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Pulisseri – Yogurt Curry With Coconut And Spices

Pulisseri or Pulissery  is  yogurt based  curry that  is  flavored  with  ground  coconut  and  a few  spices.  This  traditional Kerala dish is  made very often in  Kerala homes it  takes  very little  cooking  time and  umpteen  variations  are  possible. Unlike  many  other  curries, you don’t  need  to  rely on a  spice paste or  elaborate  cooking  technique.   No wonder this  is a curry that is  in  every Kerala cook’s  repertoire –  beginner or  advanced.

Pulisseri - Spiced yogurt Curry, Kerala Sadya Recipe

There is  another  version of  this  recipe  that is made  without  coconut, but a  few  more  spices are added  to  kick up the  flavor.  Kachi Moru or  Moru Kachiyathu is  what  we  call that  version.  There are  many times   a  side  of  thoran (stir  fried  veggies),  Kachi Moru  and a  pappadum or  two is all that  we  crave for after   eating out  for  the  week.

Pulisseri  can be  made  with  vegetables,  fruits or just  plain.  The  additional  ingredients  changes the  flavor  dramatically.  Usually Pulisseri is  made  with  sour  curd,  making  fruit Pulisseri   an ideal  sweet and  sour  combination.  Some of  the  popular   fruits  to make pulisseri with are Mango,  Pineapple  or  ripe Plantains.

The plain Pulisseri is  sometimes referred  to  as Moru Curry.  When  made  with fresh curd, the  flavors mild  and  nothing to rave  about. Sour  curd  changes the  entire  story, making   it  irresistible  to  some of us.   If  you only have  fresh  curd, add  a  few  drops  of  lemon juice  once  the  cooking is  complete.

Making Pulisseri - Yogurt curry for sadya

This is  the plain Pulisseri  for  Sadya. It is tangy,  a  little  spicy and has a  hint of  smoke.   The  recipe is  very simple.  Heat the yogurt  with  the ground  coconut paste  till it  begins   to simmer.  Turn off  the heat. Make  the  seasoned oil (tadka or  tempering).   Taste  and  add salt  to the  spiced  yogurt  and  seasoned  oil on top.  mix gently before  serving!

Don’t  be  deceived  by the  simple  recipe, this is a flavorful curry.  I personally know a  few who would prefer  a  meal of  rice, pulisseri and  fried  fish to an  elaborate meal.    Pulisseri is  an  essential part of  Kerala  Sadya  as well.  The  tart  flavors  of  the   dish   act as   a palate cleanser  and  provides  a  nice  transition from the  spicy  sambar  to  the  deserts.

Pulisseri - Spiced yogurt Curry, Kerala Sadya Recipe

Plain Pulisseri

By Syama
A spiced  yogurt curry from Kerala . This is a must  have  dish for  a  traditional feast or  sadya.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 - 6 Servings


  • 2 C Yogurt/Buttermilk Slightly Sour
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
  • Salt - To Taste

To Grind

  • 1/2 C Grated Fresh Coconut Loosely Packed
  • 1/4 Tsp Cumin Seeds

To Temper

  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 - 2 Dry Red Chili
  • Few Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Urad Dal Optional


  • Grind the coconut with cumin seeds to a fine paste.
  • Mix the yogurt or buttermilk with turmeric and the ground paste. Add enough water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Heat the mix over medium heat, stirring continuously. Turn off when the the mix is warmed thorough and bubbles start appearing on the sides.
  • In a small pan heat 1 to 2 Tbsp oil and add the urad dal , mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds , pieces of dried red chilies, and curry leaves Stir a few times until the mustard seeds splutter and curry leaves and red chilies begin to turn brown. Add the chili powder and turn off the heat. Mix well.
  • Taste the pulisseri and add enough salt as required. Pour the seasonings on top.Mix gently before serving.


  • While the curry is being heated, keep stirring slowly but continuously to prevent the yogurt from curdling.
  • Some add a garlic pod while grinding the coconut for digestive reasons.

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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Notes and Tips: 

  • Keep stirring slowly but continuously while  heating  the yogurt mix to prevent curdling.
  • Grind the  coconut as smooth as possible .
  • I do not  add green chilies or  garlic  to the coconut  while  grinding. This  curry is semi cooked,  so the  taste of  garlic  does not  quite  fit  in.
  • If you prefer  a spicier curry, add a  slit  green chili to the  yogurt mix  while  heating. You can  also add  a few  curry leaves as well.
  • Salt  can  cause  chemical reactions in  diary making  it more  prone to curdling . Because of  this it is  preferable to add salt  at  the  very end.



Pulisseri - Spiced Yogurt Curry served in Kerala Sadya

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