Kovil Puliyodharai / Temple Style Tamarind Rice

Kovil Puliyodharai is South Indian Temple Style Tamarind Rice. Easy step by Step pics to make Puliyodharai at home for festivals like Aadi 18, Navratri, Pongal

Kovil Puliyodharai / Temple Style Tamarind Rice

The recipe I blog today is every South Indian’s favourite Rice Dish. A Temple Prasadam Recipe, called Kovil Puliyodharai. It is also well known as Temple Style Tamarind Rice or Iyengar Style Tamarind Rice.

Puliyodharai is distributed as prasadam specially in Perumal (Vishnu)Temples. Other temples that are known for their delicious Puliyodharai are Tirumala, SriRangam, some temples in Thanjavur and Sri Krishna Mutt, Udipi.

Kovil Puliyodharai served on banana leaf

It’s unique taste and aroma makes Kovil Puliyodhare, a most sought after recipe to be tried at home.

Kovil Puliyodharai or Tamarind Rice is made at home for several functions, festivals or religious occasions. It is made for Aadi 18 or Pathinettam Perukku, Kaanum Pongal and Navratri.

Some Other Popular Temple Prasadams that you can easily make at home are Lemon Rice, Curd Rice, Pal Payasam, Coconut Rice and Ellu Sadam. .

About Puliyodharai

  • Made with a spicy and tangy Tamarind paste called pulikachal, Puliyodharai is a rice dish from the South Indian Cuisine.
  • “Puli” in South, translates as sour or tart in English.
  • The tamarind paste is mixed with warm rice, oodles of gingelly oil (sesame oil or nalla ennai).
  • In Kannada, it is known as “Puliyogare and in Andhra as “Pulihora”.
  • Puliyodharai is an excellent Travel Food option.
  • The Pulikachal (Tamarind Paste) has a long shelf life, making it ideal to carry for long distance travel.
Spicy Tangy Delicious South Indian Temple Style Tamarind Rice

What is Unique about Kovil Puliyodharai or Temple Style Tamarind Rice?

  • Kovil Puliyodharai is an Iyengar Style Tamarind Rice Recipe.
  • It involves – Pulikachal (Spicy tamarind paste) + A spiced powder + Gingelly oil and Steamed Rice
  • Iyer Style Tamarind Rice is made with pulikachal mixed with rice and sesame oil.
Kovil Puliyodharai Recipe

Having said that, one cannot replicate the taste of the divine blessings received in the form of “prasad”. It nourishes both the mind and the body!

I learnt how to make Kovil Puliyodharai from Manikandan Mama. Mama hails from Mysore, is an Iyengar and a cook by profession. My MIL conducted many pooja’s and religious functions at home. She could cater to a large crowd with Mama’s help.

Step 1 – To Make Pulikachal

  • Soak a Large Lemon Size Tamarind Ball in 3/4 cup hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Squeeze and collect the thick extract (around 1.5 cups) and keep aside.
  • Soak Groundnuts in water for 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan, add 1/2 cup sesame oil (more oil is used for long shelf life).
  • Add mustard seeds, chana dal and whole red chillies. Let the mustard crackle, add the thick tamarind extract along with soaked groundnuts.
  • Now add turmeric powder, hing or asafoetida and red chilli powder.
  • Mix well and allow it to simmer on low flame until it thickens. There should be no raw smell of the tamarind.
  • Add jaggery, salt to taste and mix well. Allow the thick paste to cool slightly.

Note –

  • I have used a dark variety of Tamarind and Organic Jaggery.
  • The colour of the pulikachal largely depends on the tamarind variety used.
  • Taste and add jaggery according to the sourness of your tamarind.
  • Jaggery is added to reduce the extreme sourness of tamarind so do not skip.

Step 2 – Prepare the Puliyodharai Podi

  • Heat a pan, dry roast coriander seeds and keep aside.
  • Now dry roast chana dal and sesame seeds separately and keep aside.
  • Add a drop of oil and saute the whole red chillies.
  • Allow this to cool completely and then grind it to a slightly coarse powder.

Step 3 – Mixing the Pulikachal with the Puliyodharai podi

  • Add the podi when the tamarind mixture is thickening.
  • Ensure you retain couple of tbsps of the podi to add / mix with the rice later. It is a trick I follow that elevates the taste.
  • Remove the tamarind mix from heat (it would have thickened with the sourness reduced to a great extent) and allow it to cool completely.

