Home Cooking

Multi-Pulse Punugulu

Staying home for an extended period of time can get quite depressing. I have tried keeping myself busy this entire summer trying so many new vegetarian dishes which I would otherwise not bother with. Usually I spent time in kitchen only during weekends, because that’s all the time I would get. And weekends are exclusively dedicated to Non-veg! Non-veg has been my forte until early this year, now I can very proudly include vegetarian in the list too!

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Apart from cooking, my plants have been keeping me busy too. I got to spend a lot of time in my garden tending & nurturing. Even though it was summer, my garden was giving me water Lilies (Rain Lilies) in abundance. These flowers will be in full bloom only during rainy season. Custard apples & Guava: which now I believe are going to a around the year kind of fruits in my garden. No matter what the season is, these fruits never seize to crop up. So do Lemons. The black plum tree (Kala Jamun) which only started giving fruits this year (we were wondering if it was ever going to give us fruits, as it’s been more than four years since this plant started growing, and growing and then some more. The tree was standing at 30 feet at beginning of this summer). We were delighted to reap the fruits of black plum after a long wait! What’s even more delighting is sharing the excess with your neighbors.

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Doing the same thing over the last three months has quite literally put my life in a monotone. I was desperately seeking a diversion. Spending time with your niece is always one way ticket to feel good and lifts your spirits like nothing else. I called up my sister telling I was coming over, let’s do something fun! Cooking together is always part of “the fun” when it comes to sisters and so I asked her to soak Urad daal thinking we can make some vadas for the snack time. And she did that along with soaking few more pulses, as she wanted to make navrathan mixture as well.

Around snack time, both of us gathered in kitchen, started preparing for the vadas. She herself is a very good cook but told me vadas basically are jinxed in her kitchen and never were a success, in spite of making multiple efforts. Since I am an expert in making them, (not boosting!) I told her I will take the responsibility of un-jinxing it for her. But there is one drawback in this entire plan: I don’t know how to use a mixer! (That machine scares me to death!) So it was her job to grind Urad daal and I was supposed to take it ahead from there.

She asked me how much water goes into the making the paste. I said I don’t know. She made her own calculations (that is the turning point in the entire story) and put a fair bit of water. The result was a batter fit to make dosas! And we wanted to eat Vadas (Face palm situation). So we did not give up! She asked me to get some part of moong daal she soaked for her navrathan mixture. There was no change in the texture of batter, after adding the moong daal. We added some more, and more and then used up all the moong daal that was soaked. Next we added chana daal, no change. We added a bit more. Then my sister realized that it is not going to work and used up all the pulses she soaked for the navrathan. Then the texture of the mix was of punugulu consistency. So we thought, let’s do punugulu at least, since we cannot use pulses without soaking and we used up all the pulses that were already soaked. When we tried the first batch of multi-pulse punugulu, we did not expect them to taste as good as they did. My niece who is otherwise a picky eater was also enjoying them!

So here I am sharing the recipe of the dish which both my sister & I stumbled upon.


  1. One cup Urad daal
  2. One cup Moong daal
  3. One cup chana daal
  4. One cup red daal
  5. Pepper
  6. Green chillies – 4
  7. Salt
  8. Onions 2
  9. Mint – Handful
  10. Oil


  1. Soak all the pulses mentioned in the ingredients for six hours and make a paste of punugulu consistency (same as Idli consistency, the paste should be finely ground. That is the only difference between punugulu and vada consistency. Vada mix will be a bit grainy). While making the paste itself add 2 tbsp of black pepper (not powder, if you don’t have whole pepper you can leave this ingredient), green chillies & salt.
  2. Finely chop the onions and the mint. Once your paste is ready add the onions and mint in the paste. You can finely chop the chillies and add it to the paste like onions and mint too, if you don’t wish to grind them. Mix all the ingredients evenly.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai, put small portions of the mix in the oil (portions can be the same size as any pakoda) and deep fry till they turn golden brown. And the multi pulse punugulu are ready!

You can serve them hot with green chutney or sauce.

By Saudhamini Mylaram

HR by profession. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do apart from gardening, cooking and driving.

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