu as they will cook in less than five minutes.. Eggs can be hard boiled, shelled, slashed on the surface and then simmered in pulusu for five minutes. A variety of non- veg pulusus like the Kodi pulusu ( chicken stew), Mamsam Pulusu ( mutton stew), Chepala pulusu ( fish stew), Peethalu pulusu ( Crab stew), Royalla pulusu ( Prawn stew) and Kodiguddu Pulusu( Egg stew) are cooked across Andhra.
9.: Fusion : A variety of meats / vegetables / mushrooms can be cooked into delicious pulusus.
Pulusu is a simple stew and does not need elaborate flavouring. Usually a simple garnish of fried mustard, red chili and curry leaves is sufficient. But a variety of different flavouring techniques are used. Non-veg pulusus usually have an elaborate flavouring from cloves, fennel and cinnamon. Column 2 lists various combinations of flavouring you can use.