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Papaya Pulissery

Posted by Annita on January 19, 2007

Pulissery is a simple yogurt based dish which we prepare regularly.Just like Pachadi,Pulissery can also be made using different vegetables and fruits.I am always confused about the terms ‘Kaalan’ and ‘Pulissery”.(Actually I dont see much difference between them.Can anybody help me on this one?All your comments are welcome.)Here’s the recipe for Papaya pulissery-south kerala style ,from Vanitha-Onam edition.The original recipe was for pineapple pulissey,but I’ve replaced pineapple with semi ripe papaya.

Papaya Pulissery
Papaya Pulissery


Diced Papayas
Diced Papayas

Semi Ripe papaya diced – 1/4 kg(around 2 cups)
Green chillies – 5-6
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Jeera seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 sprig
Sour curd (beaten)- 3 cups
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste

For Seasoning:-
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Jeera seeds – a pinch
Curry leaves – a sprig


Cook papaya pieces adding salt,turmeric powder and red chilly powder till it becomes soft.Grind grated coconut and green chillies into a smooth silky paste and keep it aside.Pound the jeera seeds and add it along with the curry leaves into the ground coconut paste and mix well.Add this paste into the cooked papaya,add in beaten curd , mix well and heat it for few minutes.Do not let it boil.Switch off the stove,once it is heated .

Heat coconut oil in another pan,and allow mustard seeds and jeera seeds to splutter.Now add the curry leaves and fry it for a while.Pour the seasoning over the curry and serve with rice.

See different Pulissery recipes from fellow bloggers:-

Plantain Pulissery

Mampazha Pulissery

Pineapple Pulissery

Naaranga Pulissery


24 Responses to “Papaya Pulissery”

  1. Archana said

    Love Kalan or pulissery or both. Most of the recipes for Kalan have ground black pepper in it either on its own ( Karimkalan) or in combination with green chillies,plus the vegetable used is sauted in ghee, and atleast in certain regions of Kerala kalan is way too thicker than pulissery. You might be knowing this already, i am just sharing my confusion. Lovely post as always.

    Thanks for the detailed info,Archana..I really didn’t know about this difference

  2. Vani said

    Very nice recipe! Unique. Love it!


  3. RP said

    Me too..don’t care if it is kaalan or pulissery. Both are equally delicious and the methods are almost the same. Last week I made pulisseri with semi ripe mango and added one plantain to it. And I called it a “kaalan-pulisseri”! :D
    By the way, never knew we could use papaya in this recipe. Sounds awesome.

    Kaalan Pulisseri sounds delicious,RP..:))

  4. Vibha said

    I have always loved Pulissery and Kaalan. Will try this recipe of urs..Anyways the end product looks awesome :-D

    Thanks Vibha

  5. Menu Today said

    Hi Annita,
    I tried making pulisery or Kaalan with raw papaya.Your Curry looks yummy, Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks menu today..

  6. sheela said

    Kalan is definitely pepper & green chilli based and thicker while pulissery is thinner and spiced only with green chillies, this was my assumption. I have always made it with ripe or raw mangoes, so papaya is a new version, will try it.

  7. sheela said

    Kalan is definitely pepper & green chilli based and thicker while pulissery is thinner and spiced only with green chillies, this was my assumption. I have always made it with ripe or raw mangoes, so papaya is a new version, will try it.

    Thanks for the info,Sheela

  8. Puliserry looks yummy!!


  9. shaheen said

    hmm. i just thot kalan was made thicker with only plantains and pulissery was with anything else. great recipe.when u say semi ripe, how ripe should it be?

    Semi ripe means it has to be slightly on the sweeter side,but not soo sweet

  10. Lisa said

    Hallo Annita..
    I’m an Indonesian living in Cochin Kerala now. I love to explore Kerala recipes and try some of them in my kitchen. I’m glad I found this blog. I’m adding it to my list. Thanks.

    Thanks Lisa for lettin me know abt ur blog..Great work…

  11. swapna said

    wow annita

    great colour..i know curries with mother used to prepare …thanks for sharing

    Thanks Swapna

  12. Jo said

    Hi Annita,

    The method of preparing kalan is different from Pulissery although they taste almost the same. In my home, whenever there was excess curd( sour ), we made kalan out of it.I’ll give you my grandmother ‘s recipe.

    1. Add salt, turmeric and a little water to the culd and boil it until all the water is evaporated.

    This dried curd thing can be kept in the fridge and used at a later time too.

    2.Take the required amount of the dried curd and an equal amount of grated coconut.

    3. Grind the grated coconut into a fine paste with 1-2 green chillies and 1-2 pepper corns.

    4.Add to the curd mixture. Add a little water and beat the mixture ( lightly ). Add salt.

