Please follow the recipe steps EXACTLY
as stated for the first few times. Standardize your pressure cooker before
starting the recipe if you have not done so earlier. This is done to ensure that the timings work the same way as it works for OPOS recipes. Lets start with dry roasting the urad, channa, coriander seeds and red chilli until the color changes a little and the aroma hits. Set aside to cool.
Dry roast the sesame seeds. I use black sesame (for additional nutrition), but you can use white sesame seeds. Keep a close watch since it tends to burn fast. Set aside.
Repeat for fenugreek seeds. Set aside.
Now powder sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds separately. Also blend the lentils mix together and set aside.
To a bowl, add curry leaves, turmeric, asafoetida, salt, jaggery, and 1/2 cup of the lentil spice powder.
The remaining lentil powder I store in a zip lock inside my freezer for later usage. I already had half from my previous batch. But since I made fresh one for the purpose of this post, I now have enough for 2 more rounds of pulikachal. Yay!
Add 2 cups of water to the bowl with the spice mix
along with roasted peanuts. You can add more or substitute it with cashews if you like.
In a 2L pc, add the sesame oil
followed by thick tamarind paste. If you do not have the paste, you can use equivalent amount of seedless tamarind ( fibers removed).
Next add the spice mix and mix to combine.
Cook on HIGH heat for 3 whistles (around 6-8 minutes). Make sure the flame is covering the entire base of the pressure cooker but does NOT come up the sides. That causes burning of the handles.
You should notice the pressure valve popping in about 5 minutes.
The whistles follow soon after. If you do not notice any whistle even after 7-8 minutes, you might have steam seeping out the sides. It is essential to stay close by to prevent any burning of the spice mix. Switch off the pressure cooker in that case and/or if you start getting a burning smell. Once pressure settles go through the next steps.
Upon opening, add 1/4 cup of sesame powder and 1 tbsp fenugreek powder.
Now stir everything together. You should get a thick paste/sauce. It also thickens a bit upon cooling. My previous batch was little more watery since my tamarind paste was not thick enough. To thicken it, you can add a couple of tablespoon of the lentil spice mix. Or you can follow this wonderful suggestion by a fellow OPOSer SivaShakthi Asuri Amarnath - where she said adding roasted bengal gram powder (channa dal) works great as well. It did. If your paste is too thick, you can dilute it by adding either additional sesame oil or hot boiling water.