Tamarind rice

Tamarind Rice Recipe – Puli Saadam / Pulihora recipe

Puli Saadam (Pulihora/Tamarind rice ) is a favorite dish in our house as it is easy to make and tastes super yummy. Instead of wasting it, you can simply use any leftover rice to make this dish too.

My mom used to pack tasty pulihara with potato chips for picnic lunches and for travel by train. I enjoyed it a lot and this dish always reminds me of our lovely childhood.

Puli sadam recipe (Pulihara aka tamarind rice) is a delicious tangy rice made in most South Indian homes traditionally. Try it with any leftover rice and you will start making this more often ;)
Photo Credit: Flickr/Devika

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Puli Sadam Recipe

Recently, a friend of mine said that she loves this rice but does not know the recipe. So, here it is for you, my friend, you know who you are 🙂

Below is a simple recipe to make this variety rice. This cannot fail even beginners, so dig  in and have fun.

puli kozhambu

Ingredients (for gravy)

  1. Tamarind (puli/chinthapandu) – fist sized ball
  2. Fenugreek seeds (methi/vendhayam/menthulu) – 1 tbsp
  3. Cumin seeds (Jeera) – 1 tbsp
  4. Red Chillies – 3 (You can even use green chillies)
  5. Groundnuts – a handful (optional)
  6. Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
  7. Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
  8. Salt – as needed
  9. Cooking Oil – 4 tbsp
Jeera and Methi fried
Cumin and fenugreek seeds – dry roasted


  • Cook 1 cup of rice in a pressure cooker and set it aside.
  • Soak tamarind for half an hour in lukewarm water. Then extract the tamarind essence by squeezing and filtering out the pulp.
  • In a small pan fry the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds for about a minute. Do not use oil for this.
  • After the seeds cool, grind them to a fine powder and set aside.
  • Heat a kadai (deep-bottomed pan) and add the oil to it. Once the oil heats up, add mustard seeds, chana dal and red chillies to the pan and fry them for a minute.
  • Fry the ground nuts too if you are using them.
  • Add the tamarind essence and salt to the pan and let it boil on medium flame till you see oil at the sides of the pan. (About 7 to 10 minutes).
  • At the end, add the cumin, fenugreek powder and stir for a few seconds. A nice aroma would come at this point.
  • Let the gravy boil for a few more minutes and switch off the stove.
  • Now the gravy is ready. The tamarind gravy stays well for even 3 days at room temperature.
  • Mix it with the already cooked rice to prepare tamarind rice.
Tamarind rice
  • Have papad (fryums) or potato chips with the rice and enjoy 🙂

Also read: Lemon Rice Recipe


Puli sadam recipe (Pulihara recipe aka tamarind rice)
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About Priyadarshini Rajendran 210 Articles
Priyadarshini Rajendran is a travel enthusiast, avid reader and a passionate writer. She has a few of her books published and is writing more books. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a software consultant taking breaks for her travels. Her blog is her passion and she writes about travel, books and food on the blog. She offers customized itineraries for South Indian destinations.

10 Comments Posted

  1. Wow, I’ve never cooked with tamarind before, but u know it is available near me. I guess I’ll be trying it out soon!

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