Kovil Puliyodharai
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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
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
Author Vidya Narayan



  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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


  • 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.