Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)


Pulikaichal is a classic traditional recipe.  When mixed with rice, tangy variety rice is ready (Puliyodarai). It also goes well with dosa/ Idli tiffin variety, and acts as a yummy pickle to curd rice.  It is a great travel recipe too, also a festive recipe prepared during kannum pongal and aadi perukku. It stays good even for a month (when refrigerated) or upto a week (outside),  if stored in an air tight container and accessed with a clean dry spoon. This is one of the most favorite prasadam in temples. It’s good to have Thakkali Thokku/Pulikaichal in fridge, and during busy days these two pastes help a lot.

Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins

Recipe Category: Pickle/Side Dish and Entrée


Cooked Rice – 2 cup

For the pulikaichal:

Tamarind – big lemon size

Powdered Jaggery – 1 tbsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp

Asafoetida – a generous pinch

Salt – as needed

Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 cup (approximately) I generally add handful

To temper:

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Channa Dal – 1 tbsp

Dried Red chillies – 2

Curry Leaves – few

Spice Powder:

Channa Dal – 1  tbsp

Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp

Dried Red Chillies – 4 (Adjust according to your spice)

Fenugreek Seeds(Venthyam) – 1/4 tsp



  • Dry roast the ingredients under ‘Spice powder’. Allow them to cool and grind it to a fine powder without adding water, and keep aside


  • Soak tamrind in luke warm water for 10 – 15 mins. Extract the juice and keep aside
  • Add sesame oil in a pan, and when the oil is hot add the ingredients under ‘to temper’ and let them splutter. Add the tamarind extract and allow it to boil


  • When the raw smell starts to go away, add the powder, peanuts, salt and jaggery. Mix well and continue cooking



  • Keep stirring occasionally. When oil begins to seperate and the mixture becomes a thick paste (and raw smell goes off completely), switch off.


  • Take the cooked rice spread it in a wide bowl, drizzle a tsp of sesame oil, add 1/2 cup of pulikaichal, and mix well without mushing up the rice.  Adjust the quantity of pulikaichal and add salt, if required. Allow it to rest atleast for 30 – 45 mins before you serve. Serve with Aviyal/Potato Chips/Appalam/Fry


My Notes:

  • Always use a wide pan while cooking pulikaichal as they tends to spit spills outside
  • Sesame oil make it stay good for longer days
  • Generally for puliyodarai I use normal rice but basmati rice can also be used
  • Rice tastes better sometime after it has been mixed
  • Can add 1/2 tsp of sesame seed, 1 tbsp of urad Dal and 1/2 tsp of pepper powder while preparing spice powder. My friend’s mom coos with these ingredients, and it tastes good too. As both my mom and mother in law won’t add these spices, I haven’t added
  • First day it tastes spicy but over a period of time it tastes less spicy
  • Adding jaggery is optional but it gives a sweet tangy taste which we like
  • I have used roasted peanuts so I added them at the end. If you are using unroasted add it after tempering

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50 thoughts on “Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)

  1. […] preparrd during Aadi perukku. My Amma either prepares Sakkarai pongal or Vella sadam, along with Pulikaichal, Coconut rice and Aviyal.  Sonerimes after returning from school, my sweet tooth craves for eating […]

  2. Aviya | Traditionally Modern Food March 13, 2015 at 5:00 PM Reply

    […] history I know I have a challenge 🙂 Coming back to Aviyal, I cooked Aviyal on kaanum pongal with puliyodarai, Sakkarai pongal, coconut rice and semiya bagala bath and was it my draft for almost 2 months. […]

  3. […] Puliyodharai […]

  4. kalkandu Pongal | Traditionally Modern Food January 15, 2015 at 11:25 PM Reply

    […] being Mattu Pongal I prepared Kalkandu pongal, Puliyodarai, Coconut Rice , Bagala bath and Aviyal. Usually my Amma prepares Vella Sadam for Mattu Pongal, but […]

  5. Thengai Podi | Traditionally Modern Food December 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM Reply

    […] Podi is a great rice accompaniment during lazy days. Just like Tomato Thokku and Pulikaichal, this powder can be stored for more than a month, if stored in an airtight container and kept […]

  6. Francesca Trucco September 17, 2014 at 3:28 AM Reply

    Very interesting. As you know I am from Italy and I am nasically used to a Mediterrean cusine. But I have to admit that your notes are so stimulating to me. Thanks so much for sharing with us :-). Francesca

  7. Silver Threading September 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM Reply

    I love your recipes! I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Please see my post at silverthreading.com ❤

  8. rachwalker September 4, 2014 at 10:22 AM Reply

    This sounds delicious! And against all odds, I happen to have ALL the ingredients in my store cupboard. Thanks for the recipe, will definitely give it a go this weekend

  9. smithakal September 4, 2014 at 5:17 AM Reply

    we too make something similar to this.. yummy

  10. Nate Kidd September 4, 2014 at 12:41 AM Reply

    This looks really good. Thank you for sharing. Looks like a lot of great ingredients.

  11. The Gastronomic Bong September 3, 2014 at 6:54 PM Reply

    This looks so delicious. . I love this sweet and tangy pickle.. i am definitely making or tomorrow. . Thanks for sharing Vidya! 🙂

  12. Sony P September 3, 2014 at 4:38 PM Reply

    This is my quick wholesome meal in my busy days…….. Love the aroma and taste!!

  13. apsara September 3, 2014 at 3:14 PM Reply

    My comfort food… we make it exactly the same way except for the jaggery, which I omit. Beautiful!

  14. Sarah 'n Spice September 3, 2014 at 1:31 PM Reply

    This looks great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. apuginthekitchen September 3, 2014 at 1:31 PM Reply

    I don’t think I could pronounce the name of this dish but it sounds incredibly delicious.

  16. Lori September 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM Reply

    Another new type of food you are introducing me to Vidya! So fun!

  17. Rani Vijoo (@ranivijoo) September 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM Reply

    Interesting recipe ..I am sure it tastes wonderful because it looks delicious!

  18. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso September 3, 2014 at 9:45 AM Reply

    Such an interesting condiment!

  19. colemangrady79 September 3, 2014 at 8:13 AM Reply

    Thank you for sharing it has made me quite interested. Done of the ingrediates I have not heard of or used but surely would love to try

  20. chitra September 3, 2014 at 7:21 AM Reply

    Our family fav 🙂 so yum!

  21. srividhya September 3, 2014 at 7:15 AM Reply


  22. Bikramjit September 3, 2014 at 6:04 AM Reply

    yummyyyyyyyyyyy and it can stay for a week .. perfect for me then 🙂 i can make and then dont have to cook for a week 🙂 🙂

  23. Priya September 3, 2014 at 5:40 AM Reply

    Wish i get a bottle of this pulikachal, love it to the core;

  24. Chitra Jagadish September 3, 2014 at 3:13 AM Reply

    Wow puliyodharai am salivating just by the name, this is any time comfort dish for we south Indians. …love love love this… 😋😋

  25. Asmithaaa September 3, 2014 at 2:37 AM Reply

    You know what viday???, Your recipe reminded me the same time when my mom use to prepare Puliogre gojju(kannada name) for our assistance!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Traditionally Modern Food September 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM Reply

      Thanks for introducing Kannada term Asmitha:-) wow great to know you too have similar experience. Moms are always similar

  26. Malar September 2, 2014 at 11:47 PM Reply

    Love pulikaichal , my favorite too Vidya 🙂

  27. […] still remember those days when my Amma goes out of town, she used to prepare tomato thokku and pulikaichal, and keep it in fridge. Even for a week it will be good to use. When we don’t have time for […]

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