This Indian Recipe Serves 2-3
Puli Sadam is a popular dish of South India. The term Puli Sadam actually means Tamarind Rice in English. The North Indians (Hindustani’s) know it as Imalee Rice.
Growing up, my grandmother used to always prepare Puli Sadam (Tamarind Rice) for us & she was good at it as she is of South Indian decent. The recipe below is my late grandmothers recipe & I am so glad that she left behind this recipe so that I too can prepare it & hopefully future generations can make this dish as well.
This dish is best for lunchbox & for travel as it does not get spoiled easily, also the resting time enhances the flavour. It has a sour/tangy & spicy taste to it.
Tamarind is a hardwood tree referred to as Tamarindus indica. It’s local to Africa yet in addition develops in India, Pakistan & numerous other tropical districts. The tree produces bean-like cases loaded with seeds encompassed by a stringy pulp.
Puli Sadam Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon tamarind (puli/imalee)
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tomato
- 3 dry chillies
- ¼ teaspoon jeera (cumin) seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- salt to taste
- 1 cup rice
- Place rice in a bowl.
- Wash rice until water runs clear & thereafter, cover the rice with water & set aside.
- Next, scoop out a tablespoon of the Tamarind (puli/imalee) & place into a bowl.
- Full the bowl with a cup of water.
- Whilst the bowl has water in it, begin smashing the tamarind with your fingertips. This will allow the tamarind to dilute in the water, hence forming tamarind water (puli water). I have used the seedless tamarind, but if you are using the one with seeds then as you’re smashing the tamarind with your fingertips, remove the seeds & discard of them.
- Once all of the tamarind is combined with the water, you should have a bowl of brownish liquid. Set aside until ready to use.
- Next, peel & chop the onion & set aside.
- Rinse & chop tomatoes. Set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot. I prefer using a bigger pot as it becomes easier to stir whilst cooking. Add in the chopped onions, dried chillies, jeera (cumin seeds) & the mustard seeds.
- Mix & allow to simmer until onions are lightly browned.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes.
- Mix well.
- Cover with a lid & allow the tomatoes to cook until soft.
- Once the tomatoes have cooked, pour in the tamarind water (puli water).
- Mix well & allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes of simmering, drop in the rice that had been soaking in the bowl of water. Discard the water that it had been soaking in.
- Mix well.
- Add a little water & allow the rice to cook until soft.
- Keep checking on the rice every now & again as you do not want the rice to burn. If the liquid dries up, keep on filling the pot with a little water at a time until the rice is soft to your desire.
- When the rice has cooked, add in the curry leaves & salt to taste.
- Mix until combined.
- Mix well & turn off the heat. If the rice is very watery then keep the stove heat on low. Allow the liquid to evaporate. The rice should be a bit wet & not overly dry.
- Serve your Puli Sadam whilst hot.
- Best served hot as is or with curries.
- Note that when the Puli Sadam gets cold, it tends to harden & stick together. Use a spoon to loosen it again when reheating.
- I served this dish with Potato Curry.