The Soothing Scratch of Puliogare

March 13, 2012barnali 2 Comments »

Eating local is no new concept. How local could one get?

I can hardly wait to share my experience about making something in my kitchen this morning. Something, which had a granted existence in its purple packets , on the ‘readymade powder and pastes’ aisles at Indian grocery stores. Little did I imagine that it could be whipped up in my own kitchen , and produce an equally delicious, yet much fresher end product.

While the aroma of the spices still lingers , let me reveal this morning’s culinary adventure. Every human hailing from southern India must have savored this cunningly delectable ,spicy and tangy Puliogare. It is an old delicacy , though it became all the more popular after it was introduced as a ‘ready-to-eat’ paste by a leading food enterprise in Bangalore, India. The paste turned out to be a huge success with countless single working people who neither had time nor motivation to cook for themselves. I was one of them. And today, I created magic in my kitchen. Looking up my favorite South-Indian recipe blog, I actually cooked Puliogare from scratch. My toddler helped me measure out all the spices. Coriander, mustard, sesame, curry leaves, red peppers,fenugreek, cloves, asafoetida, peanuts and split grams. All roasted and ground and fried in sharp flavored sesame oil, mixed with fresh tamarind paste and cooked in sesame oil with mustard seeds, curry leaves and peanuts as seasonings. As simple as this, as pleasant, as crisp.

This ‘make from scratch ‘ mission of mine is not sudden. It has evolved in the last half decade. That ‘heat and eat’ spinster has certainly grown into an informed mom, who cares about every ingredient that goes into her child’s food. The scope of ‘comfort food’ is expanding, if not changing, with more people experiencing actual comfort in self-cooked food, cooked with more natural ingredients and less of processed ones. My body will thank me one day for adopting the scratch method, and so will my child.

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