I have always loved the puliyodharai that is handed out as prasadam in the temples of Tamilnadu. In fact, when we moved to Chennai, one of the things I really looked forward to is good puliyodharai. Unfortunately, most of the restaurants in Chennai don't serve this rice. They have it in their lunch menu, but if you ask for it, you'll find a sheepishly grinning waiter informing you that they only have sambar rice or some other variety rice. MTR ready mix puliyodharai powder does satisfy the craving every once in a while, but I find that I have to add more tamarind and more salt to the mix to suit our palate. This recipe is a simple one that I have come up with and fall back on whenever I need to make something in a hurry and don't want to spend a lot of time chopping vegetables.
What you need:
Rice - 1 cup
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball soaked in hot water
Red chillies - 3 or 4, broken into pieces
Urad dal - 3/4 tsp
Chana dal - 3/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a small piece
Curry leaves - a few sprigs
Gingely oil - 3-4 tsps
Salt - to taste
Cook rice. Spread it on a plate and keep it aside to cool.
Heat oil in a pan. Add red chillies,urad dal, chana dal, methi seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the ground nuts and fry well. Extract thick juice from the soaked tamarind and pour this into the pan. Add turmeric powder, salt and stir well. Lower the heat and let it cook until most of the moisture has evaporated. Switch off the heat. Add the cooked rice and stir gently making sure that the tamarind paste coats all the rice.
Enjoy with fried appalam or vadam.
Check out what my fellow marathoners Srivalli, Priya Suresh, Monika, PJ, Azeema and Reva are cooking.