This is again one of the celebrated recipes of my mom. This recipe is a typical Iyengar style pulikkaichal which is mixed with cooked rice which is called puliodharai. We prepare this during the month of Aadi (mid August) for aadi perukku and also for kanu pongal (next day of Pongal festival). Check out quick Puliodharai powder recipe which follows the traditional pulikaichal recipe below.


Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins

Key Ingredients

Sesame seeds 2 tsp
Fenugreek 1 1/2 tsp
Dried Turmeric (verali manjal) 1 piece
Red chillies  15-20 Nos. (Adjust according to your taste)
Tamarind (half old + half new together) 1 small rubber ball sized or just about your handful – soak it in warm water and extract the pulp
Salt to taste

For tempering
Sesame oil/ Til oil 5-7 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Hing 2 tsp
Red chilies 4-5 nos.
Curry leaves a handful
Dry Roasted groundnuts 50 gm
Bengal gram 1 tbsp
Urad dal 1 tbsp

1. Heat a skillet well, add sesame seeds, once it crackles, set aside in a dry bowl
2. In the same skillet, dry roast fenugreek and Turmeric till it turns dark brown (but not burnt dark brown!)
3. Once the above dry roasted ingredients cools down to room temperature, grind and keep aside
4. In the same way dry roast the red chillies (set aside 4-5 nos for tempering) grind it separately and keep it aside
5. Now in a thick bottomed tawa, heat sesame oil, add mustard seeds, hing, bengal gram, urad dal and groundnuts.
6. When it the dal turns golden brown add the curry leaves and fry it for 10-15 secs
7. Now add the tamarind pulp and then the dhaniya-fenugreek-turmeric powder and the red chili powder that you had prepared earlier
8. Add salt and Add few tbsp of til oil if you feel the mixture is getting dry.

9. Let the mixture be on medium flame, stir for every 5 mins as it may get burnt.
10. When the mixture starts leaving oil, you can switch off the stove
11. When the mixture cools down to room temperature, transfer it to a dry container. This can be stored for about a month.



For making Puliodharai or Tamarind Rice
Mix the prepared pulikaichal to boiled rice, add salt and little sesame oil if requried. Add 2-3 fresh curry leaves for enhanced flavor.

Puliodharai powder recipe
If you want to quicken the process, check out puliodharai powder recipe below. This is very easy when compared to the elaborate process of preparing the traditional pulikaichal. You can use this quick recipe to get rid of your left over rice too!


Key Ingredients
Pretty same as the traditional one, expect for tamarind which is much lesser in this. Then we have to add a little pepper for this one.

Dhaniya seeds 2 tbsp
Til 2 tsp
Fenugreek 1 1/2 tsp
Tamarind 1 small gooseberry size (include half old and half new tamarind)
Red Chilies 10-12 nos.
Turmeric 1 small piece

For tempering
Til oil 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Roasted Groundnuts a handful
Urad dal 1 tsp
Bengal gram 1 tsp
Curry leaves a handful
Fenugreek 1/2 tsp
Hing 1 tsp


1. Heat a skillet, add til, wait till it crackles, set aside
2. Dry roast fenugreek, dhaniya and turmeric, set aside
3. Dry roast red chilies and pepper pods and set aside
4. Heat a little oil, roast the tamarind
5. Grind all the above roasted ingredients and make it a coarse powder
6. Mix the above with boiled rice.
6. In a tawa heat oil, add mustard seeds and hing. Then add, groundnuts, urad dal, bengal gram, fenugreek and when it turns light brown add curry leaves.
7. Add the tempering with the mixed rice.

Serve with fried appalam or vadam.

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