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Pewter tray with puliyogare.

Puliyodharai | Tamarind rice with tamarind paste

Puliyodarai is South Indian style tamarind rice made with spicy tamarind paste known as pulikachal. Delicious rice recipe for any day.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: tamil
Servings: 12 Servings


For Tamarind Chutney | Pulikachal:

  • 1 cup Tamarind paste*
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Jaggery, powdered
  • To taste Salt

For the Spice Powder:

  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • ½ cup Coriander seeds
  • 8 Dry red Chilies
  • ½ teaspoon Asafoetida powder/ Hing
  • 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon Urad dal

For the Garnish:

  • ¼ cup Sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Dry grated coconut

For Pulikachal tempering:

  • 2 tablespoons Gingelly Oil
  • 10 Dry red chilies
  • 2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chana Dal
  • 8~10 Curry leaves

To make Tamarind Rice:

  • 1 cup Rice, I use Sona masoori rice
  • 3~4 tablespoons Tamarind Chutney (Pullikaichal)
  • 2 tablespoons Gingelly Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • To taste Salt

For Rice Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon Gingelly Oil
  • 2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon Urad dal
  • ¼ cup Peanuts
  • 10~12 Curry leaves


  • If using raw tamarind, soak it in 3 cups of warm water for 15~20 minutes. Then squeeze the pulp and extract the juice, discard the fibrous pulp. If using tamarind paste, add 1½ cups of water to tamarind paste and set aside.

To make the Spice powder:

  • Heat oil in a medium size pan on medium flame. Add coriander seeds, red chilies, asafetida, peppercorn, cumin, fenugreek, mustard seeds, chana & urad dal and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, until the seeds and dal are golden and fragrant. Remove into a plate. Let cool and grind to a fine powder.

Make the Garnish:

  • In the same pan, dry roast the sesame seeds and dry grated coconut until golden. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.

To make Tamarind Chutney:

  • Heat gingelly oil in a medium size pan on medium heat. Add red chilies and fry till dark brown, about 1~2 minutes. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, curry leaves and cook till the mustard seeds splutter. Carefully stir in the tamarind paste, salt and jaggery.
    Simmer on low heat till the mixture thickens almost to the consistency of a jam, about 10~12 minutes.
  • Stir in all of the ground spice powder. Add 2 tablespoons of the garnish powder and mix well. Turn off the heat. Reserve the remaining garnish powder for garnishing the rice.
    Pulikachal is now ready. Cool it completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for later use.

To make Tamarind Rice:

  • Cook rice and make sure the grains are separate and is not mushy. Spread on a plate to cool. Gently mix in oil, turmeric and salt until incorporated.
  • Heat oil, add mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, asafetida (hing) and curry leaves. Fry till dals are golden and mustard seeds splutter. Add this tempering to the rice.
    In the same pan, roast peanuts until evenly golden brown all over. Add this to the rice as well.
  • Add 3~4 tablespoons of tamarind chutney to the rice and mix gently. Sprinkle the reserved garnish powder and mix well. Serve right away!!



  • You can use store bought tamarind paste. Or you can make it at home by boiling tamarind block with water and cook till soft. Use a immersion blender to a smooth paste.
  • Gingelly oil gives the best flavor to this puliyogare rice. But you can also use peanut or canola oil.
  • I recommend using a mix of hot and mild chilies. My favorite are Guntur and Byadgi chilies. You can also use Kashmiri red chilies.
  • Sourness of tamarind varies from batch to batch. So if your puliyogare paste is not sour enough, then add some lemon juice to balance the flavors.
  • Store the pulihora paste in a clean jar in the fridge. You can store it for up to 2 months. Make sure to use a clean, dry spoon every time you use it.
  • For a twist to the classic, you can use other grains like quinoa or oats instead of rice in this recipe. Boiled macaroni tossed with pulikachal also makes a yummy fusion dish.


Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5946IU | Vitamin C: 3038mg | Calcium: 717mg | Iron: 3mg
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