Step 3 – Making Kovil Puliyodharai

  • In a bowl, add one cup cooked rice, 1 heaped tbsp of the Puliyodharai paste, 2 tsps of gingelly oil or sesame oil, some salt to taste and a tsp of the puliyodharai podi.
  • Mix with your hands (no spoon please) and serve immediately.

Serving suggestions with Kovil Puliyodharai / Side dish / Accompaniments

  • Traditionally it is served with a side of chips, papadam or vadam. No Vegetables or Sambar is served with Tamarind Rice.
  • However, my husband prefers Tamarind Rice with a side of Potato Roast and Curd.
Kovil Puliyodharai

Kovil Puliyodharai / Temple Style Tamarind Rice

Kovil Puliyodharai is South Indian Temple Style Tamarind Rice. Easy step by Step pics to make Puliyodharai at home for festivals like Aadi 18, Navratri, Pongal
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Aadi Perukku Recipe, kalavai sadam, Kovil Puliyodharai, Navratri recipes, Puliyogare Recipe, South Indian Temple Style Tamarind Rice, Tamarind Rice Recipe, Variety Rice
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 no Large Lemon Size Tamarind Ball
  • 3/4 cup Hot Water for soaking tamarind
  • 1/2 cup Sesame Oil 1 cup is 250 ml measurement
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 2 tbsp Groundnuts (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Hing or Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 3-4 nos. Whole Red Chillies
  • 2 tsp Jaggery
  • INGREDIENTS TO MAKE PULIYODHARAI PODI
  • 5 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 5-6 nos. Whole Red Chillies I have used Beydgi Chilies
  • 1/2 tsp Oil for Roasting the chillies.
  • INGREDIENTS FOR PULIYODHARAI OR TAMARIND RICE
  • 1 cup Cooked Rice Short Grain Rice (I have used Ponni Raw Rice)
  • 1 tbsp Puliyodharai Mix (Paste)
  • 1/2 tsp Puliyodharai Podi mix (optional but recommended for best results)
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • salt to taste
  • Curry leaves + extra groundnuts as required

Instructions

  • Step 1 – To Make Pulikachal or Spicy Tamarind Paste
  • Soak a Large Lemon Size Tamarind Ball in 3/4 cup hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Squeeze and collect the thick extract (around 1.5 cups) and keep aside.
  • Soak Groundnuts in water for 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan, add 1/2 cup sesame oil (more oil is used for long shelf life).
  • Add mustard seeds, chana dal and whole red chillies. Let the mustard crackle, add the thick tamarind extract along with soaked groundnuts.
  • Now add turmeric powder, hing or asafoetida and red chilli powder
  • Mix well and allow it to simmer on low flame until it thickens. There should be no raw raw smell of the tamarind.
  • Add jaggery, salt to taste and mix well. Allow the thick paste to cool slightly
  • Step 2 – Prepare the Puliyodharai Podi
  • Heat a pan, dry roast coriander seeds and keep aside.
  • Now dry roast chana dal and sesame seeds separately and keep aside.
  • Add a drop of oil and saute the whole red chillies.
  • Allow this to cool completely and then grind it to a slightly coarse powder.
  • Step 3 – Mixing the Pulikachal with the Puliyodharai podi
  • Add the podi when the tamarind mixture is thickening.
  • Ensure you retain couple of tbsps of the podi to add / mix with the rice later. It is a trick I follow that elevates the taste.
  • Remove the tamarind mix from heat (it would have thickened with the sourness reduced to a great extent) and allow it to cool completely.
  • Step 3 – Making Kovil Puliyodhare
  • In a bowl, add one cup cooked rice, 1 heaped tblsp of the Puliyodharai paste, 2 tsps of gingelly oil or sesame oil, some salt to taste and a tsp of the puliyodharai podi.
  • Mix with your hands (no spoon please) and serve immediately.

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Vidya Narayan

Views: 3565

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I just love it and when they are given as prasadam outside the temple, i just relish it to my heart’s content

    1. Same here! Divine blessings and taste both. Thank you.

  2. Loved the recipe ! Making it now and the kitchen is filled with aromas of all the puli and spices.. Love your write up and photos !! Keep posting more recipes pls. Your passion is so evident

    1. Means a lot Sweta and thank you for the encouragement. Glad you loved the recipe! Cheers, keep visiting us for many more such recipes!

  3. 5 stars
    Beautiful post.. loved how nicely you showed all details. I love this puliyogare … Super tangy and yummy.

    1. Thank you Ruchi. A batch of this in fridge saves time on busy days.

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