Monday, March 17, 2014

Puliodharai (Tamarind Rice)

This is a popular South Indian dish. It's a yummy blend of five of the six Indian flavours - sweet (இனிப்பு) , sour (புலிப்பு), salty (உப்பு) , bitter (கசப்பு), astringent (காரம்), pungent ( துவர்ப்பு).
Pungent is the missing flavour. Ideal packed food for travel. The gravy can be prepared the previous day. Only the rice needs to be cooked fresh.

Tamarind - about the size of 1 large lemon.
Mustard - 1 tsp
Urad dal -1 tsp
Channa dal -1 tsp
Peanuts -1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt to taste
A bunch of curry leaves

For Powder: 
Dry chillies - 10
Methi - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Seasame -2 tsp
Dhania - 2 tsp
Channa dal - 1 tbsp

  1. Roast all the ingredients for powder one at a time in 1 tsp of oil. Roast the chillies first.
  2. Cool and make a fine powder.
  3. Extract thick pulp from tamarind.
  4. Take a kadai and add 2 tbsps of oil. Add mustard, asafoetida, urad dal, 2 red chillies, channa dal, peanuts and curry leaves, when the dals and peanuts turn red, add curry leaves and the tamarind pulp and the powder. Mix well. Simmer and cook till oil separates from the masala.
  5. Turn off the fire and add rice and mix.
  6. Eat with potato wafers.
  • The dish stays fresh longer if you use a spatula instead of mixing directly with your hand.
  • It is easier to break lumps and mix in the rice thoroughly if you use a fork. Transfer to a dish with a wide mouth. Make sure it is not a non stick pan as the fork will damage it.
  • To save time make enough powder for 4-5 rounds of pulli sadam and store it in the fridge for future use. Ready made mixes use citric acid and that gives an after taste.