Now Pulikachal or Puliyodharai must be a very unfamiliar word to most of you however South Indians can immediately relate to it. So let me explain to those who literally don't have any idea whatsoever. As most of us know that Rice (Sadham in Tamil) has got a special place in every South Indian's heart, plain white rice is mixed with variety of lentils, vegetables & spice mixes to give an unique flavouring to it. Many of the popular variety rice dishes are Thayir Sadham (Curd Rice), Thakkali Sadham (Tomato Rice), Sambar Sadham, Thenga Sadham (Coconut Rice) etc. One of which is the Puli Sadham or the Puliyodharai which is nothing but Tamarind Rice. The Rice is mixed with a special tempered tamarind mix which tastes super TANGY & obviously delicious. You just need some poppadams or some crisps to go with it.
Usually I buy ready Puliyodharai mix from any of the Asian Stores & use it instantly to my plain white rice. These variety rices are so quick to make especially in those "don't want to slog in the kitchen" days. But recently, one of my close friends Meghana came to visit me & she showed me "from the scratch" version of a Pulikachal or the Mix. It is so easy to make with your pantry ingredients & you can store this homemade mix for 10 - 12 days provided you keep it in your refrigerator.
I promised her that I will surely put this super easy recipe in my Blog so that others can benefit from it and here it goes. :)
- big lemon sized ball tamarind
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 dry red chillies
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- pinch of asafoetida (heeng)
- 10 -15 raw peanuts
- 1/2 tsp chana dal (bengal gram)
- 1/2 tsp urad dal (black gram)
- 10 curry leaves
- 75 ml oil (preferably gingelly oil)
- salt to taste
- Soak the tamarind balls in 2 cups of warm water for 15 minutes. Extract all the juices from it & remove the pulp.
- Heat the oil in a deep based pan & add the mustard seeds to it. When it splutters, add in the chana dal, urad dal, peanuts, dry red chillies & curry leaves & let it get roasted.
- Now add the asafoetida, black pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder to it & stir for 30 seconds.
- Pour the tamarind juice to the pan & let it boil in medium heat till the raw smell of tamarind goes.
- When the tamarind juice slowly starts to thicken, taste the mix and add the required amount of salt. The salt should balance the sourness of the tamarind and the spiciness of all the added spices. (My suggestion would be that to add less salt so that you can later add it when you mix it with rice)
- Simmer the heat down & cook till the oil settles at the top. Switch off the heat.
- Let the mix cool down & then store it in a tight jar & keep refrigerated.
- Mix 1 tbsp of Pulikachal to your 100 gm of cooked white rice & relish your tamarind rice or Puliyodharai whenever you feel like eating. :)