A recipe for the best Puliyodharai made in Amma's kitchen.
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamil
- For the tamarind sauce (pulikkachal)
- 1 large lime-size ball of tamarind , soaked in about 4 cups of water. When the tamarind softens, crush it with your fingers to extract all the juice, and discard the solids.
- 2 red chilies
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp chana dal (bengal gram)
- 1 tbsp udad dal (black gram)
- 2 tbsp peanuts
- 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
- A generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
MAKE THE PULIKKACHAL:
Dry-roast the fenugreek seeds until they darken slightly to a reddish hue.
In a tiny bit of oil, fry the red chilies. Remove, and use a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
In a spice grinder, powder the fenugreek and chilies along with about 1/2 tsp of salt. Set aside.
Heat remaining oil and add the mustard, asafetida, chilies, chana dal and udad dal. Fry for a minute, then add the peanuts.
Once the peanuts start browning, add the tamarind sauce, the chili-fenugreek powder, and check seasoning. Add more salt if needed.
Let the tamarind sauce reduce on a low flame until it has thickened to a consistency almost like that of molasses (it'll even look a little like molasses with the dals and peanuts suspended in it, but won't be as sticky)
This sauce will store for weeks if kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
TO PUT TOGETHER THE PULIYODHARAI:
Two cups boiled white rice (I used basmati because I love the taste and the fact that the grains do not mush easily, making for a pretty presentation)
Three tbsp of the tamarind sauce or pulikkachal
One tsp canola oil
One tsp mustard seeds
Two tbsp peanuts
One sprig curry leaves
Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When the crackle, add the curry leaves and peanuts and fry until the peanuts turn pale brown.
Add the peanuts, mustard and curry leaves to the rice along with the tamarind sauce. Mix thoroughly. Add more tamarind sauce if you need.