    5. Heat a little oil in a pan, add mustard , whole red chilli and curry leaves. Add to the kalan.

    6. Heat the kalan on slow flame. Serve with rice.

    The difference between Kalan and pulissery was probably the fact that in the olden times there was no fridge and pulissery could not be stored for a very long time.

    On the other hand, the evaporated curd could be kept for a longer time.

  13. Jo said

    I forgot to say that jeera has to be ground with the coconut too.

    * plantain can be boiled in water , salt and turmeric and added too.

    Thanks for the detailed recipe,Jo..I’ll try your grandma’s way and will let u know abt it..

  14. Hi Annita,
    Nice recipe,For me also making pulissery with papaya is new .Definetly i will try,pulissery is my husband’s favourite dish..Can I share a differnce between pulissery and Kalan?
    Pulissery …we use fruits.(Sweet and little sour)
    Kalan….vegetables.(Sour and little sweer)..Don’t laugh at my comment!!

    No kf,i didnt laugh at your comments..I really really appreciate it..
    Thanks again.

  15. jp said

    good recipe.what kind of curd do you use.I dont get the same taste like in India when i use yogurt from american stores.

    I use the yogurt that we get in american stores only..I too agree with u,jp.. it wont give that proper curdy flavour..But i’m too lazy to prepare curd at home..

  16. Whitefairy said

    I read Jo’s detailed recipe..

    In my house for functions kaalan is prepared in the same way.. the only difference I see there is this:

    1. While we evaporate the curd, we add three things: turmeric powder(you must add it so much that the color is darker than required…remember while serving we are grinding coconut and adding to this making the color much lighter.. anticipate that), black pepper (normally for feast it is grinded black pepper whole will also do), salt.

    2. This has to be kept in the stove top on medium heat only… till the water is completely dried out.. Then leave it there for 24 hrs and then transfer into a container.. airtight lid and all..

    3. When preparing to serve.. you have to grind coconut, jeera, green chilly(if enough black pepper is added no need of green chilly).. grind using a little bit curd instead of water!!!

    4. After sputtering the seeds, red chilly and curry leaves … add a little bit of methi powder..(fry methi till it is really dark brown.. grind and keep it in a dry bottle).. just two pinch of this is required.. It tastes very very good… The authentic taste of kaalan…

    Tip.. whenever you are preparing any curry with curd after the sputtering add two pinch of the methi powder if the curry is with vegetables.. and one pinch if it is with fruits …it brings out the taste of curd and coconut.

    Thanks Whitefairy for your detailed recipe..I really appreciate it..Will surely try your version sometime..

  17. remya sunil said

    hi annita,

    all your receipes are excellent…when we prepare pachadi..we grind mustard and coconut…so it has really a different mom prepares one with tomatoes..

  18. shahanas said

    hi annita
    i am thinking to try ur recipe this weekend.can u tell me how u r making homemade curd

    Check out this link for home made curd :

  19. renu said

    hi annita,
    i chanced upon this post quite late. in fact, i find the comments section most interesting as it adds up a lot of information as far as my research into kerala cuisine is concerned. Especially i like jo’s and white fairy’s comments as they point at one of the most authentic ways of preparing kalan.

    in my opinion, kalan could be crowned as the official vegetarian dish of kerala ! since it is THE one dish that belongs totally to Kerala.

    I believe there’s subtance in Kitchen Fairy’s suggestion that kalan is made with veggies while pulissery is made with fruits. We also refer to ‘Mampazha Pulissery,’ and ‘Pazha Pulissery,’ while Kalan usually has chena, kaaya or chembu – either alone, or in combo. When ash gourd (kumbalanga) is used, it is not ‘kalan,’ but simply, ‘morozhicha koottan.’

    one major difference i find in the preparation of kalan / pulissery in all the recipes available with the popular method in thrissur district and ‘valluvanadu’ region, is that the curry is boiled for a long, long time AFTER adding the curd / buttermilk. I had a tough time convincing our new maid, who hails from Ernakulam, that the curd will not separate if boiled for long. it will not, if it is boiled extensively. The taste of kalan familiar to us will be available only then.

    ok, sorry that the response is so late !

  20. Andy said

    I love Papaya Pulissery recipies!

    thanks :)


  21. Rekha said

    hi annita,
    in the recipe you have mentioned Green chillies as one of the ingredient.Where do you use it in the recipe?do you grind it along with the coconut?Pls let me know.i have made quite a few of ur dishes and they have come out really well.

    Sorry.Rekha…I really missed abt mentioning green chillies…As u said,it has to be ground along with coconut…
    I’ve corrected it now…And many thanaks for pointing it out to me..

    • dr.haridas said

      pulissery is an extension of kalan in defferent regions of kerala minor defferences willbe there…your interests and experiments with papaya are extremely good and useful..thanks

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