Pulikachal/ Puliyodharai Mix

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This is the way amma makes pulikachal/puliyodharai mix. Made with tamarind, the mix is a very tangy and delicious one and makes a comforting rice dish perfect for lunchboxes and picnics. Puliyodharai can be whipped up in a matter of minutes when you have this pulikachal in hand. The mix stays fresh for quite a few days because of the addition of tamarind. The rice can be had all by itself, or a simple potato fry or papads or vadagams or coconut thuvayal.

Tamarind - 2 lemon sized balls
Gingelly/Sesame oil - 4 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Urad dhal - 3 tablespoons
Channa dhal - 3 tablespoons
Red chillies - 6 or 7 depending upon spice levels
Curry leaves - few
Garlic - 7 cloves (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek/methi seeds/vendhayam - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida/Hing powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cashews/Peanuts - 1 tablespoon (optional)
Salt to taste

Soak the tamarind in about 1/2 cup of warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Mash the tamarind well and strain to get a thick tamarind paste.

In a kadai, dry roast the fenugreek seeds and grind it into a fine powder.

In the same kadai, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the urad dhal, channa dhall and saute till they turn golden brown in color. Add the cashews/peanuts if using. Add the red chillies, curry leaves, asafoetida and fenugreek powder.

Switch to low flame and slowly add the tamarind extract. Take care because it might splutter. Add the garlic, turmeric powder and salt. Simmer and allow it to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mix thickens well. It should be in a thick paste like consistency and the oil well separated from the tamarind extract.

Once done, switch off the flame and when required, add a little amount of the mix along with some cooked rice and enjoy warm!

We had the puliyodharai along with some coconut thuvayal.

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