3.7/5 rating (16 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 asafoetida/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, dried red chillies then stir in the curry leaves .
  4. Add the onions (if using) and cook until they are a lovely golden brown colour or add the asafoetida and stir.
  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.

Useful equipment

Go to the shop

This goes well with

You may also like to try

Share this

“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Tamarind Rice ”


Comments (4)

  • Wes


    27 November 2018 at 23:29 |
    Looks great, I love tamarind. The method is a little unclear; are the lentils uncooked? Just toasted?


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      28 November 2018 at 12:54 |
      Hi Wes
      Yes they are just toasted - this is a south Indian technique thats used in lots of dishes to had texture to the final dish. Hope that helps Hari


  • Pat


    15 November 2017 at 19:12 |
    Hi Hari,
    This recipe isn't showing up when you click to list recipes from the asafoetida ingredient page. It appears to be because of the alternate spelling (asafetida) used in the ingredients list. Is it possible to update the Method section to include when to add the asafoetida, using the non-alternate spelling to correct the issue? Thank you :)

    The Quinoa Kosumbari recipe also uses this alternate spelling in the ingredients list, however the spelling used on the ingredient page was used in the "Method" section so it does manage to show up (which is where I came up with the above idea for the fix).
    This is a great recipe, my girlfriend asked me to make it again. I mistakenly used tamarind concentrate, I intend to go get a block like you suggested. Thanks again!


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      18 November 2017 at 07:39 |
      Hi Pat Many thanks this has been fixed - really good to hear that you enjoyed the rice - yes steer clear of the concentrate, it is not good! Thanks Hari


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.

By providing your email address you are allowing Hari Ghotra LTD to send you email communications in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

“ Don’t forget you can stay up-to-date with all my latest recipes by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Google and Pinterest or by subscribing to my YouTube channel ”
Hari Ghotra