Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Puliyodharai (Tamarind Rice)

 Published 2016-Mar-23   Updated 2017-Nov-28

- Submitted by Raji Ramakrishnan

(Puliyogare, Pulihora, Puli Sadam, Hulianna)

Puliyodharai or pulihora is a South Indian rice dish that is commonly prepared in every South Indian house hold. It gains its origin from the Brahmin kitchen, especially the Iyengar sect of Brahmin community. Puliyodharai is also prepared as a Prasad or offering to God in temples and in houses during Navratri and aadi perukku. It is more prominently seen as Prasadam in the Vishnu temples. 

These days instant Puliyodharai mix and pastes are commonly seen in every super market. But, somehow I never find them authentic and tasty as the one prepared at home. Puliyodharai is made by mixing the pulikaichal and cooked rice with tempering. 

“Puli” in Tamil means tamarind and “kaichal”in Tamil means boiling.  So, pulikaichal is nothing but the boiling of tamarind extract with tempering and spice powders. There are umpteen variations to the pulikaichal recipe; each of it depends on our taste and culture. For instance, people in Karnataka add jaggery while making pulikaichal and people in Andhra add roasted sesame seeds powder to the mixture. Each of the variation gives its own unique flavour and taste. Large quantities of pulikaichal can be made and stored for 1-2 months and can be used to make Puliyodharai any time. This is very convenient for packing lunch boxes on a busy morning. Puliyodharai is also very easy and convenient item to pack for travel. Enjoy cooking this tangy spicy one pot dish and relish your taste buds completely.

This is my mother in laws recipe of making puliyodarai.

Recipe for Tamarind Rice (Puliyodharai)

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8-10

To Make Pulikachal


  • Tamarind - Lemon sized
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Dry red chilies - 5-6
  • Chana dal - 1 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Black chana (chikpea) - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida - less than 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste

For tempering

  • Gingelly oil (Sesame oil, Til oil, Nal ennai) - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds -  1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few


  1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for half an hour.  Extract the pulp, strain and keep aside.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, dry red chillies, chana dal, urad dal and grind it to a coarse powder.
  3. Soak the black chana for 8 hrs.
  4. In a kadai, add the tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and bring to boil. 
  5. Once it boils, add the ground powder and cook again till it thickens.
  6. When it reduces to half, add the soaked black chana dal and mix well. Fill it in a glass jar and keep. The chana dal will absorb the masala and will taste good.  
  7. Make a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves and add to the pulikachal.  


  • In the making of pulikaichal, the boiling of the tamarind with ground powder takes at least 30-45 minutes. To reduce the time duration, take a thick extract of the tamarind pulp and prepare the same.
  • As mentioned earlier you could also add roasted sesame seed powder for additional aroma and few bits of jaggery to reduce the sour taste of tamarind in the pulikaichal making.


To Make Puliodarai


  • Cooked rice - 1 cup (grains should be separate)
  • Sesame oil -  1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds -  1 tsp
  • Peanuts - 1 tbsp
  • Pulikachal - as needed


  1. Heat oil in a kadai, splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  2. Add peanuts and roast it. 
  3. Add 1-2 tsp of pulikkachal in it. 
  4.  Add the rice and mix well. 
  5. If you feel that the pulikachal is not sufficient, add more according to your taste.
  6. Once the pulikachal coats every grain of rice, switch off. Let it rest for some time before serving.

Serving Tamarind Rice

  • Puliyodharai can be served with chips, pappads and home made vadaams.
  • It also tastes best with aviyal or any vegetable koottu (vegetables cooked in lentils and coconut based gravy).
  • Puliyodharai can also be served with raitas or thayir pachadi.


  • Using the pulikaichal we can also made instant puli aval or aval puliyogare. Wash the aval or rice flakes and drain it. In a kadai or deep bottom pan, add the same tempering mentioned above and add the pulikaichal. To it, add the drained rice flakes. Aval puliyogare is ready. This can be made as quick evening tiffin for kids or for breakfast. 
  • Similarly, you can make puli sevai with store bough sevai or homemade sevai. 
  • Also, the pulikachal can be mix with any cooked millets to make a healthy meal any time.

More Tamarind Recipes

Tamarind Date Chutney Tamarind Date Chutney Vendakkai Pulikulambu Vendakkai Pulikulambu Puli Inghi Puli Inghi  
See more...

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 Published by on and last updated on 2017-11-28.