Tamarind Rice

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.

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Puliyodharai with urulai kizhangu puttu & udacha kadalai thuvaiyal

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:

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Time taken: 15 min

Yields: This pulikachal (tamarind masala) can be used to mix the rice required for 5 or 6 people.


  1. Tamarind (puli) – lemon sized
  2. Salt – 1 tsp
  3. Cane jaggery – ΒΌ tsp
  4. Sesame oil (nallennai) – 1 tsp
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For puliyodharai masala:

  1. Sesame oil – 1 tsp
  2. Red chillies – 10 Nos.
  3. Coriander seeds (malli vidhai) – 1 tbsp
  4. Split blackgram (de-skinned) –  1 tsp
  5. Asafoetida – a small block
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For Tempering:

  1. Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – ΒΌ tsp
  3. Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) – ΒΌ tsp
  4. Roasted peanuts (varutha kadalai) – 25 Nos.
  5. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  6. Red chillies – 2 Nos.
  7. Turmeric powder – Β½ tsp
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Cooking Method:

  • Soak tamarind in hot water (or microwave for a minute) and keep aside.
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  • 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.
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  • 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).
  • Then 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.
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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.

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  1. Hi Megala, this sounds so tasty. Can you also put up a recipe for the mango rice, I am very excited to try that πŸ˜€

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