Monday, June 30, 2008

AUTHENTIC IYENGAR PULIOGARE (A combination of tangy, sweet and spicy tamarind rice)

I started with a poll to know what you all want to see here and I was not surprised to see what topped the voting poll. Yes it is indeed PULIOGARE!!!! (Puli in Tamil means tamarind and Ogare means Rice). This is a traditional Iyengar cuisine which is a “Must” in most of our festivals and functions. I waited for quite a while to post this recipe and I will tell you why. I always wanted to prepare puliogare along with a skillful hand with an elder at home be it my Grandmother, my Mother, my Aunt or my Mother-in-law. They are all so advanced in preparing this, that I can depend on any one of them for this authentic recipe. I grabbed the opportunity to prepare this when my Mother-in-law was here on a vacation. It was a great experience for me!!!!

Of course, I considered it exceptionally authentic when my Paati (grandmother) used to prepare this dish. With her training to her successors, she passed it on to my mother, my aunt and the rest.. My Paati inspired us constantly to learn all our traditional cuisine before she left us. She did not want us to forget what dishes she prepared when we were kids and insisted that this tradition has to be conceded on to the future generations. So this is my approach to preserve our traditional cuisine in the form of a blog and pass it on to my next generation.

Ingredients for making the Puliogare Gojju (Gojju is the paste which is concentrated and used to mix rice along with the seasonings):

The quantity of the paste what you get from the below mentioned ingredients can be stored for a year in a good, tight container. It roughly fills up a 700 ml container.

Dark Tamarind – 1½ cups (darker the tamarind, better it is, because it gives that extra dark brown color to the ogare)
Oil - ½ cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tspn
Curry leaves – 3 strands
Asafoetida (Hing) - ½ tspn
Red chillies (Preferably byadigi variety) – 8
Rasam powder – 8 tbl spns
Salt – According to taste
Jaggery – 2 blocks

Ingredients required for mixing the rice with the Gojju to make puliogare:

The quantity of ingredients given here are for the amount of rice mentioned. It may vary according to your taste and quantity of rice.

Cooked Rice – 2 cups (separate the grains by spreading it on a large plate)
Oil - ½ cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tspn
Curry leaves – 4-5 strands
Asafoetida (Hing) – ½ tspn
Ground nuts– Quarter cup
Grated Dry coconut – 2 tbl spns
Pulioyogare gojju or concentrate prepared earlier – 3 tbl spns
Salt to taste

Powders for seasoning:
Black Sesame seeds (Ellu in kannada and Til in hindi) – 1½ tbl spns (don’t add too much, although it enhances the flavors….it might get bitter if added in a large quantity)
Peppercorns – 1 tspn
Coriander seeds – 1 tbl spn
Rasam powder – 2 – 3 tbl spns

Preparation: Steps 1- 13 are how to make the gojju or the paste and Steps 14 – 18 how to mix the concentrate with rice.

Step 1, 2 and 3: Soak the tamarind previous night in little water (about 2½ cups of water). Next day extract the juice of the tamarind by grinding it in a blender. Blend it to a smooth paste and sieve it as shown in Step 3. Extract as much as possible. Step 2 is just to show how much jaggery is required for 1½ cups of tamarind.

Step 4: In a large deep bottomed pan, take Oil, add mustard (allow spluttering), curry leaves, asafoetida, red chillies. Fry and add the tamarind paste extract. Allow it to boil.

Step 5: Add rasam powder once it boils. Reduce the flame. Keep it at Low. This is a very important step because the more it boils in a lower flame chances are it doesn’t get burnt. This step is also important because the whole idea of a concentrated paste is to allow it to concentrate slowly.

Step 6: Picture taken after 15 mins of boiling. Note how slowly the paste is getting concentrated. That’s the way typically puliogare gojju is prepared.

Step 7: Add salt and jaggery and continue to stir.

Step 8: We observed that we required more jaggery. How did we do that? Well tasted it of course!!!!

