Sorakaya Dappalam(pulusu) / Bottle gourd in tamrind sauce

In the place I grew up, during the festival times one dish is a must in the menu - Muddha pappu(Toor Dal) with some kind of Pulusu. I prefer egg plant but bottle gourd pulusu which is called as Dappalam is more traditional.

As for my hubby's request, today I made Dappalam to go with muddha pappu and the recipe goes like this..


1 medium sized bottle gourd chopped into medium chunks(sorakaya)(around 3 to 4 cups)
1 medium onion chopped into same size pieces as bottle gourd
Big lemon sized tamarind or 1 1/2tbsp thick tamarind paste
2 tbsp ghee +2 tbsp oil
2 big tomatoes chopped
2 cloves of garlic
handful of coriander leaves
1 small piece of ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp sugar or jaggery
1 green chilli
1 tbsp red chilli powder
3 to 4 tbsp cooked toor dal(muddha pappu)
Salt per taste


3 or 4 dried red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp turmeric powder
couple of pinches of hing(Inguva)
1 clove of garlic chopped real fine
10 curry leaves


 If using Tamarind
 In a microwave safe bowl add tamarind and 1 cup of water and heat in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Take it out let it cool for a minute then squeeze the tamarind really hard. Do that couple of times to extract all the juice. Save the tamarind water( add extra water to make it 4 cups of liquid) and discard the pulp.
If using Tamarind Paste
Mix the paste in 4 cups of water and keep aside
For Curry
Peel the bottle gourd and chop into medium size pieces. Chop the onions, tomatoes and slit the green chillies. Slice the ginger and garlic. Chop the coriander leaves.
In a pressure cooker pan add in the chopped bottle gourd, onions, tomatoes,slit green chilli, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, tamarind water and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles. If you do not have pressure cooker on hand, do the same process in a thick bottomed sauce pan till the bottle gourd pieces are fork tender.
Set the pressure cooker aside till all the pressure is gone. Once the pressure is gone take off the lid and place on the stove on medium flame and bring the gravy to a boil.
Add in the sugar and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked toor dal, give it a good stir to incorporate the toor dal into the curry. This will make the gravy little thicker and give it a added taste. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Check and adjust for the seasonings. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Heat oil and ghee in another pan. Add in the tempering and let them splutter. Add the tempering mixture to the curry and garnish with coriander leaves.


Sorakaya pulusu is best served with steamed rice, muddha pappu and ghee.
For muddhapappu
In a pressure cooker pan take 1 cup of toor dal(Kandipappu) and 2 cups of water. Cook till 4 to 5 whistles. Once the pressure is off open the lid, add salt and mash the dal.


  1. Mudda Pappu, Dappalam............super combo.....

    thx akkai......


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