Puliodarai (known across the nation more popularly as Tamarind rice) is a must in temples, as travel food, in weddings and other social events.
Pulikachal the sauce that forms the base for this rice is a bit laborious ans has to be prepared with planning . Fresh pulikachal certainly has its aroma and place but often for those in a hurry who need it as a fast food alternative an instant mix with all the merits of pulikachal is a boon. Commercially available mix of various brands are there in the market but home-made mix has its place and retains all the flavors and taste of the moist sauce. This mix can come handy at anytime when in a hurry and can be stored for at least a month at room temperature if no coconut is added as in Karnataka style.
Tamarind small ball about the size of a lemon
Dry red chilies 10 (preferbly the long variety)
Peppercorns 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek ½ tsp
Coriander seeds 2 tbsp
Sesame 1½ or 2 tbsp
Chana dal 1 tbsp
Urad dal 1 tbsp
Jaggery shavings 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt 1 tbsp
Oil 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Peanuts 2 tbsp
Asafotida ½ tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
- Dry roast the sesame seeds in a wok till it starts spluttering and transfer to a plate to cool it.
- Add a drop or two of oil in the same wok and roast the chilies on low flame till the aroma surfaces.
- Transfer to a plate to cool and add the fenugreek seeds to the wok and roast for a minute on low flame. Add the peppercorns to the wok followed by cumin seeds and when you start getting the aroma of pepper add the lentils and roast till it starts turning golden in color. Transfer to a plate and in the same wok roast the coriander seeds just enough to get the dry look and releases aroma; transfer to the mix in the plate.
- Now is the turn for tamarind to get a complete dry condition by flipping it in the wok for a minute or two. Add it to the chili plate and cool.
- Blitz the chili and tamarind to get a coarse powder as they take longer to get powdered. Add the remaining roasted ingredients, salt, and turmeric powder and powder to fine state. Add jaggery shavings and run the blender for a few seconds.
This powder can be stored for a few weeks in an airtight container and used when needed.
- For those who prefer to add the tempering to the mix before storing heat the oil in a wok and let the mustard seeds splutter. Add the peanuts, asafotida ad salt and roast till the peanuts are done and crunchy. Add the tempering to the mix and and mix well.
Puliodarai mix is ready for use. To make puliodarai refer to Melakotai puliodarai given in the blog.
Puliyodarai made with the mix has a flavor its own and close to the Melkottai puliyodarai
- In case you want get the Karanatka flavor roast a tablespoon of coconut grate or desiccated coconut till crisp and blitz along with jaggery. However, do remember to store in the refrigerator as coconut does not have long shelf-life.
Red chillies 100 g
White sesame seeds 100 g
Urad dal 200 g (1½ cups)
Chana dal 100 g (¾ cup)
Tamarind 4 to 5 scales (areca-sized ball)
Salt 2 tbsp
Sugar 2 tsp
- Roast sesame in a pan on low flame till it starts turning brown. Transfer to a plat e and let it cool.
- Add a few drops of oil to the pan and roast the chillies on low flame till the chilli starts swelling up and aroma wafts along. Cool the chillies to room temperature in a plate. Roast the tamarind scale in the pan and add to chillies.
- Add the two dals to the pan and roast them dry till the color starts changing and add the rock salt/table salt and let it get dry. Cool it to room temperature.
- When all ingredients have cooled to room temperature, blitz sesame to a fine powder and transfer to a plate. Transfer the chillies and tamarind to the blender and blitz it to powder. As the chilli may still be in a flaky form add half the dal and powder finely. Transfer to the plate with sesame.
- Transfer the remaining dal to the blender, add sugar and grind to a coarse powder. Transfer to the remaining mix and mix well. Store in air tight bottles
Makes two bottles of podi.
Chef’s Note: If you like asfotida flavor in podi, roast ¼ tsp asafotida powder along with dal.
White sesame 2 tbsp
Dry red chillies 15 (40 g)
Coriander seeds 1 handful (½ cup)
Cumin seeds ½ handful (¼ cup)
Pepper corns 1 tbsp
Tamarind 3 or 4 scales
This powder comes very handy to make roasted vegetables like potato, colacasia (arbi), sweet potato, or raw banana.
Roast the sesame seeds in a pan on low flame till it changes color and starts spluttering. Keep it aside for cooling.
Add a drop of oil and roast the chillies only till the color starts changing but do not let it turn black.
Roast the remaining ingredients on a low flame till aroma starts and ensure it is not overdone.
Powder the sesame seeds and transfer to a bowl.
Powder the cooled chillies till coarse and add the remaining ingredints and powder well to get a fine powder.
Transfer to the powder sesame in the bowl and mix well.
Store in a dry container and can be used for at least a month.
Rice 2 cups
Onion 2 (medium-sized)
Eggplant 2 cups (diced)
Sesame 2 tbsp
Mustard seed or cumin seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Cinnamon 2″ piece
Dried red chillies 5
Pepper corns 10
Coriander seeds 1½ tbsp
Chana dal 2 tbsp
Urad dal 1 tbsp
Desiccated coconut or grated coconut 4 tbsp
Curry leaves 5 sprigs
Tamarind 4 to 5 scales
Ghee 1 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Salt 1¼ tsp (heapful) or 2 level tsp
Take the rice in a bowl, rinse well, add a spoon of oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3 cups of water. Cook the rice till done. Do not open the cooker for at least 10 minutes. Then transfer the rice to a big platter or a wide bowl and let it cool.
While the rice is cooking dry roast the sesame and keep aside. Powder the sesame after it cools.
Add a few drops of ghee to the hot pan and roast cinnamon and clove. Transfer to a plate; add a few drops of oil and roast red chillies, and in the same pan roast the pepper corns and dhania seeds. Transfer to t he plate and roast the dal till it changes color. Let all the ingredients cool. Transfer all the ingredients to the blender and add coconut, tamarind and curry leaves too. Powder them finely and keep it ready.
Heat oil in a frying pan and temper with mustard seeds or cumin seeds. When it starts spluttering add the onions and saute well. When the color starts changing add the turmeric powder and mix well. Add the diced eggplant, salt and cook on a low flame after covering with a lid. Switch off the flame when the vegetable is cooked and add the condiments powder and also the sesame powder and mix well.
Transfer the mix to the cooled rice and mix well.
Chef’s note: If you want a variation and more color to the rice, use 2 medium-sized tomatoes in place of tamarind. Add the finely cut tomatoes to the sauteed onions and when cooked add the eggplant and proceed as directed.