Pacchi pulusu (uncooked spiced tamarind juice)

Pacchi means raw in Telugu. Or, in some contexts, wet (e.g., clothes which are not yet dry). And given that pulusu means a wet thing made from tamarind (usually), pacchi pulusu means uncooked tamarind sauce/juice/rasam. We used to have this pretty much only once a year – although it is so yummy, and so quick to make (ten minutes?) no reason why we couldn’t have had it more often. It is usually made at Ugadi – Telugu New Year – usually early April ish, when it is a customary lunch food. Along with all sorts of not-that-great sesame seed sweet things, and some really yummy bhakshalu (sweet, jaggery and chana dal filled parathas).

Tamarind (large handful soaked in water; you really cannot use the paste for this)

Sunflower oil  (a couple of tablespoons)

Cumin seeds (2 teaspoons)

Mustard seeds (2 teaspoons)

Urad dal (1 teaspoon)

Chana dal (1 teaspoon)

Onions (1 large onions diced fine)

Dried red chillies (2 or 3)

Fresh green chillies (2 or 3, slit open)

Garlic (about 2 cloves)

Karyapak (curry leaves) (small handful)

Coriander (kothmir) - a small handful, chopped

Turmeric -tiny pinch


After the tamarind has soaked - for ten minutes, say or half an hour, even better - sieve it, squeezing out the goodness from the soaked pulp, so that you only have the juice (you could save and use the pulp as a cleaning agent instead of washing up liquid) in a large bowl, adding water to get the sourness just right.

Put a little kadai (any frying pan or sauce pan will do) on the fire, add the oil, and when hot do a talimpu (tempering): cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, dried red chillies, then karyapak. Then a bit of garlic, slit green chillies and onions. Add in some kothmir (coriander), turmeric and salt. Now tip the whole lot into the tamarind water. And that’s it!!