Again let me highlight this. It’s very important to taste it in between to check for the variations in the taste (less or more). Try imagining this! We want a combination of tanginess, spicyness and sweetness all in the above order. So try tasting and check what you need to add whether it is chilli powder or salt or jaggery. Try adding small portions. This way, you can be rest assured that you are not adding too much to mess up the taste.
Step 9, 10 and 11: Remember each picture taken here is after every 10 mins approximately. So the whole boiling process is about 1hr and 15 mins. That’s how long it should be boiled on a low flame to get the paste of desired consistency.

Steps 12 and 13: This picture is taken to show my readers just how the consistency should be. When you lift the ladle, the paste has to slowly fall back in to the pan. Again pictures are taken after every 10 mins. I wanted to time the whole process because it’s important for us to know just how long the boiling process is done.

After Step 13, you get a paste which is ready to be mixed with rice. At this point you can just store the whole paste if you are not going to mix with rice right away. The gojju or the paste can be kept in refrigerator up to one year. This is also one of the main reasons you have to boil for a long time because the shelf life is also longer.

If you plan to use the paste say after 1 month or more, the day you intend to use it keep the stored box out of the fridge and allow it come back to room temperature. (This will aid you in mixing with the rice more easily).

But if you plan to use the paste immediately proceed in the following way:

Step 14: Cook rice and separate the grains on a large plate. First wash the black sesame seeds, dry them well on paper towel. Fry them without oil in a small pan and when it splutters lightly, switch off the flame. Fry the coriander seeds and black peppercorns as well and grind them all together. Add this powder to the rice.

Step 15: Add grated dry coconut and rasam powder.

Step 16: Add the gojju (concentrated puliyogare paste prepared earlier) Step 17: Mix the rice with all the above powders and gojju first. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO MIX IT WITH HANDS. This is because all the flavors and the paste used get coated nicely on the rice. Then add the seasonings mentioned below.

Step 18: Take Oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, ground nuts and allow them to splutter. Add this tempering to Rice. Taste it and add anything that’s less like salt, jaggery, etc...

Important Points:

Tamarind – Darker the better. Infact when we prepared, we weren’t able to get darker tamarind so that’s why the color is lesser. The original color of puliyogare has to be dark brown.

Red Chillies – The kind of red chillies we use is less spicy and gives more color. So that’s the reason we add the chillies and the rasam powder in large quantities. However not always can one find the same kind of chilli. So check for the spiciness of chillies that you use at home and then reduce or increase their number.

Rasam powder – It’s the base of a good puliyogare. Again we make this at home, so that it’s as authentic as possible. Many people prepare different kinds of rasam powders, so definitely the taste varies while mixing it in puliyogare. However you can always make a small batch of fresh rasam powder provided in the rasam powder link.

Black Sesame seeds – Always try to get a freshly manufactured packet. Because if it’s old and slightly smelly it could ruin your puliyogare. One very important point of black sesame seeds is that taste it before you use it in your puliogare. Because sometimes they can be bitter. If it’s bitter then don’t use it.

I know there are many people who are working and have kids to manage. Life can get busy when many such commitments are to be fulfilled. For such people, I would suggest to them to get the authentic iyengar puliyogare gojju mix from the condiment stores and try this with the rest of my preparation steps. I am not promising them that it will taste as authentic as the one mentioned above. However, you are still making an effort to make home puliyogare with the available ingredients.

My sincere suggestion to all my readers “Please experiment at least once with the above authentic recipe along with the gojju and you will never look back”!!!

It might take a while for one to master this, but then one has to start somewhere to get some practice right???? So there you go, I have revealed the most sought after recipe of Iyengars. Not that you haven’t seen many recipes of puliyogare on the net. But just that this one is from the IYENGAR’S KITCHEN.

I am sending this post to Jihva for Ingredients . JFI as it is known among the food bloggers, is one of the most popular food blogging events out there. JFI is the brainchild of Indira of Mahanandi, who started this event to celebrate and showcase a different natural ingredient every month. This month it’s hosted by Sig of Live to eat. The chosen ingredient this month is coincidentally TAMARIND! What better can I think of other than Puliogare!!!!


