When I think of PerumAL, I also recall the PuLiyOdharai special of the Iyengars. Why can’t we have this for today’s posting?

PuLiyOdharai is one of the chithrAnnams we prepare for Kanu, the next day of Pongal festival and Adi 18 (PadhinettAmperukku). Those who are near the river KavEri, used to carry it for a picnic to view its flooding water on this day. 

PuLiyOdharai is the rice mixed in PuLikkAichchal.

To serve: 4      Preparation time: 45 minutes        Shelf life: 2 days if refrigerated


Tamarind (PuLi)

 Red chillies (Vatral MiLagAi) (Hot)

Coriander seeds

White sesame seeds (VeLLai eL)  

Bengal gram (Kadalaipparuppu)

Black gram (VeLLai uLundhu)

Groundnuts (nilakkadalai)

Curry leaves (KarivEppilai)

Mustard seeds (Kadugu)

Fenugreek (Vendhayam)

Asafoetida powder (PerungAyam)

Turmeric powder  (ManjaL Podi)

Salt (uppu)

Sesame Oil   (nalleNNai)

Sugar (Sarkarai)

20 gms (70 oz)

 10 to 15 (Small)

1 tsp

1 tbs

2 tsp

2 tsp

2 tbs

a little

1 tsp

1 tsp

¼ tsp

½ tsp

to taste.

¼ cup

2 tsp

Here tbs indicates Table spoon and tsp teaspoon. 

Roughly 1 tbs is equivalent to 3 tsps.

The tamarind taken is of a big lemon size.

Use the best sesame oil

*Never use Tamarind Paste available in the shop. 

Here is the glossary for the special words used in this posting

Thamizh  English  Hindi  Malayalam 
PuLi Tamarind imli PuLi
Vatral miLagAi Red chilli lAl Mirchi Chuvanna miLagAi
Koththamalli vidhai Coriander seeds Dhania Malli vidha
VeLLai eL White sesame seeds SAdhA til eLLu
Kadalaipparuppu Bengal gram ChanA dAl Kadala paruppu
uLuththamparuppu Black gram urid or urad or urud or udad dAl uzhunna paruppu
Nila or vEr kadalai Groundnuts Mungphali nilakadala
KaruvEppilai Curry leaves KaripaththA Curry vEppila
Kadugu Mustard seeds Sarso or rAi Kadugu
Vendhayam Fenugreek MEthi UluvA
PerungAyam Asafoetida Hing KAyam
ManjaL podi Turmeric powder GOtA Haldi ManjaL podi
uppu Salt namak uppu
nalleNNai Gingelli/Sesame oil Tilli kA thEl nallaNNa
Sarkkarai Sugar ChIni PansadhAra
Telugu  Kannadam 
Chintapantu hULi/HunisE
Enda mirapakAyalu Kempu MensainakAyI
DhaniyAlu Kothambari
Thellaga nuvulu eLLu/achcheLLu
Chanaga pappu KadalE bELE
Minna pappu Udhdhina bELE
VErichanagapappu KadlEkAi
KariapAku Kari bEvu/KariEvina soppu
AvAlu SAsuway
Menthulu MenthE/MenthyA
HinguAlu Hingu
Pasupu arishina
uppu uppu
Nuvulu nuni eLLeNNE
PanjasAra SakkarE


To prepare PuLikkAichchal, first clean the sesame seeds, roast and powder. Then roast fenugreek and asafoetida separately, powdering fenugreek only. (Solid asafoetida is preferable and if you use it, then you need to roast it and powder). Place the tamarind in two cups of hot water, allow a few minutes to open up and extract the juice. Strain for any impurities. Keep about 2-3 table spoons of oil in a KadAi and fry red chillies and coriander seeds, powder coarsely in a mixie and keep aside. Now pour the remaining oil in the kadAi and when it becomes warm, add mustard seeds to it. When they start spluttering, add Bengal gram, Black gram, Ground nuts and Curry leaves. Sautee for a few seconds till they release a nice aroma. Add tamarind juice, turmeric powder, and roasted fenugreek and asafoetida powders.  After 2 minutes, add powdered red chillies, coriander seeds, sugar and salt. When it becomes a thick mass and does not stick to the side with oil floating, remove from the flame. Now add roasted sesame powder to it and mix well.

In PuLikkAichchal, the oil should separate from the tamarind mass and float over the boiled thick mass so that it can be refrigerated for some time, say for a month at least. When you want to make PuLiyOdharai, cook the required rice; spread it in a big bowl, adding 2 table spoons of pure sesame oil. Then after some time add the PulikkAichchal as much as you require for your taste. If you need a bit more salt, you can add.  

PuLiyOdharai goes well with fried VadAms (Fryums).


Note: (1) Some prefer to add the fried ground nuts after they mix PuLikkAichchal with the cooked rice so that they remain crispy.

(2) If you do not get hot chillies, then you can increase the pieces to your taste.

Today’s special Tip

In spite of all care, there are occasions, when due to a bad gasket or improper closing of the lid, there is leakage of steam which results in drying of water completely and staining the bottom of the pressure cooker brownish black. To prevent this, you can place a few peels of lemon or, if unavailable, a little quantity of tamarind at the bottom of the cooker along with the water while cooking.

3 Responses to “PuliyOdharai”

  1. WOW Amma !!! My favorite 🙂 Thankyou for adding this… I usually get the mix from the store here which is no equal to homemade for sure… will try this recipe soon 🙂

  2. Thank you! Yes, I agree that the ready mixes available in the shops are no match to home made items. At home we prepare as per our taste whereas the manufacturers have common folks with varied tastes in mind as such they spoil the product compromising the actual taste. The intention of this blog is to reach good quality preparations to all connoisseurs of food like

    Please let me know if the above recipe has given you a good end result.

  3. Sure Amma, Will try sometime this week /weekend and will let you know when we talk !!

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