This tamarind rice is popularly known as Iyengar’s Puliyogare, as this is an authentic dish of Iyengar community.  Dad had many Iyengar friends and this dish used to be the pride of  the dining table during parties.  I always wished I could prepare this dish as authentic as they used to…my experiments ended the day I requested an elderly Iyengar family friend to part with her knowledge of this prized recipe. The Tamarind rice available in Melukote the piligrimage center of Iyengars is also extremely authentic and delicious.

Time Required: 1 hour
Serves: Rice serves for 6 but the Gojju/concoction can be stored for a longer period.


Puliyogare Gojju

For Gojju:
2 Cups Tamarind
1 Cup Jaggery/Molasses
3tbsp Saarina Pudi/Rasam Powder
½ Cup Groundnut Oil
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Sprigs Curry leaves
Salt to taste


For Puliyogare:
3 Cups Rice
2tbsp Groundnut Oil
7 – 8 Red Chilies
1 – 2 tsp Jaggery/Molasses, Grated
1tsp Mustard Seeds
3tbsp Groundnuts
Few Curry Leaves
¼ tsp Asafoetida
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Saarina Pudi/Rasam Powder
1 tsp Cumin Seeds, Roasted and powdered
1 tsp Pepper, Roasted and powdered
3 tbsp White Sesame Seeds (Not Nylon Sesame Seeds), Roasted and powdered
1 Cup Dry Coconut, Grated
1″ Cinnamon
4 tbsp Gojju
Salt to taste

For Gojju:
Wash Tamarind and soak in water for one hour.  Squeeze out the pulp into a thick-bottomed pan.  Add  Salt and Jaggery and cook for until the Jaggery melts stirring constantly.  Sieve this mixture and again boil for 15 minutes on low flame stirring continuously.  When the mixture starts getting thick, add Sambar Powder, Groundnut Oil, Turmeric Powder and Curry leaves.  Cook this mixture until the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat and store in dry airtight glass jar.

For Puliyogare:
Cook Rice in such a way that each grain is separate.  Spread the cooked Rice on a big plate.  Heat Oil in a pan and add Mustard Seeds and Groundnut.  When the Mustard seeds splutter, add Curry Leaves, Asafoetida, Red Chilies and Turmeric Powder.  Pour this seasoning on the Rice.  Add Sambar Powder, Cumin Powder, Sesame Seeds and Black Pepper to the rice.  Powder Cinnamon and add this to the Rice.  Add the Gojju and Salt.  Mix everything by hand.  Cover with a Banana leaf and keep Puliyogare aside for an hour before serving.