Puliodharai / Spiced Rice

This is a very popular dish prepared regularly in most South Indians homes and also it is one of the neivedhiyams offered to Gods in temples.The specialty of the dish is the spicy,tangy and nutty flavor in what seems to be a simple dish.Believe me it is not so.

Though the ingedients are not very complex. the method of preparation ,the correct amount of tamrind,red chillies and other condiments play a part in determining whether the tamrind sauce will be just right.

Every time I make this ,an uncertainty comes about. Have I got the tangy taste right ? so many doubts.
But this is such a fabulous preparation among rice varieties.

Even though  the market is flooded with all kinds of ready powders and spiced tamarind paste for use readily,nothing can match the authentic home made taste.


For the Tamarind thickened sauce or paste which can be store for around two months
 1  big lemon  sized tamarind ball              
12 to 15 dry red chillies  to make it a bit spicy so that it keeps good for a month or two.
chana dal ΒΌ cup,1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 or 4 tsp of roasted peanuts. Cashew nuts are also added by some .This is optional.
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 ladleful of sesame oil. This is a must as the sesame oil is the key ingredient in giving the special aroma and flavour to the tamrind rice.
Salt to taste /rock salt is used as per tradition

For the  spice Powder 

3 tbsp coriander seeds, 3 tsp sesame seeds( white)
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
3 or 4 red chillies.This is optional as the red chillies are already being added to the tamarind sauce.
Generous pinch of Hing/Asafoetida


Prepare a thick paste out of the tamarind by keeping it soaked previously for 10 minutes to soften the tamarind.

Take out as much as juice you get ,filter and keep aside.

Take a heavy bottomed pan Pour the oil and add mustard seeds.

When it splutters add the chana dal, red chillies breaking them,turmeric powder,roasted peanuts. Add salt, spice powder which you get after roasting and then dry grinding into powder.

Pinch few curry leaves.Let boil over low flame till the tamarind sauce thickens and a fine aroma wafts.
The sauce should be quite thick as you are going to store this paste.

Tamrind rice can be prepared after adding the paste to cooled fluffy rice either basmmati or plain variety.
Depending on your taste you can add as much tamrind sauce as you need and after mixing well add a tsp of the spice powder to the mixed rice to enhance the aroma of the rice.