Sujyothi said...

Oh my God!!!
You are what i should call are an epitome of patience and perseverance!!!
Kudos to you dear!!
Amazing....Fantabulous...i dont know,i cant find words...Excellent, outstanding!!
I am completely blown over by this!!
Truely great effort!
Keep up the commendable work!!

Asha said...

What an excellent post! I always loved Puliyogarai, great to see the traditional version. Thanks Veda!:)

Sig said...

Hats off to you my dear Veda! I have never seen such a comprehensive step-by-step instructions for making tamarind rice, or anything for that matter! Thank you for taking the time, and thank you so much for the JFI entry!

Roma said...

This is the best description of tamarind rice recipe ever!

Sunshinemom said...

Puliogare just did a jig on Arundati's blog a few days back! Very nice demonstration. We call it puliyam chaadam! I didn't know it was an Iyengar speciality - Looks yum:)

LG said...

a great effort to put up puliyogare gojju making on blog with step by step pictures and tips. Good Work there and puliyogare looks awesome!!!!

Divya said...

your blog's yummy!!

Veda Murthy said...

Dear Jo,

Thank you so much for all those amazing words. Keep visiting and commenting and do let me know if you want to see a particular recipe.

Dear Asha,

I should first thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Yes indeed puliogare is my fav rice dish too!

Dear Sig,

Thanks a lot for all the appreciation and feedback. I think I could not have thought of a better entry for JFI this time.

Dear Roma,

This is one of the best compliments have I received. Thank you so much!

Dear Sunshine mom,

This is a new name "puliyam chaadam". Thanks for stopping by.

Dear Lg,

Thank you so much. As always You are so generous with ur comments. I am really thankful!

Dear Divya,

This week its a double treat for me. First it was priyanka of asankhana to award me and now with your yummy blog award. thank u so much ....u made my day dear! Congrats to you too!

Bharathi said...

you have taken lots of effort to post this recipe. commendable effort..all the best..

Priti said...

I'm amazed..great effort by you. Puliyogarai looks so delicious...our Puliyogarai never comes like this..will try this recipe to make next time ..

Nithya said...

Hi Veda

First time in my life I made puliyogre and it came out too well.
Thanks for your recipe and the step by step pictures.
This is an excellent post.

Shilpa said...

Ohh this is great. I will try this soon. I love puliyogare :). Though I make my own version, I wanted to learn the Iyengar version of it. Thanks Veda for posting this and also for all the tips.

Veda Murthy said...

Thank u bharthi and prithi...

thanks nithya... i m so happy to know u tried our traditional version!

thank u so much shilpa for stopping by and do try and tell me how it turned out for u!


LG said...

hi veda, I made saarina pudi and was real yumm..have posted it on my blog too. Thanks sooo much to you.

Veda Murthy said...

Thank u very much LG.....It feels really wonderful when people try ur recipe and appreciate it. I can say u made my day today! Seeing my recipe and ur words for me on ur blog is best compliment one can get! thanks so much again LG


bee said...

this is a fantastic step-by-step demo. thank you.

Anonymous said...

looks delicious Veda! this is my first time here - u have a lovely blog - where nice step by step pics of puliogare!

Laavanya said...

I tried your recipe for puliyodharai and we loved it. The simmering did take a lot of time but it was very flavorful and very satisfying. Thank you for the detailed steps and for sharing your grandmother's recipe. I'll post mine soon and let you know... :)

Veda Murthy said...

Thank you lavanya. Feels fantastic to know your tried my recipe and everyone at ur place liked it. Do let me know if you want to know of a particular recipe in the future. Will try to add them!

Thank u bee for stopping by!

masala magic- thanks for showering all the compliments on my blog.

Laavanya said...

Hiya Veda - I've posted my version on my blog - check it out and thanks again.

