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Tamarind Rice

Tangy and spicy South Indian rice dish prepared by mixing special tamarind sauce, spice mix, and cooked rice.

PREP TIME: 60 Minutes


For Cooking Rice

  • 1.5 cup Jashn basmati rice
  • 2.5 to 3.5 cups water
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt as per taste
For Spice Powder
  • 5-6 dry red chillies
  • 1.5 tsp chana dal (split and husked bengal gram)
  • 1.5 tsp urad dal (split and husked black gram)
  • 0.5 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • 2.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 0.5 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3-4 pieces of whole black pepper
  • 0.5 tsp asafoetida
  • Tamarind Pulp
  • ⅓ cup tamarind (broken into loose pieces)
  • 2.5 cups hot water for tamarind pulp
  • For Tempering & Other Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 0.5 cup peanuts
  • 1.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1.5 tsp chana dal (split and husked bengal gram)
  • 1.5 tsp urad dal (split and husked black gram)
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3- 4 dry red chillies
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 2.5 tsp jaggery powder
  • Salt as per taste

For Cooking Rice

  1. Rinse 1 cup Jashn basmati rice well until water runs clear.
  2. Add the rice in a pressure cooker, sprinkle salt as required.
  3. Then add 2.5 cups water or as desired based on the rice quality.
  4. Pressure cook for about 3 to 4 whistles or 10 to 12 minutes to ensure the rice is well-cooked. But do not overcook.
  5. Let the pressure settle down, remove the lid, and fluff the rice.
  6. Transfer the cooked rice in a large bowl or plate. Allow it to cool.
  7. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tbsp sesame oil to the rice. Mix well and keep aside. Be gentle while mixing to avoid breakage. If you find any lumps, then break them.
  8. Preparing Tamarind Pulp
  9. Pour 1/3 cup tamarind in a bowl and add 2 cups of hot water.
  10. Soak the tamarind for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  11. Then squeeze the soaked tamarind to extract the pulp. Strain it and remove the seeds if there are any. Keep the pulp aside.

Preparing Spice Mix (Puliyodharai Masala)

  1. Take a pan and keep it on a low flame.
  2. Add all the whole spices (except asafoetida) listed under 'spice powder.’
  3. Stir them often and roast on a low flame.
  4. Keep roasting till chana dal and urad dal become golden and the spices become aromatic.
  5. Once done, switch off the flame and add asafoetida.
  6. Mix well and let the spices cool.
  7. Add the roasted spices grinder. Break the red chilies into pieces and add them too.
  8. Grind all these spices to a fine powder. Keep aside.

Making Pulikachal (Tamarind Rice Mix)

  1. In a pan, heat 3 tbsp sesame oil. Add mustard seeds, peanuts, urad dal, and chana dal.
  2. Saute on low heat until the lentils turn golden. By this time the peanuts will also turn golden brown.
  3. Once the lentils and peanuts are done, add turmeric powder, dry red chillies, curry leaves, and a pinch of asafetida, Mix well. At this point, you can also switch off the flame if required.
  4. Now add the strained tamarind pulp to the tempering mixture. Mix well.
  5. Add salt and jaggery powder as required. Stir and mix well. Simmer the flame.
  6. Let the tamarind mixture come to a boil. Keep cooking until the mixture thickens and you see a layer of oil floating on top.
  7. Add the ground spice powder and mix well.
  8. Continue to cook the pulikachal on a low flame for a few more minutes until it becomes like a thick tamarind sauce.
  9. Switch off the flame and keep the pan down.

Making Tamarind Rice

  1. Add the pulikachal or tamarind rice mix to the rice. Mix well but gently.
  2. Tamarind rice dish is ready! Serve right away with fried vadagams or papads. You can also wait for some more minutes letting the flavors to and then serve.