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August 3, 2020

Kovil Puliyodharai Recipe –Temple Style Tamarind Rice

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Kovil puliyodharai recipe
Making a perfect Kovil puliyodharai / Temple style tamarind rice must be the dream for many. Me too not an exception. Whenever we visit temples, I never forget to buy a pack of tamarind rice from temple’s prasadam stall. Sometimes my FIL buys an extra packet of puli sadam just for me. I love the flavor of puli sadham packed in banana leaf or served in donnai (hand pressed plantain leaf bowls). I have always wanted to recreate that taste in my kitchen and tried so many recipes titled temple style puliodharai but never satisfied with the result.

Recently I tried this kovil puliyodharai recipe from Royal Dakshin YouTube channel and was so happy with the outcome. I altered the quantity of ingredients as per my requirement and tried it. It tasted so close to the puli sadam served in Tamil nadu temples. I have tasted this kind of puliodharai in perumal koil madapalli and some other temples near Trichy, Kumbakonam. But one thing I observed is, this recipe needs some standing time for all the taste and flavor to blend well. Also if you store this tamarind rice in a bowl lined with banana leaf, it tastes exactly like kovil puliyodharai. 

Friends, do try this Tamilnadu temple style tamarind rice during this festival month and share your feedback with me. Lets see the making with step by step pictures and video !

Temple style puliyodharai

Temple style puliodharai / Kovil puliyodharai recipe

Temple style puliodharai / Kovil puliyodharai recipe

Tamil nadu temple style puliyodharai recipe with stepwise pictures.

Cuisine: South Indian
Category: Main course
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes


For Pulikachal Paste
  • Gingely oil - 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1 tbsp
  • Roasted peanuts - 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Red chilli - 2 ( pinched into 2)
  • Hing/ asafetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Jaggery - 1 tsp
  • Tamarind - Lemon size
  • Salt & water - as needed
For spice powder (Dry roast)
  • Coriander seeds - 1.5 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1.5 tsp
  • Urad dal - 3/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli - 4
  • Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Black or white sesame seeds - 2 tsp ( I used black ones)
  • Asafetida / Hing - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 5
For tamarind rice
  • Raw rice or steamed rice - 1 cup
  • Water - 2 cups for raw rice / 3 cups for steamed rice
  • Gingely oil - 1 tbsp + few drops for cooking rice
  • Curry leaves - Few ( to decorate)
  • Banana leaf - to store and serve the rice


  1. Heat a kadai and dry roast all the ingredients given under “For spice powder”.
  2. Cool down and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil the kadai and splutter mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, red chilli, roasted peanuts, curry leaves and hing.
  4. Add 1.5 cups of tamarind extract, required salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, jaggery.
  5. Let it roll boil till oil floats on top and becomes semi thick paste.
  6. Lastly add 2 tsp of ground puliyodharai spice powder and boil for a minute.
  7. It thickens more and leaves oil on sides. Switch off the flame. Cool down and store in a box. 
  8. Pulikachal paste is ready. You can refrigerate and use up to 2 weeks. Store the remaining spice powder in an air tight box.
  9. To make Kovil puliyodharai, wash and pressure cook one cup of raw rice adding 2 cups of water and few drops of gingely oil.
  10. Spread the rice in a plate, cool down. Add the required tamarind rice paste and the spice powder. Mix well.Check for taste, add more if needed.
  11. Add little gingely oil, mix gently. Garnish with chopped curry leaves and cover the bowl with a banana leaf.
  12. Give a standing time of one or two hours. Serve and enjoy !


  • Heat a kadai and dry roast all the ingredients given under “For spice powder”. Cool down and grind to a fine powder. Set aside. Soak lemon size tamarind in 1 cup warm water for 20 minutes. Take 1.5 cups extract. Keep it aside.
    Kovil puliyodharai recipeKovil puliyodharai recipe
  • Heat oil in the same kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, red chilli, curry leaves, hing. Add 1.5 cups of tamarind extract, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, required salt and jaggery.
    Kovil puliyodharai recipe
  • Boil till the raw smell leaves and starts to leave the oil. When the paste becomes semi thick, add the ground spice powder. Mix till thick and leaves oil. Pulikachal / tamarind rice paste is ready.
    Kovil puliyodharai recipe
  • Switch off the flame. Cool down the paste completely and store in a clean box. Use a clean spoon to handle. Stays good for 2 weeks under refrigeration. Also store the remaining spice powder in a box.

  • To make temple style tamarind rice : Wash and pressure cook 1 cup of raw rice. Add 2 cups of water, few drops of oil and pressure cook in low flame for one whistle. Open the cooker after the steam is released. Spread the rice in a plate. Add 2 tsp of gingely oil. Cool down.

  • Add the required paste, 1 to 2 tsp of spice powder and mix gently to coat evenly. Add more gingely oil if required. Garnish with fresh curry leaves. Keep the rice in a bowl lined with banana leaf. Cover it with another banana leaf and give a standing time for an hour or two to enjoy the original temple style puliyodharai.
    Kovil puliyodharai recipe
    Enjoy !


  • Adjust the quantity of red chillies used for grinding for more spicy taste.
  • Boil the tamarind paste till it leaves oil for best taste.
  • Mixing spice powder along with tamarind paste in the rice is the highlight of this puli sadam.
  • Do not hesitate to use more gingely oil. It gives nice flavor and also helps to pacify the body heat generated due to tamarind.
Kovil puliyodharai recipe

Try this easy, yummy, Kovil puliyodharai recipe and share your feedback with me.
Temple style tamarind rice recipe

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