Tuesday, August 12, 2008


This is such a popular rice variety and I've tasted so many variations of this... The best aspect of this is that the pulikaachal (spiced tamarind paste) can be made ahead and stored so making the actual rice can be done in a jiffy and it also stores well making it ideal for picnics or the long, fun trips by train or anywhere else. This and some vadaam would make anyone drool.

I read Veda's account of her grandmother's recipe for Iyengar Puliogare alongwith her description, detailed steps and photos and it compelled me to try this at once. The making of the gojju or pulikaachal does take a while because slow simmering is key to getting the correct consistency and flavour but since this can be stored for a while, it's a sound investment of time and enables a delicious and quick meal later on. Thank you Veda for sharing such a winning recipe.

I halved her recipe and also made some changes because my rasam and sambar powders are storebought and so I had to compensate the ingredients to account for that.



Puli (Dark tamarind) - 3/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Rasam powder - 3 tbsp
Sambar powder - 1 tbsp
Viji's SIMP - 2 tsp
Salt - 1.5 to 2 tbsp
Jaggery (Vellam) - 1 cube

Powdered methi - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp

Nallennai (Sesame/gingelly oil) - 3 tbsp
Channa dhal - 3 tbsp, soaked in hot water
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 to 2 tsp
Red Chillies - 8, broken into two
Ginger - 1.5 inch piece, cut into tiny bits
Curry leaves - 2 stalks
Asafoetida - 1/4 inch piece, crushed

1) Soak the tamarind in about about a cup or 1.5 cups of warm water. When very soft, squeeze and extract as much juice as possible from the pulp, strain, keep the juice and discard the leftover pulp.

2) Heat a deep pan, and add nallennai, season with mustard seeds, urad dhal, soaked channa dhal, crushed asafoetida, curry leaves, ginger and broken bits of red chillies. Once the mustard seeds splutter add the tamarind extract.

3) When the tamarind water begins to boil, add the rasam powder, sambar powder, turmeric powder and mix thoroughly to blend. Reduce the flame to low and allow this mixture to simmer.

4) After about 15 minutes, add the salt, jaggery and allow to thicken some more.

5) After another 15 minutes, add Viji's SIMP and let the mixture continue to simmer until it thickens up really well. For me, the entire process took about 90 mins total. Towards the end, add the powdered pepper and methi and switch off the stove. The thick paste (pulikaachal) can then be cooled completely and spooned into a dry bottle and refrigerated until ready to use.


Rice - 1 cup, raw cooked
Channa dhal - 2 tsp, soaked
Peanuts - 1 tbsp, chopped
Red Chillies - 2
Sambar powder - 1 to 2 tsp

Onions - 1/4 c. chopped (optional)
Curry leaves -few
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch

Nallennai (Gingelly oil) - 2 to 3 tsp

1) Cook the rice separately with about 3 cups of water and allow to cool completely so the grains are separate.

2) Heat a pan with some oil and add the seasonings (Mustard seeds, Urad dhal, Channa dhal, curry leaves, asafoetida, broken red chillies & peanuts) and fry them till golden.

3) I added red onions but that is not traditional - so, if you are using it, add them along with sambar powder and turn for a few seconds. Switch off the flame and pour this on the cooled rice.

4) Add the pulikaachal/gojju to taste and mix thoroughly so every grain of rice is coated with the masala. Let it sit for a while for the flavours to be absorbed before serving with (microwaved) vadaam or potato chips.


  1. I'm going to try this recipe. But what is Viji's SIMP? Some kind of Molaga Podi?

  2. I feel hungry on seeing your puliyodharai Lavanya..I can eat this at any time.So yummy

  3. Hello rajk, Viji's SIMP is a south indian masala powder - that another blogger makes (unfortunately her blog is now private). However you can completely omit that (with no major difference in taste) or refer to my Vangi Bhat masala powder recipe which is quite similar... and use that instead.


    Kamala, Thank you... me too - can never get enough of this.

  4. what a great idea to serve it as bite-sized in the vadam!

  5. mmm. looks so delicious. This is such a comfort food!

  6. I love the vadam as serving bowl :) Anytime, puliyodarai is my favo :) never get tired of the taste

  7. past 2 weeks on sunday, i prepare this rice...i luv it...i have somthing 4 u..collect it and enjoy

  8. ehmm..all varieties are my fav!..looks great

  9. delicious my fave one.. nice pic

  10. nakku ooruthu lavanya..looks so yummy with javvarisi vadam..

  11. Lavs,
    I simply luv Puliyodharai and I started missing my moms puliyodharai...will try urs sure

  12. it is such a fav during trips :) looks so yum, laav!

  13. i love the picture..puliyodarai in a vadam..hope I can grab a bite..

  14. Hi,

    It looks exactly like Kovil Puliodharai. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Adding Rasam Powder is very new to me. I will try this next time when I make.

  15. I've had it when I had been to Tamilnadu, and I looved looved looved it!! ;-)

  16. WOW laavanya, this is mouthwatering. Very nice recipe and will try soon!!!

  17. A very interesting recipe. I've learnt a lot from this post.

  18. Wow....seems to be nice and tangy! Looks great.

  19. Thank you Arundathi.

    Cham I totally agree.

    Suma, yes one doesn't tire off this easily.

    Thanks Srivalli & Vanamala.

    Thanks Lavanya - enakkum puliyodarai romba pidikkum. Vadaamudan romba nalla irundadhu.

    Thanks Ramya... do try it's very easy and no need to grind anything :)

    True Richa... :) so convenient.

    Thanks Sowmya.

    Menu Today, that is such a compliment coming from you. Hope you do get a chance to try.. let me know.

    Thanks JZ, Madhavi, Divya, Cynthia & Homecooked.

  20. I love puliyodharai... any time....

  21. love puliyodarai and the vadams..are making my moth water...gotta get them when i come from India...which btw do not know when i will go!!


  22. Hey Lavanya,

    I did not know you tried my pulioyogare recipe! it really feels good to know it turned out well for you!

    Thanks again!

  23. Hey Lavanya! Ur recipes look really yummy... I think in most of ur rice dishes u have added this Viji's SIMP, y dont u tell us how its made and post it on ur blog rather than telling the substitution....


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