Puliyodharai / Puliyogare / Tamarind Rice, a delicious dish by any name is delicious anyway!
Often served as a prasadam in temples in South India, it is one of the popular rice recipes. The tamarind-spice paste can be prepared in advance, preserved in lots of gingelly oil, and mixed with required quantity of rice, when needed.
Try this on one of the days this Navaratri, along with some Rajma Sundal for a traditional lunch menu.
Of all the rice dishes prepared at home, sesame rice and puliyodharai (tamarind rice) are my favourites. I have fond memories of puliyodharai as a companion on long train travels. The spice paste would be prepared at home a couple of days before the train journey, mixed with rice and ample quantities of gingelly oil, wrapped up neatly in scalded banana leaves. These would last nicely over a 36 hour train journey.
Accompanied by fried vadams, there was nothing quite like this.
Puliyodharai - Traditional Tamarind Rice Recipe
- 1 cup raw rice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp gingelly oil
- 2 tbsps chana dal
- 1 tbsp dal udad
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 6 - 7 chillies dried red
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsps coriander seeds
- 2 tsps sesame seeds
- 1.5 tsps salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup + 1 cup tamarind water hot
- 3 tbsps tamarind water paste mixed in 3/4 cups hot
- 2 tbsps gingelly oil
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1 tbsp chana dal
- 1 tbsp dal udad
- Pinch asafoetida
- Cook the rice with 2 cups water, salt and 1/2 tsp oil. Remove onto a large plate, spread out to cool and keep aside.
- In a kadai, heat 1 tsp oil. Add chana dal, udad dal, fenugreek seeds, red chillies, black pepper, coriander seeds and sautxe9 on medium flame until the dals turn golden brown.
- At this point, add sesame seeds and stir until they pop and release aromas.
- Remove, cool and grind to a powder along with salt and turmeric.
- In the kadai, place the extracted tamarind purxe9e and bring to a simmer. Let this simmer for 5 minutes until it gets slightly thicker. Add the ground spice powder with constant stirring, adding 2-3 tbsp of gingelly oil until you get a thick paste.
- Prepare tempering by heating 2 tbsp gingelly oil in a kadai. Add in all the ingredients and saute until the peanuts turn a darker shade and get crisp.
- In a large platter or bowl, mix the cooled rice, 3/4th of spice paste and tempering with fingertips until rice is well coated. Taste and add remaining paste if required.
- Serve hot with fried vadams and raita.