Puliotharai – South Indian Tamarind Rice

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Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Puliotharai – South Indian Tamarind Rice is a popular flavored rice, often had in temples.


Puliotharai - South Indian Tamarind Rice

While in Northern India, they are known for their large varieties of flatbreads, rice is the preferred accompaniment in the South. In India and especially in the South, you will find many varieties of flavored rice including Lemon Rice, Tomato Rice, Cumin Rice, Curry Leaf Rice and this Tamarind Rice.

Like Caribbean people love rice and beans, South Indians love their Rice and Dal. If you are a rice lover as much as I am, try some of these other rice varieties!

Rice Recipes

This Tamarind Rice is a great representation of the cuisine of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Well, check out my complete Tamil Nadu dinner that also included Chettinad Lamb Curry and Cabbage Green Plantain Poriyal. Check out the other recipes here.

meal LR

This lovely flavored rice will compliment this or any Indian meal.

Tam Rice LR 2

Tamarind Rice
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Puliotharai – South Indian Tamarind Rice

This flavored rice is a great accompaniment to any Indian meal.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4


  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind extract
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seed
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 teaspoons channa dal yellow split peas
  • 5 dried red chiles
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • a pinch of asoefetida
  • salt to taste


  • In a dry skillet, toast coriander and fenugreek seeds until they start to change color. Add sesame seeds and roast for another 30 seconds. Cool and grind in a coffee/spice grinder.
  • In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add channa dal, chile and peanuts for about 2 minutes until the nuts turn golden. Cool and grind coarsely.
  • In a large skillet,  heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add mustard seeds. After they start to pop, add curry leaves and asoefetida and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add grinded sesame seed mixture and channa dal mixture. Fry for 1 minute.
  • Add cooked rice, tamarind water and salt. Toss until the rice is well coated.


To make tamarind extract, add 1/2 cup boiling water to 3 tablespoons tamarind paste and leave for 20 minutes. Strain tamarind and retain the water.
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Reader Interactions


  1. We south Indians can survive on Pulioddharai the whole moth without getting bored. You have made it perfect Mir..

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