Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Potato Pitlai | Urulai Pitlai | A spicy curry from Kongunadu |How tomake Pitlay | Stepwise pictures



Hi Supermoms,

I am sure you would have heard the name Pitlai. It is very commonly associated with bittergourd as many tamil households make Pavakkai/ Bittergourd Pitlai, a spicy Lentil dish.

But the Pitlai recipe that I am going to share today is from Kongunadu,the areas around Coimbatore, Erode and Salem. Interestingly, this pitlai recipe is completely different from the other one. Yam and Potatoes are best suited for this curry.

This is my daughter's favourite dish and she likes to have it with Kulcha. A perfect North meets South ...Food Fusion ! My friend handed this recipe to me some years ago and she makes it with yam. It tastes delicious! You must try with both these vegetables.


Urulai Pitlay :

Serves :4-6
Soaking Time : 8 hours
Preparation time:20 mins
Cooking time:20 mins

Ingredients :

1. Whole Bengal Gram/ Kala Channa / kothu kadalai - 1/2 cup
2 .Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized ball
3. Potatoes - 1 large or 2 small ( peeled and cubed )
4.Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
5.Salt to taste

1. Fresh coconut -2 tbsps
2.Cumin seeds - 3/4 tsp
3.Red Chillies -3
4.Shallots - 4-5 ( if unavailable you can use 1 onion)
5.water-1/4 cup

1.Oil -1 tsp
2.Mustard seeds -1/2 tsp
3.Husked Black gram -1 tsp
4. Curry leaves -1 sprig


1. Soak the Kala Channa the previous night. Place the Kala Channa in a pressure cooker with one cup of water  and cook upto 5 whistles. Chop the potatoes and grind the spice paste. Soak the tamarind in  1 1/2 cups of warm water for 10 minutes and extract the juice.

My boiled Channa..

Cubed Potatoes...

Spice Paste


2. Place tamarind juice, Potatoes,turmeric powder and salt in a pan over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occassionally .


3. Add the cooked Channa and ground paste. Simmer for another 5 minutes or till well blended.


4.Heat oil for tempering in a small pan over moderate heat. Add the remaining ingredients for tempering . When mustard seeds splutter, pour the contents into the Pitlai.


Your healthy and delicious Pitlai is ready to be served with Hot Rice or Rotis. 

You are sure to bring more smiles with this traditional and yummy recipe from Kongunadu.


1. Boiling the vegetable in tamarind water is most essential. Do make sure that the raw aroma of tamarind dissappears.

2. I added the water with which I boiled the Channa ( Stock) in the curry. This enhances the taste.


With love,






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