Tamarind rice is a popular dish made in South Indian homes during festivals or pooja especially served as a prasadam in Hindu temples, made by rice along with a special tempering of tamarind pulp, curry leaves, and some other Indian spices.
Tamarind Rice or Puliyodharai recipe, also known as Puliyogare or Pulihora is a tangy, sour, and spiced rice dish that can be served with any raita of your choice for lunch and dinner. It is so much loved by kids and adults alike.
Learn how to make the simple version of no onion and no garlic tamarind rice, prepared with cooked rice, tamarind extract, and some basic Indian spices.
About this Recipe
Tamarind Rice is a common rice preparation, predominantly eaten in the southern parts of India. The rice dish is characterized by the use of tamarind as a main ingredient.
“Puli” refers to Tamarind in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. Tamarind Rice also goes by the names of Pulihora, Puliyogare or Puliyodarai.
Pulihora or Tamarind Rice is a traditional South Indian dish, but due to its tangy taste, it has gained considerable popularity in northern parts of India as well.
Pulihora is not only delicious, but also really quick and easy to prepare and so it is a great option for children’s lunch box, especially if you have leftover rice. This dish uses a bit more oil and so it is not spoiled easily. Due to this Tamarind Rice is a favorite choice to take away for long distance journeys.
To make this dish, rice is fried along with a special tempering of which greatly enhances the taste and flavor of this dish and makes it quite appealing. Sometimes jaggery (gur) is also added for a slightly sweet flavor.
Tamarind rice is often made to mark festivals and special occasions. This simple tamarind rice recipe calls for no garlic and onion hence it is offered to the Gods and is known as prasadam in southern India. Devotees get to eat it after the offering to the God has been made.
This easy Tamarind Rice recipe is packed with flavour and texture.
Rice – You can use any medium to short grain variety here. But avoid aromatic varieties like basmati or jasmine.
Tamarind – you need tamarind paste/ pulp. You can either buy brick of tamarind and make the paste yourself or simply use store bought pulp. I have included instructions on how to make the tamarind paste below.
Peanuts – are a quintessential ingredient in my opinion. They add nice crunch to the dish.
Flavorings – ginger, green chilies, curry leaves
For Tempering – lentils like urad dal, dry red chilies, and mustard seeds.
Tamarind Rice is usually a part of a larger meal though you may serve it on its own too. You can pack in the tiffin boxes for your children or your lunch box as well. Tamarind rice can be accompanied by papads, pickles, or yogurt.
To serve Tamarind rice to guests or family in an interesting way, you could put the rice in a medium bowl, fill it, level it, and then invert the bowl into the centre of the serving plate. You could garnish the tamarind rice with fried curry leaves or red chillies. You could also add some fried cashews.
This is usually cooked in special occasions and sometimes offered to the god as a prasadam.
Tamarind rice can have a shelf life up to two days, and hence is also the preferred food of many while travelling in trains.
To make Tamarind Rice or Pulihora at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.
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Tamarind rice is a popular dish made in South Indian homes during festivals or pooja especially served as a prasadam in Hindu temples, made by rice along with a special tempering of tamarind pulp, curry leaves, and some other Indian spices. Learn how to make the simple version of Tamarind rice (Pulihora).
- 3 cups rice, cooked
- 2 tablespoons peanuts
- 15–20 curry leaves
- 2–3 dried red chilies
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon split & husked black gram (urad dal)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Cook the rice and keep it aside to cool it completely.
- Soak the tamarind in hot water for 15-20 minutes, and then squeeze out all the pulp. If required, use a strainer to remove the strings and seeds. Set it aside.
How to make Tamarind Rice
- In a medium cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high flame.
- Add mustard seeds to it. When it starts crackling, add urad dal and raw peanuts. Keep stirring constantly till nicely fried on all sides until they become brown.
- Add dried red chillies, curry leaves and saute them for a few seconds.
- Then add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Mix it well and continue stirring for a few seconds.
- Add the cooked rice to the tadka with some salt to taste.
- Combine well until the rice is evenly coated with the spices.
- Continue to fry the rice on low-medium flame for 3-4 minutes.
- Mix 2 teaspoons concentrated tamarind pulp into 2 teaspoons of water.
- Then add the tamarind pulp to the cooked rice.
- Keep stirring for a couple of minutes, then cover with a lid and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Tamarind Rice is ready.
- Serve hot along with plain yogurt, pickle, or papad.
- To get a nice crunch and rich taste, add cashews while adding the raw peanuts.
- Make sure the tamarind pulp has to be properly strained before adding to the cooked rice.
- After adding the pulp to the cooked rice, let the rice cook on low-medium heat else you may feel the raw smell of tamarind.
- Do not reduce the amount of oil, which helps in preserving the tamarind paste.
- Also, you can add garlic if you want.
- Additionally, add asafoetida which gives a nice flavor and also helps indigestion.
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: South Indian
Keywords: Puliyogare (Tamarind Rice),Tangy and spicy South Indian rice, Indian street food Tamarind rice