South Indian tamarind rice, or puliyogare, brings mouth-watering sweet, spicy, and tangy bites to a meal. It is perfect made ahead for a picnic and served with cool yogurt and a crispy papadum.
Puliyogare, tamarind rice, is one of the most traditional and beloved recipes from South India. Every bite of this sweet, spicy and tangy rice brings back some fond childhood memories for many people from the region.
It takes me back to the times when I used to visit the Venkateshwara temple in Andhra Pradesh with my grandmother. The beautiful sculptures, the chanting of the shlokas, the divine atmosphere and the one of a kind puliyogare for prasadam. We would eagerly wait in the long queues to receive our share of Puliyogare. The tamarind rice offered there was so delicious that we would invariably go back for more.
Since this rice makes a great picnic meal, I remember my mother making large quantities of Puliyogare for my school picnics. It was a big hit with my friends and the boxes were licked clean. So now you can imagine how nostalgic Pulyogare always makes me.
The making of Puliyogare has two steps. The first step is to make gojju, which is slightly time consuming, but not at all difficult. The Gojju or paste used in Puliyogare is usually made from tamarind juice, jaggery, a variety of spices like coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, sesame seeds, and sometimes dry coconut, asafoetida, and turmeric. It can be stored in the refrigerator and used as needed. Now, you CAN obviously buy gojju from your local Indian supermarket, but there’s something particularly satisfying about making it from scratch.
The gojju can be made well in advance. By “well in advance”, I mean a at least a week earlier. So whenever you are feeling lazy or you have to make something in a jiffy, then mix a few table spoons of the gojju with a few cups of rice and a delicious bowl of Puliyogare will be ready in no time.
The second part involves mixing the gojju with the rice and other seasonings. Very straightforward.
Puliyogare is great all by itself. But pair it with some Poppadums and a bowl of yogurt and you will have a complete meal in front you.Print
Nandita was born, bred and spread in India, but right now lives in Tanzania where her quest for simple and exotic pleasures of food led to the creation of the blog Paaka-Shaale. She believes that food is not just a means to feed a body. But it is also meant to appeal the mind and satiate the soul.