Temple Puliyodharai ( Kovil Puliyodharai )


Temple style puliyodharai is the most sought after recipe by many and i have attempted one which is  highly rated by my family .The pic below shows a dish prepared a few years ago and the colour of the tamrind gives it a lighter shade, but it is also temple style puliyodharai.

Temple Puliyodarai  or Kovil Puliyodarai as it is called in Tamil is something so simple but very delicious and we just cannot figure out how and why it tastes so different and so aptly named Temple puliyodarai. This is served as an important prasadam in most temples in South India.

I have come to the conclusion that being prepared in such sacred atmosphere, the religious sanctity must also play a part as the puliyodarai is so simple and looks easy to prepare , but the taste is something totally different.

Here is a modest attempt to reproduce the almost similar taste after numerous trials and winning family approvals , I decided to share it here.Truly humbling experience this, like the temple Sakkarai pongal which is again another mystic!..

Ingredients :

1 lemon size tamrind or enough to extract about 2.5 cups tamrind water .
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
8 broken red chillies for the paste  red chillies,,choose a mix of spicy and mild varieties 

To roast and grind

To prepare the puliyodharai topping powder :

Roast  separately and grind to a little coarse powder .

2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp chana dal 

1 tbsp white sesame seeds

1 tbsp black sesame seeds 

4-5 red chillies 

pinch of asafoetida powder 

1/2 tsp methi seeds 

1 tsp pepper 

Powder the above and keep aside .

For Seasoning: and preparing the Pulikaachal .

5  tbsp Gingelly Oil / sesame oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds 
2 tsp Chana dal 

1 tsp split udad dal 
2-3 tbsp peanuts 

pinch of turmeric powder 

salt as needed 

2.5 cups tamrind water .

asafoetida powder 

8-10 red chillies broken 
some Curry Leaves for garnish

Method…to prepare the pulikaachal

Soak the tamarind in 1 1/2 cup of water and extract the juice and keep it aside
Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, add chana dal, split udad dal ,

add peanuts, red chillies ,  fry well , add curry leaves , asafoetida powder ,

add the tamrind water, and cook till mixture thickens . add salt as required .
Let the tamarind mixture to boil till raw smell disappears. around 10 minutes or 12 and thicken a bit. the oil will float , 
Then add only 2 tsp  of the  ground powder and mix well to remove lumps after adding the ground spice powder. A pinch of jaggery powder may be added now .this is optional .
When thickened,remove, cool store well.  Mix with cooled fluffed rice to make a delicious puliyodharai, add a tsp or two of the ground powder to the prepared rice ,  in South Indian style.

Generous addition of sesame oil will ensure the delicious paste will remain good for 15 days also.. Sesame oil is recommended for the authentic taste:-) otherwise use any sunflower oil.

Dont forget to add the ground spice powder after mixing white rice with the prepared pulikachal .

The remaining ground powder can be stored and used while making puliyodharai , it can also be used to mix with dry curries like arbi roast , potato roast , plantain roast curries .

temple style puliyodharai, kovil puliyodharai


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