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.
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