Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Puliyodharai/ chinthapandu pulihora (Tamarind rice)

Puliyodharai reminds me of my school day picnics and temples. When I go for picnics I used to take  puliyotharai with me. I would be eager to visit new places as well as to sit with friends and eat this tasty dish. My mom used to pack  puliyodharai in a banana leaf. The smell of banana leaf and puliyodharai will be mesmerising. Puliyodharai remains for a day or so without getting spoiled, even in that hot climate. That is the reason why these kind of  'kattu sadhams' are invented. The way I prepare puliyotharai will be very different from andhraites preparation. Puliyodharai given in temples has a very unique taste. I do enter the tample with puliyodharai in my mind . For me this dish  is very close to my heart and taste buds. Anytime I would be happy to eat it. Potato fry or coconut thuvayal (a dry version of cocnut chutney)  goes very well with this dish.  The preparation is also very easy.  So here comes the preparation in detail :

Ingredients :

Cooked rice- 4 cups
Tamarind- a big lime-sized ball
Channa dhal- 1 tbspn
Groundnut- a handful
Red chillies- 8 nos (broken into 2 pieces)
Gralic- 8 pods
Curry leaves- a handful of leaflets
Chilli powder- 1 tspn
Coriander powder- 1 tspn
Coriander seeds- 1 tbspn
Seasame seeds (black variety is preferable)- 1 tbspn
Oil-  approx. 50 ml ( gingelly oil is prefered)
A pich of turmeic, asafoetida
Mustard, fenugreek, urid dhal and jeera seeds- 1 tspn each

Method :

Soak tamarind for 10 minutes and extract its juice. Heat a heavy bottomed pan. Add oil. When it gets heated add fenugreek seeds, wait till it gets brown and emits a nice aroma. Then add mustard, fenugreek, urid dhal and jeera seeds. When the seeds splutter add the channa dhal and groundnuts. Saute for a minute until the nuts are fried enough. Now add the red chillies, curry leaves and garlic. Fry for a minute or so untill the garlic turns golden colour and the red chillies gives out a nice aroma. Please take care not to burn any item. Then add the tamarind juice, red chilli powder, coriander powder and enough salt. Let this mixture boil. When it starts to boil simmer it for 15 minutes or so with occassional stirring. You must simmer it until all the water evaporates and the oil seperates out. Now the most important part. Cook rice with enough water. Rice should be as seperate grains when cooked. Cool the rice until it becomes cold to touch. Then mix the prepared pulikaichal (tamarind mix) with the rice with your hands until all the rice is coated with the tamarind mix. My friend Raji once gave me an useful tip. She asked me to fry and dry grind coriander seeds, sesame seeds and two red chillies and mix it with the rice at the end. Doing this makes your puliyodharai taste like kovil (temple) puliyodharai. This pulikaichal can be stored in refrigerator for a week or so. Try it, you will become a fan of this humble dish.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : The main important point to remember is to cook the rice in a way such that the individual grains do not stick together. This task can be accomplished by adding proper amount of water when cooking rice. Immediately after cooking  take a big tray or thambalam and spread the rice on it and allow it to cool. This step is very important. This helps the rice to cool dowm without becoming softer and stickier. Another important point is mix the pulikaichal only when the rice cools down. Never mix it with hot or warm rice. Fry coriander seeds, seasame seeds and two red chillies, make a powder of it and add to the puliyodharai. It greatly enhances the taste and flavour of puliyodharai. If you love crispier groundnut and channa dhal in the puliyodharai fry them seperately and mix with the dish at the end. Please adjust the spiciness of this dish according to your tolerance level. But remember you have to balance the sourness of the tamarind with enough chillies and salt. Happy cooking friends!!!

1 comment:

  1. uuummmmmmmmmmmmm... it looks soooo tasty!! keep it up manju...