Quick Puliyodharai – Tamarind-Peanut Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup thick tamarind pulp, or 1/2 – 3/4 Tblspn tamarind extract in half cup hot water
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
pinch asafoetida
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup ghee or Indian Sesame Oil (much lighter than Chinese Sesame Oil)
1 cup water
1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn black mustard seeds
1/2 tspn Bengal Gram (channa dal)
4 halved dried red chillies
14 curry leaves – about 1 – 2 stalks

Cook the rice in a little less water than normal. You are aiming for a dry rice not wet, with each grain separate. When cooked, set it aside to cool.

Heat 1 Tblspn oil or ghee and pop the mustard seeds. Add the channa dal, take a short breath, then add the dried red chillies. Saute till the chilli becomes darker red.

Add the skinned peanuts or cashews and saute for 20 seconds or so. Pour over the tamarind water, the other cup of water and add the turmeric, asafoetida and salt.

Cover and cook for 5 mins then take off the lid and allow to reduce until it is a thickish sauce or has reduced by about half. Add the remaining oil and the curry leaves that you have crushed in your hands. Stir for 10 seconds and remove from the stove.

Mix the rice with the sauce carefully, so that the rice grains do not get broken. Mix well and put aside for a couple of hours if possible, to allow the sauce to be totally absorbed by the rice.

This dish is often served in temples — no wonder it has a divine taste. 🙂

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