Tamarind is known as Puli in Tamil. Tamarind rice is a very popular variety rice dish from Tamil Nadu. Tamarind rice is made by mixing cooked rice with reduced tamarind sauce. This reduced tamarind sauce is called as Pulikaichal ( puli means tamarind and kaichal means the process of reduction).
Pulikaichal can be stored for 10 days to 2 weeks when refrigerated. It can be used to make puliodharai ( tamarind rice), puli aval ( tamarind poha) and can be used as chutney too.
There are many recipes for Pulikaichal. Today am sharing my mom’s prized recipe. My mom is an expert cook and this is her own recipe. All of us in our family are fond of her Pulikaichal, specially my kids. In fact, this is the first time that am making her recipe as my mom always makes for them:)
Tamarind – 2 medium lemon sized
Sesame oil – 1/2 cup
Mustard – 1+1/2 tsp
Chana dal( Bengal gram/ kadala paruppu)- 1/4th cup
Curry leaves – 1/2 cup
Hing( asafoetida/ perungayam) – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 6-7
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Grated jaggery – 2 tbsps
Roasted peanuts – 1/4th cup
Salt to taste
To roast and grind
Coriander seeds( dhania)-5 tbsps
Peanuts ( kadalai) – 4 tbsps
Sesame seeds ( til/ yellu) – 4 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds( methi/ vendhayam) – 1/2 tsp
Red chillies – 15- 18
Dry roast red chillies, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds and peanuts separately till you a good aroma. Cool and grind it separately and keep it aside.
Soak the tamarind in 4 cups of water for 1-2 hrs. Squeeze well and take the extract.
Heat 1/4th cup sesame oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it starts spluttering add chana dal, curry leaves and hing. Sauté till the chana dal turns golden.
Add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, grated jaggery, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Mix well. Let it boil on a medium flame till it becomes thick and reduces to half in quantity.
Take it off the gas. Add the ground coriander seeds powder, peanut powder, sesame seeds powder and fenugreek seeds powder and mix well. Check for the seasonings. Add the remaining oil and mix well.
Cook again on a medium flame. Keep stirring in between. Cook till the oil starts floating on top.
Take off the gas. Mix well. Cool it completely and store it in an airtight jar.
When required mix the Pulikaichal with rice and serve. It can also be served as chutney with idli / dosa/ upma 🙂