How to Make Pulagam: A Delicious and Healthy One Pot Meal from Andhra Pradesh

Hello, Good News! Welcome to another article where we share with you some of the best recipes from different cuisines. Today, we are going to learn how to make pulagam, a simple and nutritious one pot meal from Andhra Pradesh, a state in southern India.

Pulagam is also known as Andhra khichdi, as it is similar to the popular North Indian dish of rice and lentils cooked together. However, pulagam has its own unique flavor and texture, as it uses split green gram (moong dal) with skin, which adds more fiber and protein to the dish. Pulagam is also spiced with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, green chilies, and tomatoes, which give it a wonderful aroma and taste.

Why You Should Try Pulagam

Pulagam is not only easy to make, but also has many health benefits. Here are some of the reasons why you should try pulagam:

It is vegan and gluten-free

Pulagam is a plant-based dish that does not contain any animal products or gluten. This makes it suitable for people who follow a vegan or gluten-free diet, or who have allergies or intolerances to these ingredients. Pulagam is also low in fat and cholesterol, which can help lower the risk of heart disease and obesity.

It is high in protein and fiber

Pulagam is a good source of protein and fiber, as it combines rice and moong dal, which are both rich in these nutrients. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, tissues, and organs, as well as for making enzymes and hormones. Fiber helps regulate digestion, prevent constipation, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and promote a feeling of fullness.

It is comforting and satisfying

Pulagam is a warm and hearty dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It is especially comforting during cold or rainy weather, as it can warm up your body and soul. Pulagam is also very filling and satisfying, as it can provide you with enough energy and nutrients for several hours. You can eat pulagam as a main course, or as a side dish with other curries or stews.

How to Make Pulagam

Making pulagam is very easy and quick, as you only need one pot and a few basic ingredients. Here are the steps to make pulagam:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice (preferably sona masoori or basmati)
  • 1/2 cup split green gram (moong dal) with skin
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 4 green chilies, slit
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee

Method

  1. Wash and soak the rice and moong dal in water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat.
  3. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and pepper, and let them splutter.
  4. Add onion, curry leaves, green chilies, salt, and turmeric powder, and sauté until the onion turns soft.
  5. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  6. Add tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy.
  7. Drain the water from the rice and moong dal, and add them to the cooker. Mix well with the masala.
  8. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  9. Cover the cooker with a lid and cook for 3 whistles on high flame.
  10. Turn off the heat and let the pressure release naturally.
  11. Open the lid and fluff the pulagam with a fork.
  12. Serve hot with peanut chutney (palli chutney), tamarind chutney (chintapandu pachadi), mango pickle (avakaya), or yogurt (perugu).

Some Variations of Pulagam

Pulagam is a versatile dish that can be customized according to your preference and availability of ingredients. Here are some of the variations of pulagam that you can try:

Pulagam with Vegetables

You can add some chopped vegetables like carrots, beans, peas, potatoes, cauliflower, or spinach to the pulagam to make it more colorful and nutritious. You can also use vegetable stock instead of water to enhance the flavor.

Pulagam with Coconut

You can add some grated coconut or coconut milk to the pulagam to make it more rich and creamy. You can also temper the pulagam with some curry leaves, mustard seeds, and dried red chilies in coconut oil for a South Indian touch.

Pulagam with Millets

You can replace the rice with millets like foxtail millet (korralu), little millet (samalu), or barnyard millet (udalu) to make the pulagam more healthy and gluten-free. Millets are high in fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, and can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.

A Table Breakdown of Pulagam Nutrition Facts

Pulagam is a nutritious dish that can provide you with many essential nutrients. Here is a table breakdown of the nutrition facts of pulagam per serving (1 cup):

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 320 16%
Fat 8 g 12%
Saturated Fat 1 g 5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 300 mg 13%
Carbohydrate 54 g 18%
Fiber 8 g 32%
Sugar 4 g
Protein 12 g 24%
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 20%
Calcium 4%
Iron 15%

FAQs About Pulagam

What is the difference between pulagam and pongal?

Pulagam and pongal are both rice and lentil dishes from South India, but they have some differences. Pongal is usually made with split yellow gram (moong dal) without skin, and is cooked with more water to make it soft and mushy. Pongal is also flavored with ghee, cashews, raisins, and cardamom, and is often eaten as a breakfast or a dessert. Pulagam, on the other hand, is made with split green gram (moong dal) with skin, and is cooked with less water to make it fluffy and grainy. Pulagam is also spiced with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, green chilies, and tomatoes, and is eaten as a main course or a side dish.

How to store and reheat pulagam?

Pulagam can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat pulagam, you can microwave it for a few minutes, or heat it on the stovetop with some water or oil. You can also add some fresh coriander leaves or lemon juice to enhance the flavor.

