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Puliyodharai |Tamarind Rice

Puliyodharai |Tamarind Rice

A tangy rice dish made with a mix of masalas infused with the flavor of tamarind pulp to get the perfect Iyengar Style Puliyodharai aka Tamarind rice.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Gluten Free, Tamarind Rice, Vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre


Spice Powder

  • 3 teaspoon coriander seeds (dhania seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • 3-4 dry red chillies (add more for spicy)
  • 3 teaspoon white sesame seeds (Til)
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper

For Tamarind paste / pulikaachal

  • 1/3 Cup sesame oil (Gingely oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (Rai)
  • 2 teaspoon chana dal
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon Gluten Free Hing (Asafoetida) **Please see Notes
  • 2 teaspoon Turmeric (Haldi)
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon jaggery
  • Big lemon sized tamarind

To Serve

  • Rice as required


Spice Powder

  • Dry roast all the ingredients listed under spice powder one by one.
  • Dry roast on slow until they are dark and golden.
  • Keep it aside on a plate to cool.
  • Once the spices are cooled, grind it to a fine powder.

Tamarind Pulp

  • Soak a big lemon size tamarind in 2 cups of water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Squeeze the tamarind to extract the pulp.
  • Strain the pulp and discard the seeds.
  • Set aside.

Pulikaachal – Tamarind Paste

  • In a pan add the sessame oil.
  • Once hot, add in the mustard seeds.
  • Let the mustard seeds splutter.
  • Now add the red chillies, and chana dal.
  • Roast on slow till the chana dal is golden.
  • Now add the tamarind extract / pulp.
  • Add the hing, turme3ric powder and curry leaves.
  • Add in the roasted peanuts, salt and jaggery.
  • Simmer the tamarind mixture on low flame for 15-20 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and now add the ground spice powder.
  • Mix and allow it cool completely.
  • Store this mix, in a clean and sterile jar in refrigerator for later use.

Assembling the Tamarind Rice

  • One can use leftover rice or make fresh rice for making Tamarind Rice.
  • Do not let the rice to go mushy.
  • Once the rice is cooled completely, mix half a cup of prepard tamarind paste – pulikaachal.
  • Half a cup should be sufficient for 2-3 cups of prepared rice.
  • One can add more or less of the tamarind paste as per taste.
  • Adjust salt if required.
  • Mix well to combine.
  • Let it sit for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve it with some papad.


  • Asafoetida (Hing) powder available in shops contains wheat and is not gluten free. Gluten intolerant people can either skip completely or opt for Gluten Free Asafoetida (Hing)
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Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @cookwithrenu or tag #cookwithrenu