Uppum Mulaku (Salt & Chilly) ....an instant pickle from Kerala

The uppum mulaku is like a traditional dish of Kerala. ‘Uppu’ means salt and ‘Mulaku’ means chilly (either green, red or some red chilly powder).

Please don’t laugh at it because it brings a smile to anybody when you say there is an uppum mulaku in the platter. It is unconventional and so it is traditional too.

Uppum Mulaku is usually prepared when there is no spicy curry or just as an accompaniment for rice gruel or porridge. There is an English word for rice gruel which is Congee. I came to know about this only recently. In Malayalam, rice gruel is called kanji and in Tamil it is kanchi.

I do not know the evolution of this uppum mulaku recipe, however I am gonna write some of my assumptions. It is like a research J

(i) The first recipe should have been just some salt in a side dish (plate or bowl) with a fresh green chilly with stem to be had with rice porridge. There is a method to eat it. You should take a spoon of the congee and bite the tip of the green chilly. The bitten greenchilly is then dipped into the salt before taking another spoon of congee. I have had this combination just to experiment. This is an explosive, you should try it. I am not a fan of green chilly so it remains a one time testing.

(ii) The second type of uppum mulaku I have known is a crushed combination of salt, green chilly and shallots and sometimes with few drops of coconut oil. This probably is an evolved one to give the recipe a oniony zing and a slight creaminess.

(iii) The third type of uppum mulaku is what I have had at home. This is a combination of salt,crushed shallots, chilly powder, few drops of vinegar and few drops of coconut oil.

(iv) The fourth and final recipe is a slightly advanced version, the one which you see in the picture. The recipe is as follows:


Shallots – 15
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Seedless Tamarind – 1 tbsp
Coconut oil – ¾ to 1 tsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp

the method

Roughly chop the shallots and place it in a mortar. Add salt and chilly powder and crush it. Place the tamarind in the mortar and crush it to blend with onion mix. Check salt, pour the coconut oil and vinegar and give a quick mix. Serve it immediately with rice, kanji or boiled tubers like tapioca (Kappa) or greater yam (Kaachil).

This is a Kerala based pestel or an instant pickle and if by any chance you have leftovers you can keep it in the fridge, though it is not known to have been stored for a longer period. Using it fresh, the better. 

If you do not have a mortar, put all the ingredients in the smallest mixer jar and crush it for just 2 seconds.

the recipe goes to EP series Curry leaves or Dried red chillies event started by Julie


Mélange said…
Nostalgic and yummy Roshan..I feel the true taste of it..Thanks !
Follow foodie said…
New to me . Looks Yummy
PT said…
sounds very interesting.. thanks for sharing :)
Pushpa said…
Delicious perfect with porridge.
Treat and Trick said…
So easy and great taste!
Priya Satheesh said…
Very interesting recipe...simple but must be tasty with porridge..
Priya said…
Highly irresistible and super tempting pickle.
looks simple and great...