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5 from 1 vote


A recipe for the best Puliyodharai made in Amma's kitchen.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main
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
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder


  • 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 ½ 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.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy!