Temple Puliyodharai ( Kovil Puliyodharai )

Temple Puliyodarai  or Kovil Puliyodarai as it is called in Tamil is something so simple but very delicious and we just cannot figure out how and why it tastes so different and so aptly named Temple puliyodarai. This is served as an important prasadam in most temples in South India.

I have come to the conclusion that being prepared in such sacred atmosphere, the religious sanctity must also play a part as the puliyodarai is so simple and looks easy to prepare , but the taste is something totally different.

Here is a modest attempt to reproduce the almost similar taste after numerous trials and winning family approvals , I decided to share it here.Truly humbling experience this, like the temple Sakkarai pongal which is again another mystic!..

Ingredients :

1 lemon size tamrind
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 red chillies
1/2 tsp asafoetida powderHing
Salt to Taste

To roast and grind

1 tsp sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
5 red chillis
1 tbsp chana dal
2 tsp split udad dal
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds 
1 tsp pepper corns
2 tsp Sesame Seeds 

For Seasoning: 

2 1/2 tbsp Gingelly Oil / sesame oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds 
2 tsp Channa dal 
2 tbsp peanuts or cashewnuts 
some Curry Leaves for garnish


Soak the tamarind in 1 1/2 cup of water and extract the juice and keep it aside
Heat oil in a pan, roast items given  in to be ground except sesame seeds and fry till golden . Keep aside.

Next add sesame seeds and fry for few seconds till aromatic and popping, remove all the fried ingredient. Allow to cool .

When cooled well, grind to powder .

Heat sesame oil in a pan, add mustard seeds when the oil is hot. When the mustard seeds starts to crackle, add channa dal and peanuts/ cashewnuts, and fry to golden.

Then add red chillies broken, and curry leaves.Roast for few seconds.

Then add extracted thick tamarind pulp, add turmeric powder , salt, asafoetida powder. and mix well.
Let the tamarind mixture to boil till raw smell disappears. around 6 minutes or 10 and thicken a bit.
Then add the ground powder and mix well to remove lumps after adding the ground spice powder.
Let the flame be kept in medium and allow the extract mixture to boil well till a paste like consistency is formed.

When thickened,remove, cool store well. Stays good upto a week. Mix with cooled fluffed rice to make a delcious puliyodharai in South Indian style. Generous addition of sesame oil will ensure the delicious paste will remain good for 15 days also.. Sesame oil is recommended for the authentic taste:-) otherwise use any sunflower oil.