Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Pulikachal - Puli Sadam - Tamarind Rice - Puliyodarai

Pulikachal is a tamarind based sauce and is used to make a rice variety called Puli Sadam (or Tamarind Rice). It can be used as an awesome spread for Sandwiches too. Its quite popular in South India. It keeps well for a long time. So you can make the sauce ahead of time and keep in fridge. Just make sure you use a clean and dry spoon to take it out.

My best memories of Puli Sadam is from my childhood. When we did train journeys (2 days worth of it) to get to my grand parent's house, my mom used to pack food for us. Poori Masala was usually for day 1. Day 2 usually was puli sadam and Idli with molaga podi. And loads of snacks packed from home. Not to forget the coffee/tea from the train. Though just mediocre, we used to love buying them with some snacks from different states we used to pass by. One of the nights, my dad would buy us Railway Meals as well. Again, it was not great tasting, but we used to look forward to it!

This post is for my friends M and N who love Puli Sadam. We used to take some rice variety while going hiking. And after a long hike, picnic was fun. Miss you guys!

My MIL makes really awesome Pulikachal. She packs a jar for us whenever we visit. It lasts in the fridge for us for upto a month.. A real treat.

The Red Chilli and Puli (tamarind) you use for this recipe is very much dependant on the type you get. Most recipes call for 10-15 red chillies. But mine was super hot chilles and the 2-3 that I used made my rice nice and spicy. So it is about making it and experimenting with the quantity based on your chilli. I would recommend starting low and upping it if needed.


Mustard 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Channa Dal 1 tsp
Hing/Asafetoda 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilli 1
Curry leaves few
Tamarind Paste 1.5 tbsp
Peanuts 1/4 cup
Sesame Oil (or any oil) 2-3 tbsp
Salt a little

To Dry Roast
Channa Dal 2 tbsp
Coriander Seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chilli 2 (usually ppl add upto 10 chillies here. But mine are super spicy and this itself make the sauce very spicy)

Method of Preparation

1. Heat a pan and add the channa dal. Dry roast till it browns a little. Remove and keep aside.

2. Add the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and broken dry red chilli. Roast till sizzles a little and add to the dal.

3. Powder them and keep ready. Mix the tamarind paste with 2 cups of water and keep ready.

4. In the same pan, add Sesame Oil (or any oil). Add the mustard.

5. When the mustard sputters, add the channa dal and urad dal.

6. Add Hing, Dry Red Chilli and Curry leaves.

7. Add the Tamarind Water. Bring it to a boil.

8. Add the powdered spices and give it a mix. Add the peanuts as well.

9. Cook till the mix thickens and forms a paste.

10. You can mix required quantity of the mix with rice and eat.

I was able to make Puli Sadam with 3 cups of rice using the above mix.


  1. very flavourful and delicious rice preparation..want to try it soon!

  2. i also used to store in fridge and use them ,bec it is my favourite rice.

  3. one of my fav, luv your version..really inviting pics there it!

  4. Love love love this rice very much, my most favourite rice.

  5. Delicious and flavorful rice, can have anytime.

  6. Nice of my favourite lunch during school days...

  7. Puliyodare, anytime. The best is when it's made from scratch, looks good.

  8. Replies
    1. laksmi priya, the number of chillies you use heavily depends on your chilli. when MIL makes in India, she uses upto 10 for roasting. WHen we make here, just 2 makes it super spicy. I would suggest starting very low and if it is not spicy enough, you can always add roasted powdered chilli later as well. once you know your ratio, follow that