RICE is a staple food in South Indian cooking. It is usually simply boiled as it is eaten with curries that are often heavily spiced.
There are also rice dishes made specially for celebrations. “Sour rice” – known as puliyodharai, puliyogare or pulihora depending on the region – is one such dish. The flavours in this dish are typical of South Indian cuisine – sour, peppery, salty and a little sweet.
Unlike a pilaf or a briyani for example, where all the ingredients are cooked together as a one-pot dish, tamarind rice is more like a salad – cooked rice is flavoured with a spice powder and tossed with the tangy “dressing”. It may take time and a little extra effort, but it’s a good alternative to plain rice.
It’s certainly a great dish to have for Deepavali.
Jan F. Ragavan writes for the Don’t Call Me Chef column in Star2.
- 1½cups long-grain ricepreferably Basmathi
- 1tsp mustard seeds
- 1tbsp channa dalsoaked for 30 minutes, split bengal gram
- 1tbsp urad dalsoaked for 30 minutes, split black gram
- 2-3 dried red chillies
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1/4tsp asafoetida
- 1/4tsp turmeric powder
- 2tbsp seedless tamarind paste
- 3/4cup water
- 3/4tbsp palm sugar
- 1/2cup roasted peanuts
- salt to taste