Tamarind Rice | Hari Ghotra
3.7/5 rating (3 votes)

Tamarind Rice

Imlee Chaul

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 6
  • Prep 5 mins
  • Cook 15 mins
Tamarind Rice

A wonderful South Indian rice dish often given to pilgrims at Hindu temples.

Hari says

There are so many ways to jazz up rice dishes and this is a great way to add a bit of a zing. Tamarind rice or 'Puliyodharai' in Tamil is a traditional South Indian dish.

It is really common with cooking from this region to use raw lentils in the tempering or tharka stage. Traditionally this dish would be cooked with a spice paste made from dry frying the lentils, fenugreek and chillies and then a second batch of the same ingredients would also be tempered in hot oil. I have simplified this recipe to include only one of these stages.

If you do not have the lentils don't worry you can make this dish without them. The strength of the tamarind used can vary so do use more if you want to increase the sourness.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 200g Tilda Basmati Rice, cooked
  • 25g tamarind hydrated in 100ml water or 1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 4 tbsp water 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tbsp urid dhal
  • 1 tbsp chana dhal
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped or ½ tsp asafetida
  • 1 tbsp peanuts
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • Handful of fresh coriander



  1. Have your cooked rice ready and make up your tamarind water and set to one side.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds as they begin to pop stir in the urid and chana dhal. The dhal will begin to toast.
  3. When they change colour add the fenugreek seeds and dried red chillies then stir in the curry leaves.
  4. Add the onions (if using) and cook them until they are a lovely golden brown colour.
  5. Add the peanuts to toast for a few minutes and sprinkle in the turmeric.
  6. Pour in the tamarind. If using tamarind water leave it to cook until it has thickened (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add  salt to taste and stir in the cooked rice to coat and heat through.
  8. Remove from the heat and sprinkle in some fresh coriander to serve.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)6.8
of which saturates (g)4.3
Carbohydrates (g)53
of which sugars (g)3.4
Fibre (g)0.5
Protein (g)6.2
Salt (mg)2.0
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Hari Ghotra