Melkottai Puliyodarai


The simple mention of puliyodarai is enough start salivating and the Iyengar puliyodarai sends one spinning to the world of koil  prasadam. Melkotai in Karnataka is very famous for puliyodarai and the pulikachal (concentrate ) has a very long shelf life and stays good and aromatic for many weeks.Every street in that place sells the rice and pulikachal in pushcarts all over the place and is a sight to be seen. The mix is like a thick paste soaked in oil and the secret is I guess in the dry ingredients that go into the mix. The instant mix I have posted is based on this principle and the rice is certainly worth the expectation.


Puliyodarai mix  3 tbsp

Cooking oil 2 to 3 tbsp

Raw rice 1 cup

Asafotida ½ tsp

Salt  ¼ tsp

Skinned peanuts 2 tbsp

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs


  • Wash the rice with enough water and after draining water add two cups of water, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil. Cook the rice for three whistles. After the rice cools down fluff it up with a fork to get grainy texture. Transfer the rice to a platter.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds to the hot oil. AS it starts spluttering, add the peanuts and let it remain on low flame for a couple of minutes . Add asafotida and curry leaves and a minute later add the powder mix and switch off the flame.

  • Mix well to get a thick paste and  transfer  the paste to the rice in the platter. Mix gently making sure that rice does not break the rice grains.


Serve with appalam or vadam.

Chef’s note

  • In case you have added the tempering to the mix already,  add the mix in hot oil and mix with rice.

Bell Pepper Bhath (2 Servings)

Bell pepper bhath



Green bell pepper  2 (medium-sized)

Rice   1 cup

Salt 1 tsp

Oil   1 tbsp

Ghee  1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Lemon juice 1 tbsp

Peanuts   2 tbsp

For Masala

Coriander seeds  1tbsp

Dry Red chilies   3

Peppercorn   ¼ tsp (about 10)

Cumin seeds ½ tsp

Chana dal 1 tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Coconut   2 tbsp

Cinnamon 1″ piece


  • Wash the rice well in water, add ½ tsp oil, half the salt and cook in 2 cups of water in pressure cooker.
  • Spread the cooked rice on a plate and let it cool so that the grains separate.
  • While the rice is getting cooked, roast the peanuts and powder it coarsely and keep aside.
  • On a low flame roast all the masala ingredients in the following order: Cinnamon, red chillies, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dals and finally coconut.  when the mix cools blitz it to a fine powder in a blender.
  • Dice the bell pepper into julienne. Heat the remaining oil in a wok and let the mustard seeds splutter. Add capsicum and saute on a low flame till cooked. Add salt, mix and transfer the rice, powdered masala, powdered peanuts and mix gently . Add hot ghee and mix to get a grainy texture.
  • Remove from flame and add lemon juice and mix well.

Chef’s Note: It is optional to add onions in case you like onion-capsicum combo. Saute the onions and the add bell pepper.

If u prefer tamarind to lemon juice (I prefer lemon in this dish) Add tamarind scales to masala mix and powder

Sabudana Upuma

(4 Servings)

Cooking Time : 10 to 15 minutes


Sago (sabudana) 2 cups

Shelled peas 1/2 cup

Onion 1 (big) 0r 2 medium -sized (finely cut) [optional]

Peanuts 1/4 cup

Potato 1 Big (boiled and diced into cubes)

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Green chilies 2 (slit into 1″ pieces)

Salt to taste

Chilli powder 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Sugar 1/2 tsp

Salt  1 tsp

Lime juice 1 teaspoon

Oil 2  tablespoons

Fresh coconut , scraped 3 tbsp

Curry leaves  3 sprigs

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped 2 tbsp


Wash sabudana 2 to 3 times to remove all fragments and soak in ¼ cup water for 3 to 4 hours. Sabudana grains should be separate,  moist and spongy. Otherwise leave the washed sabudana on a perforated plate and place the perforated plate over a bowl of water so there is moisture percolating continuously to keep the sabudana moist. Cover the perforated dish/bowl covered with a lid and leave it overnight.

Roast peanuts and powder them coarsely. , and lemon juice to the ground nuts and mix well.

Heat oil, add cumin seeds, and when they splutter add onions and saute well till the color changes. Add chopped green chillis, curry leaves,  salt, sugar, turmeric powder, chilli powder, shelled peas  and potatoes  cubes. After 3 to 4 minutes add sabudana and mix well. Keep  covered and on simmer for 5 to 10 minutes till sabudana is cooked. Sabudana will change colour once it is cooked. Add powdered peanuts, mix well, remove from fire and add grated coconut and lime juice. Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves.

Chef’s Note: It is preferable to use bigger pearls of sago. This dish being a upavas dish normally  does not use onion. But if you like onion flavor you can use it.

Lemon Rice (4 Servings)

3 cups cooked rice

Juice from 3 large lemons (Indian size–US size…11/2 will do)

1/2  cup shelled peas

1/3 cup peanuts (optional if peas are added)

1 tsp mustard seeds

3 or 4 slit green chilies

1 tbsp chana dal

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp powdered methi (fenugreek) seeds

1/4 tsp asafotida

3 Sprigs curry leaves

1 tsp grated ginger

2 tsp finely cut coriander leaves

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil

Cook one cup of raw rice in 2 or 21/2 cups of water to get rice as separated grains. Spread the rice on a platter to cool down. For better separation, add a spoon of oil to water when cooking the rice.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds.  As they splutter, add the methi powder and chana dal. When the dal starts changing color, add the chilies, ginger, and turmeric powder along with asafotida. Add the peas or peanuts and stir well. Add salt and remove from fire.

Add the curry leaves and add the mix to the cooled rice.

Pour the lemon juice to the rice and mix all ingredients well. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Cookin tip: In case you feel like a variation you cook add finely cut capsicum in place of chilies and saute well. in this case add black pepper powder or chili powder for spice. Finely cut carrot added when sauteing adds to the taste ans color.

Thengai Sadam (4 servings)

Looks yummy

1 cup grated coconut

3 cups cooked rice

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp urad dal

Salt to taste ( 1 tsp)

1/4 tsp sugar

3 green chilies (slit)

1 red chili

3 sprigs curry leaves

2 tsp veg. oil

2 tsp coconut oil

1/3 cup roasted peanuts

Pressure cook 1 cup raw rice in 2 or 21/2 cups water so the grains remain  separate.

Spread the rice on a platter to cool and separate out.

In a frying pan, heat the oil and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Simmer t he flame and add the urad dal. As it changes color, add the slit chilies (both green and red) and peanuts. When slightly done, add the coconut and fry a little till the aroma whiffs through. Add the salt and sugar and also the curry leaves. Switch off the flame and let the mix cool a bit.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil and when the oil give the fragrance add to t he rice. Add the cooled mix also and mix well.

Cooking tip: If you have a little extra time and you want the rice to get the taste of the dal too, you can dry roast t he urad dal along with the red chili and curry leaves and powder ti and add to the rice. In that case, you can use chana dal for tempering in place of urad dal.