Puliyodharai! Doesn’t this word make you drool when you hear it? This is one of the common prasadams offered to gods at the temples in Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, especially in Lord Maha Vishu temples. The word puliyodharai is derived from the term puli which means tamarind in Tamil. Along with sweet Pongal, curd rice, puliyodharai or tamarind rice is also served to the devotees as mahaprasadam once it is offered to the lord. Most of the devotees say puliyodharai prasad at Sri Parththasarathy Temple, Chennai is the best, but I love the puliyodharai of Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Sri Rangam.
In Tamil its Puliyodharai, in Kannada its Puliyogare and in Telugu its Pulihora. There are lots of variations in the recipes practised by families across the states. Iyengar version of puliyodharai is the tastiest among all. It is a mix of sweet, spicy and tangy tastes. It’s made with lots of lentils and other regional spices. For making puliyodharai, we prepare a thick curry or the puliyodharai mix, called as Pulikkaichal or Puli Rasam and mix it with cooked rice.
The recipe here is something that I have been practising for the last 05 years now. My mother makes a basic version of puliyodharai, yet its another yummy one. Potato Masala and Brinjal are the usual accompaniments for this.
- Rice - 200 gm
- Coriander Seeds - 01 tablespoon
- Fenugreek Seeds - 0.5 tablespoon
- Bengal Gram - 02 tablespoons
- Black Gram - 02 tablespoons
- Roasted Peanuts - 02 tablespoons
- Pepper Seeds - 01 tablespoon
- Seedless Tamarind - A Lemon Size Ball
- Mustard Seeds - 0.5 tablespoon
- Powdered Jaggery - 02 tablespoons
- Tamarind Powder - 0.5 tablespoon
- Dried Chillies - 05 Nos
- Curry Leaves - A Few
- Sesame Oil - As Required
- Wash and cook the rice in water and allow it to cool by spreading it in a plate.
- In a pan, dry roast dried chillies (03), coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, Bengal gram (01 tbsp), black gram (01 tbsp), pepper seeds and grind the mix to a fine powder.
- Meanwhile, extract soak tamarind ball in warm water for 30 mins and extract the juice (150 ml) from it.
- In another pan, heat sesame oil (as required) and add mustard seeds. Add the remaining Bengal gram, black gram, roasted peanuts, few curry leaves & dried chillies when mustard seeds begin to sputter. Let everything turn golden brown.
- Add the powdered mix, tamarind juice, turmeric powder, powdered jaggery & salt and cook it till it becomes a thick paste. Add little sesame oil if required.
- Add the cooked tamarind paste to rice and mix it gently by hand.
- Serve with potato masala or brinjal masala.
Always mix the puliyodharai with hands. You can make the pulikkaichal in a large quantity and store it for future use. Well cooked pulikkaichal can stay good for almost 2 weeks.