The crispy, sweet pulivaral is the favourite dish of Malabar

The crispy, sweet pulivaral is the favourite dish of Malabar

The ancestral homes at Malabar love to host guests and serve some of the most delicious dishes which interestingly have delightful names as well. Dishes like alisa and muttamala are well known Malabari delicacies, and topping this list of sheer gastronomic bliss would be 'pulivaral,' a sweet dish served exclusively at the homes in the region.

Pulivaral is a sweet, thinly battered dish which is as long as a banana. The strange name of this dish may have originated at a quaint kitchen in some home in Malabar which is famous for naming dishes as per its shape or pattern. There is even a funny story which narrates the naming traditions for dishes in Malabar. Once, a woman made a snack using almost all the ingredients that were available in the area. It was such a disaster that the cooked ingredients looked as if they were chocking in the serving bowl. Seeing the dish, the patriarch of the family had apparently named it ‘wagon tragedy’.

Pulivaral is the Malabari alternative of the sweet and soft unniyappam. But those who have tried this amazing dish vows that you would go back for more helpings. Here is the recipe of the Malabari pulivaral.


1/2 cup jaggery (powdered and sieved to avoid lumps)

1/4 cup water

2 robusta bananas (mashed)

2 tbsp coconut milk

1 egg

Salt as required

Baking soda (optional)

Rice flour as required

Wheat flour as required

Coconut oil to fry


Melt the jaggery in water

Keep it aside to cool down

Mix the coconut milk in the jaggery syrup

Add this into the mashed bananas

Add a beaten egg and salt as required

Mix well

In a cup, mix baking soda with a spoonful of coconut milk

Add this into the banana mix

Add a spoonful rice powder and wheat powder alternatively

The batter would thicken when 5 spoons of flour are added likewise

If the batter has not thickened as per your liking, add one more mashed banana

Add more jaggery syrup if not sweet enough

Heat coconut oil in wok

Pour a fistful of the batter into the hot oil in the shape of tamarind

Fry until crisp and golden brown.

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