Tamarind Rice (Puliyotharai) Recipe

Tamarind Rice (Puliyotharai) Recipe

30 Mins
4-5 People
15 Mins



Hey there, it's Chef Ajay! Let me take you on a flavorful journey down south where the aroma of spices fills the air and every bite tells a story. Today, I want to share with you a personal experience tied to a dish close to my heart – Tamarind Rice, also known as Puliyotharai.


The first time I encountered this delightful dish was during a visit to a small village in South India. The fragrance of tangy tamarind mixed with the earthiness of rice instantly captivated my senses. It was a revelation, a culinary treasure waiting to be explored. Since then, I've been enamoured by its simplicity yet complexity, and I've made it my mission to perfect its recipe.



Recipe of Puliodarai (Tamarind Rice)


Portions Serving: 4-5 servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Calories per portion: 350 cal




For Dry Masala:

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Seeds)
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 3 tbsp Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya)
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 6 Bedgi Chillies
  • 6 Guntur Chillies
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds (Til)
  • 10-15 Curry Leaves

For Tadka (Tempering):

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds (Rai)
  • 4 Guntur Chillies
  • 4 tbsp Peanuts (Moongphali)
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 15-20 Curry Leaves

For Tamarind Paste:

  • 1/2 cup Tamarind Pulp
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt

For Final Assembly:

  • Prepared Dry Masala
  • Prepared Tadka
  • Prepared Tamarind Paste
  • 2 cups Cooked Rice





Preparing Dry Masala:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper, Bedgi chillies, Guntur chillies, sesame seeds, and curry leaves.
  3. Roast the spices on low heat until aromatic. Then, set aside to cool.
  4. Once cooled, grind the roasted spices into a fine powder. Keep it aside.

Making Tadka:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds, Guntur chillies, peanuts, chana dal, urad dal, asafoetida, and curry leaves.
  3. Roast until the dals turn golden brown and the peanuts are crunchy. Set aside.

Preparing Tamarind Paste:

  1. In a bowl, mix tamarind pulp, jaggery, and salt.
  2. Heat this mixture in a pan until it thickens slightly. Set aside.

Final Assembly:

  1. Take a large bowl of cooked rice and let it cool slightly.
  2. Add the prepared dry masala powder, tadka, and tamarind paste to the rice.
  3. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
  4. Puliodarai is now ready to be served!


  • Puliodarai tastes best when made with leftover rice.
  • Adjust the quantity of tamarind paste and spice level according to your taste preference.
  • Serve Puliodarai with a side of papad or fried crisps for a delightful meal!




About the Recipe


Tamarind Rice, also known as Puliyotharai, is a beloved dish across South India. Whether you find yourself in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, or Telangana, you're bound to encounter this flavorful rice dish. Its tangy and spicy flavors make it a favorite for festivals, temple offerings, or as a quick meal at home.



Cooking Tips


  • Ensure the tamarind paste is well balanced with sweetness and tanginess for the perfect flavor profile.
  • Roast the spices until they release their aroma to enhance their flavor.
  • Allow the rice to cool completely before mixing in the tamarind paste to prevent it from becoming mushy.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.



Pairing Guide


  • Tamarind Rice pairs exceptionally well with crunchy papadums or crisp fried vadas.
  • Serve it alongside a cooling cucumber raita or a tangy mango pickle for a balanced meal.
  • Enjoy it with a steaming cup of filter coffee or a refreshing glass of buttermilk for the ultimate South Indian culinary experience.




Frequently Asked Questions about Tamarind Rice (Puliyotharai)


  1. Can I use store-bought tamarind paste for this recipe?

    • Yes, you can use store-bought tamarind paste, but adjust the quantity according to its concentration.
  2. Is Tamarind Rice spicy?

    • It has a balanced blend of tangy and spicy flavors, but you can adjust the spice level according to your preference.
  3. Can I make Tamarind Rice in advance?

    • Yes, you can prepare Tamarind Rice in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a quick meal later.
  4. What type of rice is best for Tamarind Rice?

    • Traditionally, short-grain rice like Sona Masuri or Ponni Rice is used for Tamarind Rice.
  5. Can I make Tamarind Rice without peanuts?

    • Yes, you can omit peanuts if you have allergies or prefer not to use them.
  6. How long does Tamarind Rice stay fresh?

    • Tamarind Rice stays fresh for up to two days when stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  7. Can I freeze Tamarind Rice?

    • It's not recommended to freeze Tamarind Rice as it may alter the texture and flavor.
  8. Is Tamarind Rice vegan?

    • Yes, Tamarind Rice is vegan-friendly as it contains no animal products.
  9. What is the origin of Tamarind Rice?

    • Tamarind Rice has its roots in South Indian cuisine and has been enjoyed for centuries as a flavorful and convenient meal.
  10. Can I add vegetables to Tamarind Rice?

    • Yes, you can add vegetables like carrots, peas, or beans to Tamarind Rice to enhance its nutritional value and texture.