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Puliyodharai | Tamarind Rice

Puliyodharai | Tamarind Rice

My 108th recipe, “Puliyodharai / Tamarind Rice”, the most famous Tamil Picnic lunch. Spring has finally arrived and with it the warmer temperatures. The thing I love with warmer temperatures is the opportunity presents in visiting the outdoors.

In my world, the best place to spend a day outdoors would be none other than Turner Falls. It is the tallest and a quite little place nestled in the Arbuckle mountains of Oklahoma. I can happily sit down with RK and keep watching the beauty of the falls and the stream without even knowing how much time has passed. Whenever it is time for a little picnic, it would not be complete for me without “The Puliyodharai” for lunch. I would say that, it is the perfect picnic lunch.

You can easily make a Tamil Nadu style puliyodharai paste ahead of time and keep it refrigerated. And on the day of the picnic, just cook some rice, mix in the paste and voila, lunch is ready in a few minutes. By the time we sit down for lunch, the rice would have nicely absorbed the flavors and it would be simply delicious, tangy and spicy. Apart from being a picnic lunch, puliyogare is also famous for another reason.

It is the dish made at temples in Tamil Nadu and offered to lord as prasadam. There is nothing that matches the taste of Puliyodharai from a Venkateshwara Temple. RK’s sister is a huge fan 😉 While each household in Tamil Nadu might have a variation in what ingredient goes into the paste, the one I posted below is how my mom used to make. When had along with the Thogayal (wait until tomorrow) she makes, it is simply bliss 🙂


Puliyodharai | Tamarind Rice


Revathi Palani
Learn how to make the famous Puliyodharai paste at home and prepare a delicious lunch rice recipe using the same. Perfect to pack for picnic or lunchbox.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Prep
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Tamarind - Small lemon size
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 2 tsp (Adjust as needed)
  • Jaggery - 1/2 tsp

To grind

  • Dry red chilli - 3
  • Coriander seeds - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 3/4 tsp
  • Toor dal - 1 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1 tsp

To temper

  • Sesame oil - 3 Tbsp
  • Mustard - 1/4 tsp
  • Broken urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Channa dal - 1 tsp
  • Roasted peanut - 1/4 Cup
  • Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chilli - 2
  • Curry leaves - 1 Sprig
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp


  • First cook the rice, spread it on a plate and let it cool down to room temperature.
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 10 minutes, and prepare a thick tamarind extract by adding sufficient water. I got about 2 Cups of Tamarind extract.

    puliyodharai puliyodharai
  • Then, dry roast all ingredients listed under "To Grind", one by one. Make sure that you don't brown them too much. Let it come to room temperature. Grind it in a mixie into a coarse powder.

    puliyodharai puliyodharai

    puliyodharai puliyodharai
  • Now, heat a pan with oil and add all ingredients listed under "To temper" in the given order. Once the dal and peanuts turns golden brown, add the tamarind extract, salt and turmeric powder. Let the tamarind extract boil nicely in medium flame.

    puliyodharai puliyodharai

    puliyodharai puliyodharai
  • The tamarind extract will reduce to a thin paste like consistency. At this stage add the ground powder and mix well. Keep cooking for a few more minutes until you get a thick paste with oil oozing out. Now add the jaggery, mix well and turn off the stove.

    puliyodharai puliyodharai

    puliyodharai puliyodharai

    puliyodharai puliyodharai
  • Finally add the prepared mixture to the rice. Mix it nicely so that both are combined well. Leave it to rest for atleast 30 mins.

    puliyodharai puliyodharai
  • Enjoy with potato fry or thogayal.
    puliyodharai puliyodharai

Notes | FAQ

- Optionally you can add White Sesame seeds along with ingredients listed under "To Grind".
- While dry roasting, if the ingredients brown too much, then they would taste bitter.
- If you feel it is dry while mixing with rice, add a little more oil.
- Adjust the quantity of puliyodharai paste added to rice, as per your taste. For the given quantity, I had about 1 - 2 Tbsp of the paste left for next time use.
Recipe Rating

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Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Thank you so much for posting such a lovely recipe on YG! It is gorgeous. As the new co-owners, we hope you will continue to submit - we are expanding and upgrading everything and even have a new mobile app for android! Kelli at Yum Goggle


Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Thanks Kelli for your lovely comments !!! Sure, happy to be associated with YG.

Puliyodharai from Revi’s Foodography | Yum Goggle

Tuesday 24th of March 2015


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