Kovil Puliyodharai

The hypnotising chant of mantras, the echo of the temple bell, the fragrance of camphor and sandalwood, the rustle of silks, the feeling of reverence and awe and the unforgettable taste of puliodharai are the evergreen memories of temples etched in my mind…Puliyodharai also known as pulihora in Telugu and Puliyogare in Kannada is a perfect blend of sourness and spices in one delectable dish… Without much ado, lets get to the recipe.

Recipe Source: My Aunt Thulasi

From Top Clockwise: Green Chillies, Tamarind, Dry Red Chillies, Coriander Seeds, Channa Dal, Urad Dal, Fenugreek Seeds, Pepper. In the Center: Sesame Seeds


Cooked Rice – 1.5 Cups

Tamarind – A lemon sized ball
Dry Red Chillies – 3
Green Chillies – 4
Asofoetida – A pinch

Oil – 3 Tablespoons

For Powder:

Urad Dal – 1 1/4 Teaspoons
Channa dal – 1 1/2 Teaspoons
Dhaniya – 2 1/4 Teaspoons
Dry Red Chillies – 3
Fenugreek Seeds (Vendhayam, Menthulu) – A pinch
Black Pepper – A few

Sesame Seeds – 1.5 Tablespoons

For Seasoning:

Mustard seeds – 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves – 7 or 8
Urad dal – 1 Teaspoon
Channa dal – 1 Teaspoon



Soak Tamarind in 3 cups of water, along with salt. Extract the tamarind juice and keep aside. Heat a teaspoon of oil , add asofoetida and fry dry red chillies. To this, add the tamarind extract and the green chillies and simmer on a low heat till it reaches a semi solid consistency. Keep stirring now and then.

Dry roast each of the ingredients mentioned under Powder section seperately and grind them together, except sesame seeds. Grind the roasted sesame seeds seperately.

Add all the ground powders to the tamarind extract and remove from heat. Mix the required quantity with cooked rice. Finish off with seasoning. For best results, use gingelly oil. It imparts a certain flavour to the recipe.

The puliyodharai mix has a long shelf life. Whenever necessary mix the desired quantity with cooked rice and add seasoning.

23 thoughts on “Kovil Puliyodharai

  1. Thanks, Revathi.Pushpa, Your words are very encouraging. Thank you. I had started a blog ‘ myindiankitchen’ last month, but I wanted to change the name, that’s how this blog was born. I have anyway deleted it…Ya, it is yummy, Sumitha. Thanks for stopping by…Hope to see you all again…


  2. Thank you for sharing this recipe Chandrika ! i love kovil puliyodharai. Mom makes these on all our road trips. I have never tried making tamarind rice after coming to the US. I shall try your recipe soon.Beautiful Pictures !


  3. What a lovely blog! Thanks for adding ours to your blogroll. Right now our blog is facing some template issues, but as soon as we sort that out, I will be sure to add you. Wonderful pics too! 🙂


  4. Hi,Nice blog. I love “puliyodharai”. I follow your recipe next time when I make. Thanx for sharing.Btw I like your Raagi Halwa preparation. (simple and neat)


  5. Chandrika,I tried your puliyodharai yesterday. Followed your recipe letter by letter, except reducing the amount of chillies used.It was lovely and definetly a keeper.Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.Do I know you? Are you my cousin Neelu’s friend by any chance?


  6. Hi Chandrika,Visiting your blog for the first time.The set up is very user friendly..very easy to access.The recipes posted have been chosen with care and the step by step instruction can give confidence even to a novice cook. The pictures are superb. Really loved the quality of the photos.. the light , the angle and because the phtos have been taken as a close-up you can see everything very clearly.. Wonderful job .Eve


  7. Isn’t 3 cups of tamarind water is too much for 1.5 cups of cooked rice?Even if did boil the water to half, I cant imagine comibing 1.5 cups of tamarind extract with 1.5 cups of rice…I haven’t made this recipe before and ur pictures are very tempting so I thougt I would give it a try and had this doubt of proportions..-Anu


  8. Hi Anu,I had the same doubt when I first made this rice.. But believe me, that much water is needed.The recipe calls for a lemon sized ball of tamarind diluted in 3 cups of water. The water is for the tamarind to cook. After the water is reduced, when you add the spices, the mixture thickens. Give it a try…You will like it..


  9. Hi Chandrika,I tried your puliyodharai recipe yesterday..I was frantic to go ahead even though I ran out of bengal gram…It was very yummy and tasted soooo good….I guess I outdid myself!!! Thanks to you….By the way, DO you have any recipes for vegetarian hyderabadi biriyani???? Thanks again.


  10. alls fine..

    could you enable page for people to cut and paste, or you expect everyone to write it down like in the era when phone was not invented….

    i wanted to compliment or review your recipe, but am stubborn not to write it down but print it…


  11. Hi Chandrika,

    I tried your puliodharai recipe and it was yummy and exactly like kovil puliodharai. My husband liked it so much!!

    Thanks a lot for the recipe.



  12. Hi Chandrika,
    I tried your recipe yest. The only change I made to the recipe was to add more red chillies. It was too good. I have been searching for a good puliyodharai recipe. Finally got one.

    Thanks a lot for sharing it.



  13. I have tried many recipes for Puliyodharai, this is by far the best , every time I make this , I thank you for this in my heart, I keeping telling everyone to try this recipe. My 18 daughter who is fussy eater , finishes her lunch clean . Thank you so much , looking forward to many more recipes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s