Puliyodarai | Pulikachal | Tamarind Rice Paste


Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 – 45 mins | Make: 2 Cups of Paste

Puliyogare or Puliyodarai is a spicy, tangy and mildly sweet paste which is usually mixed with rice. I love puliyodarai to the extent I can literally gobble it up as such. This doesn’t get spoiled easily and can stay fresh for up to 2 – 3 days over the counter, for this reason this dish is usually prepared and packed for travels. In temples they used to serve or sell hot tamarind rice as prasad neatly packed in eco-friendly leaves called mandarai ellai or thonnai cups. The hot rice packed in mandarai ellai have a lovely flavor all together. The flavor from the leaves will also get infused to the rice and it tastes divine. As a child I remember having a pack of this rice whenever we visit any temples. Today I am sharing the recipe that my mom follows till date. Many a times I have seen her adding boiled chickpeas to it and I have personally not seen anyone adding it in Pulikachal and I love the taste of it. Let’s get in to the recipe. Hope you will like this recipe and if you have tried my recipe, do tell me how you liked it in the comment box below.


Boiled Channa / Chickpeas – 1/4 cup (Optional)

Coriander / Dhaniya powder – 1 tbsp (Optional)

Tamarind Paste – 2 tbsp

Brown Sugar or Jaggery – 1/4 cup (Optional)

Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs

Salt – as needed

Water – 1.5 to 2 cups

To Roast and Grind

Coriander Seeds / Dhaniya – 2 tbsp

Channa Dal – 2 tbsp

Urad Dal – 1 tbsp

Red Chilli – 4

Sesame Seeds – 2 tsp

Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp

To Temper

Oil – 4 tbsp (preferably Gingelly oil / Sesame oil)

Red Chilli – 2 or 3 broken

Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp

Channa Dal – 1 tbsp

Roasted Peanuts – 2 tbsp (Optional)

Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Asafoetida / Hing – 2tsp


  1. Dry roast the ingredients listed under “To roast and grind” until golden brown. Allow it to cool for some time and grind it into a slightly coarse powder.
  2. Add oil in a pan and heat it. Once hot add the ingredients listed under “To Temper” except peanuts and turmeric powder. Sauté until golden. Once done add the peanuts and turmeric powder and give it a quick stir.
  3. Take 2 tbsp of tamarind paste in a cup and add 2 cups of water to dilute it. Add the diluted tamarind to the pan and let it boil.
  4. Add brown sugar or jaggery at this stage and let it boil. If adding jaggery it should be melted completely.
  5. Add salt, boiled channa / chickpeas and the spice powder that we prepared at Step 1 and let the mixture boil and reduce to thick paste. Keep stirring every now and then to avoid the paste getting stuck at the bottom of the pan.
  6. Once done, add the coriander powder and give it a quick mix and switch of the flame. This step is totally optional. I have added extra coriander powder to enhance the flavor.
  7. Mix the paste to hot rice topped with generous amount of gingelly oil / sesame oil (Nallaennai) and fresh torn curry leaves. Serve it along with fryums / vadams and/or Aviyal.


  1. I have used homemade tamarind paste. The tamarind I used were very tangy and hence I have used 2 tbsp. If you are using store bought tamarind paste adjust the amount based on the tanginess of the tamarind. Alternatively you can use one big lemon size tamarind, soak it up in hot water for 15 to 20 mins (add this extra time to the cook time) to extract juice.
  2. Increase or decrease the amount of Red Chilli as per your spice tolerance.
  3. I have not added peanuts in this recipe as I did not have it handy. But peanuts add a crunch to it. You are free to skip both peanuts and chickpeas.
  4. I strongly recommend using only Gingelly oil for this recipe. It adds a lovely flavor to pulikachal.

If you like this recipe and tried it, leave a comment below to let me know how you liked it 🙂 Follow me on Instagram and Facebook


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