Puli mullangi | Radish in tamarind sauce

puli mullangi | radish in tamarind sauce

I was recently watching the Megan and Harry series on Netflix. There was one particular part I actually liked. The friends’ idea for the new year is to set a word. My instant reaction to that was wow,  that’s profound.  Rather than having a resolution that you drop off after a few days,  finding a word that is adding meaning to you in multiple ways sounded far better.
Guess what word I am choosing…after a bit of thought! Imperfect that is my word. As we evolve this year I will share with you how we are taking it forward. For now,  we are starting with imperfect produce. We have imperfect radishes that we are using to make this lesser-known South Indian style preparation.

Prepping the radishes

Radishes or Raphanus sativus, come in long cylinder ones or small round varieties. They have red or white skin. Inside they can be white, variegated or watermelon colour. I choose the small round red varieties to make this dish. The skin is red here and the flesh white. To prep, these, wash them thoroughly especially if they are not in perfect shape. I use a toothbrush to get rid of the mud in the folds. remove the leaves (don’t discard make mullangi keerai poriyal) and trim the root. Now slice the radishes into wedges. Save a few radishes to make our much-loved Radish pear salad with tahini dresssing.

Ingredients to make puli mullangi

Red radishes: prep the radishes as per the notes above. These radishes are crunchy and have a slightly stronger peppery flavour than daikon. Thus goes nicely with the spices added. If you are looking for a low food map option make it with daikon as this has been tested.

Sambhar powder: the archetypal curry powder for anything South Indian is the Sambhar podi. It works for this one too imparting the classic mix of heat from the chillies,  smokiness from the coriander seeds and complexity from the fenugreek.

Tamarind extract:  a thick extract of tamarind is the souring agent in this puli mullangi. This along with the salt and the sambhar podi forms that thick sauce that coats the red radish wedges.

Tempering: spices most South Indian dishes start or layer on with a spice-infused oil. This is created by crackling mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and red chillies in sesame seed oil.
Seasoning: to balance the flavours salt is needed. My mum swears by crystalline salt in anything she wants to keep for a while. This is not the pink rock salt but clusters of sea salt that are not powdered. The flavour this imparts minutely changes depending on the other minerals in it. For acutely trained tastebuds like hers, these are important.

mullangi curry sauce.

Puli mullangi

Puli mullangi is a lesser-known classic South Indian dish that pairs well with steamed rice meals.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Pickles, Side Dish
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, One pot, South indian
Servings 4 people


  • Kadai
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • measuring cups and spoons


  • 10 -15 medium radishes red salad variety
  • 1/2 cup tamarind extract
  • 2-3 tbsp Sambhar powder
  • salt to taste

For tempering

  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chillies
  • 10 curry leaves


  • Wash and clean the radishes.
  • Slice them into wedges, Set them aside till needed.
  • Into the kadai or deep wok add the oil and mustard seeds.
  • Set on medium heat and as the mustard crackers add the fenugreek seeds.
  • When it turns aromatic add the red chillies ( break it in half for the heat) along with curry leaves and saute for a minute.
  • To this add the radishes and saute them for about 5-6 minutes.
  • Now add the thick tamarind extract, sambhar powder, salt and turmeric powder and mix it all well.
  • Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes, till the radishes release water and are fork tender.
  • Open the lid and mix to coat the gravy on the wedges.
  • Once the gravy thickens and coats the radishes well, the puli mullangi is ready.
  • Taste test and adjust salt.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves if using immediately.
    mullangi curry sauce.
Keyword curry recipes, Indian vegetarian dinner, Pickle recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Serving ideas for the radish in tamarind sauce

The puli mullangi is kind of a spicy side dish. You could pair it with a South Indian thali meal. For a simpler platter, I would choose keerai molagutal and puli mullangi with cooked millet.
Fill up a wrap with some cooked beans, stir-fried kalonji rice and pieces for puli mullangi spicy filling wrapped burrito lunch on the go.

Meal prep and saving for later.

The puli mullangi will stay well in the refrigerator for up to a week. In freezer-safe containers, they stay well for up to 3 months. The radishes do go a bit limp but taste fantastic even upon thawing. Save in smaller portions so you thaw only what is needed.

Stay connected

This new year share with us what you think you will be doing. Stay subscribed to see how we are going with our word. Connect with us (instagram or facebook) as we plan to travel a bit more and share new locations and experiences with you.

radish curry

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Jayashree T.Rao
1 year ago
Rating :

The radish in tamarind sauce is quite new to me. It looks delicious and would finish it with a few hot phulkas.

1 year ago
Rating :

Now mullangi in tamarind sauce is new to me. I will love to try this when the girls are here they like the sour tamarind sauces and so will try making some for them. I love your vegetable recipe with the leaves generally I make pachadi so I have 2 new recipes to try.

1 year ago
Rating :

This puli mullangi sounds delish . Almost like vatha kuzhambu minus some spices . Sure to try this out when the. Eat batch of tender radish hits the market !

1 year ago
Rating :

Puli milillangi looks so good. Bookmarking this yummy side dish. Would love to make it soon. Just need some phulka to polish it off.

Priya Vj
1 year ago
Rating :

Puli Mullangi sounds outstanding..love the flavor profile . I am a huge fan of puli based curries..so deftly bookmarking this .

10 months ago
Rating :

Puli Mullangi is a new and unique recipe to me. Would love to try it out. The pics of the recipe are quite enticing, and the recipe is explained well. This week when I go for my groceries, I shall buy some radish and try this out.

Mayuri Patel
10 months ago
Rating :

What an awesome idea. Usually when I get a whole big of red radishes from the farmer’s market I use them for salads or make mooli paratha. Like the idea of making a curry. Puli mullangi is bookmarked.

Priya Srinivasan
10 months ago
Rating :

Wow, totally wow, love the idea of puli mullangi in a wrap! I m definitely making this. I m literally salivating as i type the comment. Love the idea of freezing this future. Brilliant share!

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