Tuesday, September 15, 2015


To serve :16.
Time taken:
For the tamarind sauce: 75 minutes, the garnish:10 minutes, the rice:30 minutes and to put everything together about 30 minutes depending on the quantity being made.

You will need:

For the tamarind reduction:
½ kilo tamarind.
2 litres water
2 tablespoons  Red Chilly powder
2 tablespoons salt
10 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon asafoetida/hing
½  cup sesame oil
1 tsp turmeric powder

For making the tamarind rice/puliyodare:
5 cups raw (uncooked rice)
10 cups water
¼ kilo dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons chana dal
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
3 tablespoons sesame oil
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp hing/asafoetida
5 grams curry leaves
Salt to taste

For the garnish:
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
4 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

The tamarind reduction:
1.       Soak the tamarind in two glasses of water for about 5 minutes or till the tamarind becomes soft and mushy.
2.       Crush the tamarind with your fingers and squeeze out the juice. Add water and extract tamarind juice in this manner till you have a thick and pulpy water. You would have used the rest of the two litres of water in this process. Keep aside.
3.       Heat the oil in a large kadai/wok.  Add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the red chillies after removing their stem. Reduce flame. Now gently add the tamarind water, turmeric powder, chilli powder, hing and salt.
4.       Boil this liquid till it reduces to about a fifth of its original quantity. The oil will surface to the reduction and form a thick layer. This signals that the sauce is done.  This process will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
5.       Cool. Store in a glass vessel with a lid.

Note 1: The shelf life of this reduction/sauce is about two weeks if stored in a refrigerator.  In the freezer it can last longer. It is important to use a dry spoon to scoop the paste from its container. It is also important to ensure that no water droplets fall in it. This will cause fungal growth.

The Garnish:

1.       Heat kadai. Dry roast the coriander seeds, chilly pods and fenugreek seeds till they brown.
2.       Cool. Dry grind to a coarse powder.
3.       Store in an airtight container.

Note 2:  This powder has a long shelf life of a month  or can remain good for six months in a freezer. The powder can be used to garnish vegetables and sundals too.

The Puliyodare:

Retrieve the tamarind sauce and garnish which is in storage in the fridge.

1.       Wash the rice add the ten cups of water and either pressure cook it or cook it in an electric rice cooker. You may need a cup or two of water more, depending on whether you like your rice to be cooked softer.
2.       On a large plate, spread the rice so the grains remain separate. Cool.
3.       Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the red chillies, sauté for 10 seconds, add the chana dal, sauté till the dal turns golden brown, add the curry leaves, peanuts, hing, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Turn off flame.
4.       Tip the mixture in the kadai on the rice and  steadily work the oil dal and peanuts  mixture into the  rice taking care not to mash the rice.
5.       Add half the tamarind sauce to the rice.  Use a flat spatula to steadily work the paste into the rice.
6.       Add a tablespoon of the garnish on top of the rice and work this in also.
7.       Taste for balance. Add more of the tamarind sauce if you feel the need for a bit more of tartness.
8.       Add more of the garnish and salt to taste.
9.       Puliyodare is ready.
10.   Serve with fried vathals/vadams/fryuums/potato chips.

Note3: Puliyodare grows tastier as it a stands for a while.  This is the reason why it has been made in South India, traditionally, for picnics and long haul journeys. However, like all rice items, this too can spoil. If it is left over, of course!

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