Puliyodharai Recipe | Temple Style Puliyodharai Rice Or Tamarind Rice


Tamarind rice, also known as puliyogare, Pulihora, puliyodarai, pulinchoru, kokum rice. It is a very common and traditional rice preparation in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana. Tamarind rice is a popular rice dish from many cuisines made with tamarind, rice, tempering spices & curry leaves.

Kovil puliyodharai, a temple style tamarind rice recipe with full video and stepwise pictures. The spice powder added directly to the rice along with tamarind rice mix /pulikachal makes it special.

Temple prasadams are always special, flavourful and tasty at a different level.

One of the prasadam that comes to your mind when you think about prasadam, next to sakkarai pongal, Vada, Ven pongal of course is, puliyodharai / tamarind rice.

Kovil puliyodharai is really flavourful and unique than the one we prepare at home. Though what we make is also flavourful, kovil puliyodharai has special flavours because of the spice powder.

Tamarind rice, is rice flavoured with a tart/sour ingredient, tempered with mild spices, roasted peanuts & lentils. The main flavor component could come from tamarind.

Most festival or celebratory lunch/dinner menus feature at least one form of tamarind rice or kalandha sadham, as it’s called in Tamil. The meal would feel incomplete without one of them. They are simple to make and use very humble ingredients, but the end product you get is much larger than the sum of its parts.

Tamarind rice Paste can be stored in a refrigerator for about a month easily. Add more oil if you want to store for few more weeks. Always use a clean and dry spoon to remove the paste.

Mixing and Assembly: We will be using cooked rice and will be mixing it with tamarind rice mix / pulikaachal. I have a tip for cooking rice that stays fluffy and does not become mushy. The secret for fluffy rice is to soak the rice in water for at least half an hour. I usually use raw rice (Sona masuri) variety. I add 2 cups of water for every cup of soaked and drained rice. You can cook the rice in a pressure cooker or rice cooker.  
Cook 1 cup (250 ml) of rice with 2 cups of water and cook it to firm texture. Allow it to cool completely. Once the rice is cool, Mix half of prepared tamarind paste – pulikaachal and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sesame oil.  Mix well to combine. Adjust seasoning if necessary. The best way to combine the rice and the pulikaachal is to use your hands. As the pulikaachal is thick, a spatula does not do a good job.

Do not consume the tamarind rice immediately. The flavour develops after an hour. Enjoy with pappad or appalam. To cool you down and soothe the palate, curd rice is a must-have. Though curd is the last course of a meal, I like to serve myself the tamarind rice and curd rice with potato stir fry. The curd cools your palate and then the tamarind rice fills it up with tantalizing flavours.

Watch Temple style tamarind rice recipe video.

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Puliyodharai Recipe | Temple Style Puliyodharai Rice Or Tamarind Rice

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 30 mins
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year



  1. Take tamarind and soak in hot water to extract tamarind.

  2. Now, to prepare the special tamarind rice powder heat a pan.

  3. Add coriander seeds, dry roast in medium flame until become aromatic.

  4. Transfer in to a plate and allow to cool.

  5. Add fenugreek seeds and roast until it become splutter and turn slight golden brown, then transfer in to a same plate.

  6. Add dry red chillies, sauté till turn slight brown.

  7. Keep aside these roasted ingredients and allow to cool. These will be used in the final stage powder.

  8. To prepare fresh chilli powder masala for tamarind rice mix paste (pulikaichal), heat oil in a pan.

  9. Add dry red chillies, toss until they become golden red.

  10. Transfer these roasted red chillies in to a separate plate and allow to cool.

  11. In the meantime, prepare tamarind extract.

  12. In a mixie jar add roasted red chillies, make it to fine powder. And keep aside.

  13. In mixie jar add sauteed coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chillies and make them to fine powder.

  14. Make both the spice powders are kept ready.

  15. To prepare tamarind rice mix, heat a wide pan and add plenty of sesame oil.

  16. Add big goose berry sized whole asafoetida and allow to splutter.

  17. Add mustard seeds, once stat splutters add fenugreek seeds.

  18. Add chana dal.

  19. Add peanuts and roast for 2-3 minutes to turn slight golden brown.

  20. Add dry red chilli with seeds and fresh curry leaves.

  21. Add turmeric powder and mix well.

  22. Simmer the flame and add tamarind extract.

  23. Add freshly roasted red chilli powder.

  24. Add salt to this mix.

  25. Cover and cook in low-medium flame until it become thick.

  26. In 30 minutes of cooking, it’ll become thick.

  27. Once the mixture getting thicker add fresh tamarind rice powder and mix well.

  28. Boil for another 2-3 minutes in medium flame.

  29. Add little jaggery powder.

  30. Once the oil get start floating on the top of the mixture, switch off the flame.

  31. Allow to cool down, do not close with lid.

  32. To prepare tamarind rice, precook the rice, once it gets cool down add seasoning with mustard seeds, peanuts, red chilli, turmeric powder and curry leaves.

  33. Add required amount of tamarind rice mix in to rice.

  34. Mix gently without rice getting mushy and rice well coated with tamarind rice

  35. Vert tasty temple style puliyogare / tamarind rice is now ready for serving.


  • Cook the tamarind extract till the oil is released from sides, else the raw smell of tamarind will be there.
  • Cool the rice completely before mixing with tamarind rice mix.
  • Give some standing time for best flavour.
  • prepare the mixture (pulikaachal) and mix rice when required. pulikaachal stays good for a month if cooked well.
  • puliyodharai /puliyogare taste great when prepared with gingelly oil – sesame oil.
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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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