Puliyodarai, also known as Puliyogare, Pulihora or simply tamarind rice is a very famous, delicious tangy vegetarian rice preparation in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The word Puliyodarai comes from ‘Puli’ which essentially means ‘sour taste’, which refers to the specfic use of tamarind as the main ingredient.
Since Hindus consider turmeric powder or ‘haldi’ as a symbol of auspiciousness, Puliyodarai is specially cooked on festive days and special occasions. It is also given as prasad in some temples and is presented to God as part of the prayer rituals. It is also a standard dish in traditional Iyengar feasts.
Making Puliyodarai is extremely easy and even beginners and amateur cooks can make this dish easily. First of all, you need to soak tamarind in hot water for a while, discard the pulp and retain the water and keep it aside. Then, grind red chilies and coriander seeds. Next, fry a mixture of groundnuts, red chilli, curry leaves, asafoetida, chana dal, methi, mustard seeds and urad dal. Add the tamarind water, turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder along with ground mixture to this and let it thicken before adding rice to it.
Let the spices infuse in the rice and your Puliyodarai is ready to be served.
Soak good amount of tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes and after you remove the pulp, place it in a cup.
Grind coriander seeds and red chillies into a fine powder. Heat about 5-6 tsps of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, methi seeds, channa dal, hing, curry leaves, red chilli and groundnuts and fry them all till they turn golden brown.
Put red chilli powder (according to taste) and 1/2 spoon of turmeric powder and tamarind water into it. Also add salt (according to taste) with the grinded powder. Allow it to cook when it becomes thick like chutney, remove from flame and mix it with rice to serve Puliyodarai.
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A teacher and a blogger, Jaishree is an expert on authentic and traditional Indian cuisine.