Puliodharai | Tamarind Rice | Pulikachal


puliodharai (39)

Puliodharai/ Tamarind Rice is a popular South Indian variety rice made with fresh tamarind juice and powdered spices and tempered with roasted peanuts and flavorful spices to form a paste called Pulikachal which can be stored in refrigerator for more than a month. The pulikachal is mixed with cooked rice and served with South Indian curry (poriyal), aviyal or papad varieties. It is made commonly in South Indian homes and popular lunch menu in Indian restaurants and also famous prasadam (offering) in temples. It is a quick and easy lunch box recipe and tastes great with left over rice as well; make sure to have pulikachal left, it can made in a jiffy. Come, let’s see how to make this perfect and tasty recipe at home from the scratch with easy method and step by step pictures.


Category: Vegan

Cuisine: South Indian

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2


  1. Cooked Rice- 1.5 cups

For tamarind extract

  1. Tamarind- 1/4 cup (OR) Tamarind paste- 3 tbsp
  2. Water- 3 cups

For pulikachal

  1. Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
  2. Salt- as required
  3. Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  4. Asafoetida- 2 pinches
  5. Roasted Peanuts- 1/4 cup
  6. Jaggery- 1 tsp

To Roast and powder

  1. Sesame oil- 1 tsp
  2. Channa dal – 2 tbsp
  3. Urad dal – 1 tsp
  4. Red chillies – 4
  5. Fenugreek seeds – 3/4 tsp
  6. Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  7. Pepper – 1 tsp

To temper

  1. Sesame Oil- 5 tbsp
  2. Mustard- 1 tsp
  3. Urad dal- 2 tbsp
  4. Channa dal- 2 tbsp
  5. Red chilli- 8
  6. Curry leaves- 2 sprig
  7. Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp


1. Preparation: Cook rice, cool down completely and separate the grains. Click here to see how to cook basmati rice to perfection.

This recipe can also be made with left over rice.


2. To extract tamarind : Soak tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes and squeeze using your hands and extract the juice. Filter and set aside. Alternatively, you can add tamarind and water to a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds and extract the juice.

If using tamarind paste, simply add water to tamarind paste and mix well to dissolve.


3. Heat 1 tsp sesame oil in a pan and add the items under “To Roast and powder” and roast till golden and transfer to a plate and cool down.


4. Add to a mixer jar and grind to a fine powder.


5. Heat sesame oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and allow to crackle. Add urad dal and chana dal. When the dal turns golden, add red chillies and curry leaves.


6. Add asafoetida and mix until the red chillies turn glossy and crispy.


7. Add the extracted tamarind juice to it along with turmeric powder, salt, curry leaves and asafoetida and  bring to a boil.


8. When it is boiling, add jaggery powder followed by the ground spice powder and mix continuously to avoid lump formation.


9. Cook in medium flame until it thickens to a sauce consistency.


10. Add the roasted peanuts and mix. Switch off the flame and cool down. It will thicken to a paste when it cools. Pulikachal is ready to use.


NOTE: This recipe yields more pulikachal for the quantity of rice mentioned. You can store the pulikachal in a clean glass jar/ airtight inside refrigerator for more than a month. Use clean and dry spoon to take the pulikachal in the future. It is a great side dish for curd rice as well.

pulikachal (3)

11. For making puliodharai: Add the required amount of pulikachal to cooked rice and mix well. Serve with aviyal or any poriyal, or papad. Delicious, tasty and authentic puliodharai/ tamarind rice is ready to eat.



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puliodharai (42)

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