Onion Pulusu (Pulusu is known as Sour Stew)

Onion Pulusu (Pulusu is known as Sour Stew)

As with most of the pulusu/stew recipes, the proportion of the ingredients are very important here, very similar to making rasam.. Normally these pulusu/stew recipes are made by roasting coriander seeds and their accompanying masalas to perfection, and then cooking it down in tamarind/kokum/any other souring agent water along with shallots or sambar onions. 

Onion pulusu/stew is probably the most common of all kuzhambu dishes which are made to go along with rice. We do use any thickening agents like corn flour, rice flour the pulusu/stew is think and tangy, by using the masala and oil.

Preparation time: 20 minutes I Cooking time: 35 minutes I Serves 6


  • 4 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil/any oil of choice
  • 1.5 tsp of red chilli powder (can be adjusted as per requirement)
  • 2 tbsp of coriander seeds
  • 1 cup of onions/sambar onions, peeled and cut
  • 1 Sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
  •  10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of hing powder
  • Tamarind soaked in some water/Kokum
  • 5 to 6 fenugreek/methi seeds


  • In 2 drops of oil in a pan and add the coriander and chilli powders. Roast on a low flame until dark brown make sure it does not burn as it would ruin the taste.
  • Then add the curry leaves, 1/4 of the cut onions/sambar onions, 4 garlic cloves, jeera powder, and turmeric powder, let them roast till the onions become bit soft.
  • Grind all of them into soft paste by adding some water (don’t to much water to the paste)  as the gravy/pulusu is meant to be on the thicker side.
  • Now in the same pan heat the oil, and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and hing. When the mustard seeds pop, add the remaining shallots or onions/sambar onions and saute till they are translucent or transparent.
  • At this stage add the tamarind pulp or kokum and add some water and bring to boil and simmer till you the raw taste of souring agent goes away.
  • Add salt and the paste and simmer till it gravy thickens.
  • As the pulusu/stew ages it tastes better, it can be stored normal temperature or fridge. 

Best goes along with white rice.

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