Puliyodharai | Puli Sadam

Puliyodharai, or Puli Sadam

Puliyodharai, affectionately known as Puli Sadam, is a beloved South Indian delicacy celebrated for its tantalizing blend of tangy and spicy flavors. Hailing from the southern states of India, particularly Tamil Nadu, this dish is a quintessential part of traditional cuisine and a go-to choice for festive occasions and temple offerings.

The heart of Puliyodharai is the pulikachal, a rich and aromatic paste made from tamarind, jaggery, and a symphony of spices like mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves. This paste is cooked to perfection, resulting in a thick, luscious mixture that is mixed with steamed rice.

The beauty of Puliyodharai lies in its versatility. It’s not just rice; it’s a canvas for flavors and textures. Many variations and accompaniments complement this dish, such as fried papads, roasted chickpeas, and crunchy peanuts.

Puliyodharai is not just a meal; it’s a sensory experience that tantalizes taste buds with its tangy, sweet, and spicy notes. It’s a culinary journey that transports you to the vibrant streets of South India, where each bite tells a story of tradition, culture, and a love for authentic flavors. Whether enjoyed at home or in temples, Puliyodharai is a cherished treasure of South Indian gastronomy.

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Puliyodharai | Puli Sadam

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 25 min Total Time 35 mins
Servings: 20
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Puliyodharai, or Puli Sadam, is a mouthwatering South Indian dish that combines the tanginess of tamarind with a medley of spices. It's a beloved delicacy enjoyed for its rich flavors and cultural significance, making it a staple in South Indian cuisine.



Off On

  1. Prepare the Tamarind Paste: Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup of hot water for about 15-20 minutes.

    Squeeze the tamarind to extract its pulp, and then strain it to remove any fibers and seeds. Set aside the tamarind paste.

  2. Prepare the Spice Mix: Heat oil in a pan, and add fenugreek seeds sauté for a minute to become half golden brown.

  3. Then add dried red chillies.

  4. Sauté well until they became aromatic. Remove from the pan without any oil.

  5. Allow them to cool.

  6. Prepare the Tamarind Base: Heat sesame oil in a pan over medium heat.

  7. Add mustard seeds.

  8. Once they start splutter add rock asafoetida.

  9. Add chana dal and allow to turn half golden brown.

  10. Add split urad dal.

  11. Allow all spices get aromatic in medium flame.

  12. Add roasted ground nuts / peanuts.

  13. Add dried red chillies. Here I add half with seeds and remining half without seeds. To reach the flavour and avoid too much spicy.

  14. Add curry leaves.

  15. Add turmeric powder in medium flame sauté for a second and not let it to burnt.

  16. Add tamarind paste.

  17. Mix everything well.

  18. Add some jaggery powder and salt to this tamarind base paste.

  19. Add asafoetida powder to the mixture.

  20. Cook in a medium flame until the mixture thickens and the raw smell of tamarind disappears.

  21. To prepare the Spice Mix, dry roast the coriander seeds.

  22. To this add white sesame seeds and black pepper corns.

  23. Dry roast until all get splutter and aromatic and allow them to cool.

  24. In a blender add sauteed dry red chillies and fenugreek seeds and grind them.

  25. In a separate blender add roasted coriander seeds, sesame seeds and pepper corns.

  26. Prepare both spice powders in advance and set them aside.

  27. Once the raw smell of tamarind disappears and become thick and oil start ooze around the pan.

  28. To this add the red chilli and fenugreek spicy ground masala powder.

  29. Simmer and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

  30. Add little more fresh gingerly oil to enhance taste and unique flavour.

  31. Finally add ground coriander and sesame seeds powder. Mix well in the low flame.

  32. Switch off the flame and allow it to stand in the residual heat of the pan itself for 10- 15 minutes.

  33. Then transfer to a clean vessel then allow to cool. Refrigerate it in a air tight container for at least 6 months.

  34. Prepare plain rice with adequate salt. Once the cooked rice is ready, spread it out on a large plate or tray to let it cool down. This prevents the rice from becoming sticky when mixed with the Puliyogare paste.

  35. Add seasoning prepare in hot gingerly oil with mustard seeds, chana dal, roasted peanuts, dry red chilli, turmeric powder, and curry leaves and gently mix.

  36. Now add puliyogare masala paste.

  37. Mix gently wait for some time to get a better taste.

  38. Yummy traditional taste puliyogare is now ready for serving.


  • Cook the rice to a slightly firm texture, avoiding overcooking to prevent a mushy consistency while mixing.
  • We can use left over rice.
  • Use slightly older and dark tamarind for better taste.
  • Serve the rice slightly later to enhance its flavor and taste.
  • Use gingerly oil to get an authentic taste.
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Gomathi Ramesh

Food Blogger

Hi there! I am Gomathi Ramesh, a full-time food blogger, mother of 2 beautiful daughters and a lovely wife. I come from a family of fantastic cooks and I’m here to share generations of recipes that are homey, fresh, healthy, family-friendly, authentic, and adventurous. Most importantly, our recipes taste great and you can trust that they actually work.

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