I reckon every household in Andhra makes a variation of this dish. The word “Pulusu” denotes a sauce made with tamarind. Thiyya pulusu is mixed vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce. In Andhra Pradesh, it is served alongside plain dhal and rice. You can use any seasonal vegetables of your choice but the classic combination always includes pumpkin, kumara (sweet potato) and drumstick. You can use choko, eggplant, okra, beans, cooking melon, etc.
600g of mixed vegetables
1-2 green chillies, slit
30g tamarind soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
½ tsp turmeric powder
Sprig of curry leaves
30g jaggery or brown sugar
½ tsp roasted, powdered fenugreek
1-2tsp rice flour mixed in a little water
Coriander leaves for garnish
For the seasoning
2tbsp peanut oil
1tsp black mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida
Peel and cut the vegetables into even sized chunks.
Transfer vegetables and chillies to a deep sauce pan. Season vegetables with salt and pour 600ml water. Mix in the turmeric and sprig of curry leaves. Cook vegetables until tender (takes 10-15 minutes depending on the vegetables chosen and also size cut).
Extract the tamarind juice by squeezing with your hands. You can add up to a 100ml of water if too thick. You can use a sieve to separate the liquid from the pulp. Pour the tamarind juice into the vegetables along with the jaggery. Let it come up to the boil. Taste to adjust salt and jaggery.
Sprinkle the powdered fenugreek and to adjust thickness of the sauce, you can mix in the rice flour.
In a small fry pan or sauce pan with a lid, heat the oil. Add the fenugreek seeds. When they are starting to turn a pale brown, add the asafoetida, mustard seeds and chillies. Keep on low heat and stir occasionally. You can cover and hear the mustard seeds pop and crackle. Turn the heat off and pour the seasoning into the vegetable pulusu.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.