Can I use other types of lentils for pulagam?

Yes, you can use other types of lentils for pulagam, such as split red gram (toor dal), split black gram (urad dal), or split Bengal gram (chana dal). However, the cooking time and water ratio may vary depending on the type of lentil you use. You can also mix different types of lentils to create your own version of pulagam.

Can I use brown rice or quinoa for pulagam?

Yes, you can use brown rice or quinoa for pulagam, as they are healthier alternatives to white rice. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time and water ratio accordingly, as brown rice and quinoa take longer to cook than white rice. You can also soak them in water for an hour before cooking to reduce the cooking time.

What are some other dishes that go well with pulagam?

Pulagam is a complete meal by itself, but you can also pair it with some other dishes to make it more delicious and diverse. Some of the dishes that go well with pulagam are:

  • Peanut chutney (palli chutney): A spicy and tangy chutney made with roasted peanuts, tamarind, garlic, red chilies, and salt.
  • Tamarind chutney (chintapandu pachadi): A sweet and sour chutney made with tamarind pulp, jaggery, red chilies, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves.
  • Mango pickle (avakaya): A fiery and flavorful pickle made with raw mangoes, mustard seeds, red chili powder, fenugreek seeds, salt, and oil.
  • Yogurt (perugu): A cooling and refreshing dairy product that can balance the spiciness of pulagam.

Is pulagam good for weight loss?

Pulagam can be good for weight loss if eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Pulagam is low in fat and calories, high in protein and fiber, and can keep you full for longer. However, pulagam also contains carbohydrates from rice and lentils, which can raise your blood sugar levels if eaten in excess. Therefore, you should limit your portion size of pulagam to one cup per meal, and avoid adding too much oil or ghee to it. You should also eat pulagam with some salad or vegetables to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals.

Is pulagam good for diabetes?

Pulagam can be good for diabetes if eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Pulagam is high in fiber and protein, which can help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent spikes. However, pulagam also contains carbohydrates from rice and lentils, which can affect your blood sugar levels if eaten in large quantities. Therefore, you should limit your portion size of pulagam to one cup per meal, and choose whole grain rice or millets over white rice. You should also avoid adding too much salt or sugar to pulagam, and eat it with some non-starchy vegetables or low-fat yogurt to balance your meal.

Is pulagam good for kids?

Pulagam can be good for kids, as it is a wholesome and nutritious dish that can provide them with many essential nutrients. Pulagam is high in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and vitamin C, which can support their growth and development. Pulagam is also easy to digest and can prevent constipation and stomach problems in kids. However, you should make sure that the pulagam is not too spicy or oily for your kids, and adjust the ingredients according to their taste and preference. You can also add some cheese, nuts, or fruits to pulagam to make it more appealing and tasty for your kids.

How to make pulagam in a rice cooker?

You can make pulagam in a rice cooker by following these steps:

  1. Wash and soak the rice and moong dal in water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the rice and moong dal, and transfer them to the rice cooker pot.
  3. Add 3 cups of water, salt, and turmeric powder, and mix well.
  4. Close the lid of the rice cooker and set it to cook mode.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oil or ghee in a small pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and pepper, and let them splutter.
  7. Add onion, curry leaves, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, and tomatoes, and sauté until they are soft and cooked.
  8. Once the rice cooker switches to warm mode, open the lid and fluff the pulagam with a fork.
  9. Add the onion-tomato masala to the pulagam and mix well.
  10. Serve hot with your choice of accompaniments.

How to make pulagam in a microwave?

You can make pulagam in a microwave by following these steps:

  1. Wash and soak the rice and moong dal in water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the rice and moong dal, and transfer them to a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Add 3 cups of water, salt, and turmeric powder, and mix well.
  4. Cover the bowl with a lid or a plastic wrap, leaving some space for steam to escape.
  5. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, or until the rice and moong dal are cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil or ghee in a small pan over medium-high heat.
  7. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and pepper, and let them splutter.
  8. Add onion, curry leaves, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, and tomatoes, and sauté until they are soft and cooked.
  9. Once the microwave beeps, carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and fluff the pulagam with a fork.
  10. Add the onion-tomato masala to the pulagam and mix well.
  11. Serve hot with your choice of accompaniments.

Conclusion

Pulagam is a delicious and healthy one pot meal from Andhra Pradesh that you can easily make at home with some simple ingredients. Pulagam is vegan, gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, low in fat and calories, and comforting and satisfying. Pulagam can also be customized with different types of lentils, grains, vegetables, or spices to suit your taste buds. Pulagam is a perfect dish for any occasion, whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. Try making pulagam today and enjoy its wonderful flavor and texture!

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make pulagam. If you liked this article, please check out our other articles on different recipes from around the world. Thank you for reading!