Tamarind rice is a traditional rice dish popular not only in Tamilnadu but also in other states in South India and are called as puliyodharai, puliohare, or puli sadam. Puliyodharai stays good & tastes divine even if it is kept without being refrigerated for 3 or 4 days. Earlier people used to pack tamarind rice and carry it in large quantities for their family trips and it was regarded as the ideal food for travel.
Puliyodharai is one of the most sought-after prasadams distributed in almost all the Hindu temples here in South India. Now I have tried to replicate the same temple puliyodharai recipe as much as possible.
Tamarind rice recipe:
Time taken: 15 min
Yields: This pulikachal (tamarind masala) can be used to mix the rice required for 5 or 6 people.
- Tamarind (puli) – lemon sized
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Cane jaggery – ¼ tsp
- Sesame oil (nallennai) – 1 tsp
For puliyodharai masala:
- Sesame oil – 1 tsp
- Red chillies – 10 Nos.
- Coriander seeds (malli vidhai) – 1 tbsp
- Split blackgram (de-skinned) – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida – a small block
- Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
- Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) – ¼ tsp
- Roasted peanuts (varutha kadalai) – 25 Nos.
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Red chillies – 2 Nos.
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Soak tamarind in hot water (or microwave for a minute) and keep aside.
- Heat a pan with oil in medium flame.
- Roast an asafoetida block, coriander seeds and black gram & red chillies separately (as shown below) in a teaspoon of oil.
- Grind these roasted spices into a powder using mixer-grinder.
- Remove seeds or fibers in the soaked tamarind and add to the spice powder and grind into a fine paste.
- Heat the same pan with oil in medium flame, add mustard, Bengal gram, peanuts, red chillies, & curry leaves and fry for 30 sec.
- Add turmeric powder & ground masala and saute till oil gets separated (about 5 min).
- Add salt & jaggery, mix well and remove from heat.
- Add cooked rice into the tamarind masala and mix well.
- Finally add a teaspoon of sesame oil to enhance the flavor & texture of tamarind rice.
- Puliyodharai is ready to serve.
Tips & Tweaks:
- Generally tamarind juice is added while making pulikachal, but I have ground soaked tamarind along with the roasted spices as I find this method very easy & it requires to add tamarind little less than normally required for making pulikachal.
- I have added blackgram for the aroma, but you may replace it with Bengalgram.
- We can also add a teaspoon of sesame seeds to enhance the flavor.