Monday, October 1, 2007

Milagai Puli or Green Chilli Preserve

The Green Chili Plants are starting to fruit and preserving them makes them last longer. I had set my mind on making some Milagai Puli which has a story behind it. My grandfather on his visits to Chennai always stayed at the Woodlands hotel, though the rooms were not 5 star quality, the individual rooms like villas and the greenery around the hotel made it feel special. The last time I had stayed there was about 15 years so don't remember much, the hotel also had a restaurant and during lunch time was crowded and bustling with activity. The taste of the food I do not remember what I do remember is my grandmom enjoying the Milagai Puli that they served there. I did not take to it much because of the ginger pieces but everytime we went there to eat lunch grandma asked for second or third helping of the Milagai Puli. This is my attempt to recreate the recipe and based on the recipes - Inji Puli and Puli Milagai. Both had the green chili chopped, the one from my memory had whole green chilies.

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1. 20 Young Green Chilies slit
2. 2 tbsp Julienned ginger
3. 1 Cup of tamarind pulp
4. 2 Red Chilies split and seeds removed
5. Curry leaves
6.1 tsp mustard seeds
7. 1 tsp cumin seeds
8. 1 tsp methi seeds
9. 2 tsp jaggery
10. salt to taste

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1. In a pan heat oil, add the cumin seeds followed by the mustard seeds, when they start to splutter add the curry leaves and red chilies
2. Add the split green chilies and saute till they start to blacken
3. Add the ginger pieces and saute for a minute
4. Add the tamarind pulp, salt and bring it to a boil
5. Roast the methi seeds and powder
6. Add the jaggery, let it boil for a minute or two
7. Add the methi powder and mix and switch off the heat

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Cool and save in an airtight container. Goes well with rice, idlis or chapatis.


  1. I love your plants...absolutely

  2. hey great post...i went to indian store and got tons of green chillies..that too 2 varieties!! i will make this one..thnks

  3. Your post brought back such a rush of nostalgia - Palmgrove Hotel was where we would stay in Madras, they had cottages too, at the back. My favourite there was the Green Pea Soup. I've only heard of puli milagai,never eaten it, or maybe I have, once, at a wedding.

  4. Looks yum! I got few green chillies this year.Next year,I will plant Thai chillies!:)

  5. Hi ISG, really enjoyed reading your memory-lane tale of the garden hotel :) The preserves must be so spicy and tangy with all that tamarind and fresh chiles. Your pepper plants look great. Next year I am going to plant one your honor! ;)

    BTW I love the earth tones of the finished dish... delightful pic!

  6. Nice plants! And I have to make this preserve :)

  7. This week my hubby got lot of green chillies without knowing that I did the shopping already. So, you gave me an answer to use those chillies. Nice recipe and thanks for posting this.

  8. Thanks for sharing.. being a spice-lover this is definitely a variation from my usual chilli-chutneys..

  9. I got a chili padi plant in my living room. When I was pregnant and delivered my baby, I so badly neglected it that I want to just let it die but my significant other finally had a soft heart for it and kept it alive for me. :)

  10. Sandeepa, thanks

    Rajitha, do try and hope you like it.

    Sra, yes they sure were cozy.

    Asha, the chilies are just starting to fruit a lot, WAIT don't pull out the plants yet, you might see them soon.

    Linda, don't see greenery around hotels of the newer ones, they maximize the square footage use by putting more rooms.

    Though you see the chilies
    flaoting they are not spicy really :) oh Linda that is sweet of you.

    Jyothsna do try and let me know.

    Kribha I am glad, they vanish in not time so put the chilies to good use :)

    ANI, sure is the taste buds will love it.

    Pamela hugs to baby :) did the chili plant reward you?

  11. Wow, hot... just my kinda dish... all those chillies from your plant, that is awesome!

  12. I can have this with dhal and rice everyday, I'd be a very happy woman :D


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