A couple of days back I made Puliyodharai, aka Pulihora aka Tamarind rice. Its a speciality of mine and my puliyodharai has been certified by no less than my mother-in-law, whose Puliyodharai was and will always be the best. Till I learnt OPOS, I would use the MTR Puliyodharai powder but the minute I learnt OPOS (One Pot One Shot) cooking, I started making the Puliyodharai spice powder at home and using the OPOS Tamarind Paste, I would make Puliyodharai quickly. The Puliyodharai spice powder can also be used for making “Vatha Kuzhambu” and it works very well.
This time, just for old times sake, I picked out the MTR Puliyodharai mix and used it. The way I use this mix is to add about 40 ml of tamarind water and do a tadka of urad dal, chana dal, dry red chillies and make a thick paste with salt to taste, just like the Pulikaichal paste, which is made and kept to be used anytime you want to make Puliyodharai. Pulikaichal paste is a standard in many Tamilian homes, specially Brahmin homes, as it is used as a pickle sometimes and as a quick way to make Puliyodharai with leftover rice sometimes. I don’t like using the pulikaichal paste :), its just a quirk and nothing else.
While making the Puliyodharai this time, I was just thinking of all that went into it and I realised that it was a complete meal – you have rice (carbs), mixed with a paste that contains urad dal, chana dal, sesame seeds (source of calcium), coriander seeds and some spices, plus tamarind water and peanuts (excellent nut !). Our traditional Indian food is so varied, so complete and just so tasty …. we just don’t realise it.
Puliyodharai is usually made for travel as it stays well for a couple of days, even longer if no moisture gets in and if you don’t use your hands to take it out of the container. It is also served in many temples in the south as the prasadam. Some things to remember as you carry the Puliyodharai while travelling – 1. Use only a steel container. 2. If the puliyodharai is warm keep the container open till it totally cools down, use a cloth to cover it. If you close the container when its warm, moisture will get in and spoil the Puliyodharai faster. 3. Use only a steel/wooden ladle to mix the Paste and the rice – not your hands. 4. Use only a ladle or spoon for serving, again don’t use your hands unless you plan on eating it all up :).
You can eat it with Mixture, Appalam or Papad, Vadaam, chips or even with sambar or just like that ! So the next time you have Puliyodharai remember, that you are having a complete meal, no less.
Note : If you would like to know about OPOS, please join the FB group “OPOS Support group” or buy the book on Amazon.