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puliyodharai / puliogare (tamarind rice)

December 17, 2017

This rice recipe from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and other parts of southern India, is the perfect fancy vegan dish for your next special occasion. It is a temple dish, offered as prasāda, or an offering to a deity.

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cook a cup of rice as you normally would. use sesame oil instead of butter – about a tablespoon. when it’s done, add a quarter-teaspoon of turmeric and take off the heat.

for the spice blend, toast the following in an ungreased skillet:

dried red chilis (4 if you’re Indian, 3 if you like it very hot, 2 for medium-hot, and 1 for mild)
2 t whole coriander
1 t chana dal or yellow split peas or split chickpeas, and 1 t urad dal or split black dal
1/2 t whole sesame seeds
1/4 t each whole fenugreek and whole black pepper

when golden brown, crush these ingredients in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, along with a pinch of asafoetida if you have it.

set aside this ground spice mixture.

now bust out a big skillet or dutch oven. you will be tempering more spices in here.

heat 3 T sesame oil in the pan. when shimmering and hot, add 1 t urad dal and 1 t black mustard seeds, 1 t chana dal, and 1/4 t peanuts. when golden, add more dry chilis if you like, ten curry leaves, and 1/4 t turmeric. you can add a pinch of asafoetida here if you have it. add tamarind to taste – i used a few spoonfuls of paste mixed with about a cup of water – or you can use 50g of dried tamarind and soak for about a half-hour. salt the mixture. add a pinch of sugar or jaggery if you like. simmer until the mixture reduces a bit and looks saucy. add the ground spice mixture and stir well until it starts to smell incredible. add the cooked rice, stir, and serve.

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based on recipes from veg recipes of india and padhu’s kitchen

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The flavors are unbelievably good. Since it has so much flavor, it’s great served with something a little bland – we had vegan stewed red cabbage with red wine. The sourness of the rice went perfectly with the cabbage. One of my new favorite vegan side dishes!

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