Roochi said...

the pic looks just great... i love the step to step presentation... (i feel u hav made full justice to the name of your blog by posting this wonderful Puliyogare recipe)

Prati said...

thank you thank you thank you, for posting such a detailed recipe. I was looking for an authentic puliyogre gojju recipe and am glad I found it here.

Veda Murthy said...

hey roochi and prati...thank u gals for those wonderful msgs.....

Shylaja said...

Hi Veda,
Thanks for the recipe, as i was looking out for one...will surely try this out very soon..Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Hai Veda,

Thanks a lot for such a wonderful recipie and i tried at home that to it was first time i was doing puliyogare and i tried the way u said and it came simply superb and awesome....and its wonderful way u teach us by step by step and its really nice to learn and once again thanks a lot and i want to see lots more from you...keep it up

Vaishnavi Hegde

Anonymous said...

Hi Veda,
First of all, thank you for sharing your Patti's receipes to all of us and this is the best Puliyogare receipe I ever found on the blog's.

Madhura said...

Hi Veda,
First of all, thank you for sharing your Patti's receipes to all of us and this is the best Puliyogare receipe I ever found on the blog's.

Veda Murthy said...

Hi madhura and vaishnavi,
Thank you so much for the appreciation n compliments for my blog...i m really touched! i m glad this recipe turned out grt for u and this kind of inputs will really help me to add in more fabulous recipes!

keep checking and commenting....:-)


Mahen said...

For Such a long time i was wondering how only in temple we are getting xcellent Puligare ..Finally i Prepared myself the Same!!!!Wow!!! No words for the taste...Thanks Veda for Providing Such a Mouth watering Authentic Iyengar Puliogare Receipe.

Only one think i took choice of my own..Thts the oil..Read somewhere for Puligare need to be prepared from Gingeely oil.If thats can include in your receipe detail...

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=][/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

Richa said...

Dear Veda,

I have just read the recipe and as others said I am also really amazed to read each intricacy details in recipe. I just love Puligare and with MTR mix it is two minutes away. But I am sure going to try this even if it is going to take me almost 2 hrs. Thanks so much.

Best Regards

Jaya said...

Hi Veda,
Tried your recipe today and it came out really well. Very well explained and detailed step by step method. I blindly followed your recipe and volla husband just loved the taste. Thank you...

kavitha said...

hi veda, i m ravi from sydney.
my wife loves puliyodharai.whenever we go to temple, my wife give pressure to buy puliyodharai.after we came to australia,she couldn't get that.i made puliyodara by using ur recipe, she didn't leave one rice & said sorry for that. now every day she asking me to do puliyodara. how can we eat puliyodara daily.
i too love that.
thank u very very very much.......

ravi & kavi

janu said...

Today morning i did your version of puliyogare.Really, really it came out so well.I followed your step by step procedure. Thank you one again. My family liked it so much.

Veda Murthy said...

thanks janu for trying my recipe! i m glad it turned out really well for u....thanks ravi n kavi !

Uma said...

Hi veda...
Very nice blog...thanks for the puliogare recipe....
Pls check mine too and post ur comments:)..


Sumi said...

Simply loved your way of explaining things...indeed all the minute details. I have always wondered how temple puliogare tasted so yummy. I am happy that I got an authentic recipe I was looking for. For sure, I am going to try this for tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Veda,

Just while browsing for Iyengar recipes, Stumbled upon n saw this awesome site.. Very informative it is :-)

It looks just like a kitchen rather than a site..!!!

Keep posting more Yar.. :-)


Akshata Rao said...

Hi Veda

I was looking for a recipe to cook authentic and the most tasty version of puliyogare. I haven't cooked too much so my knowledge is limited to rice, rasam and a few curries. However, your step by step process, the explanation with pictures to guide is just fabulous.

Keep writing the way you do. Any newbie to cooking should be tempted to follow your recipe.


Anonymous said...

Hi Veda, thanks for the authentic puliyogre recipe. ended up on this blog while looking for the same.


Anonymous said...

Hi Veda, It is just so amazing to learn to make authentic puliyogare, and I was just waiting for the right recipe, pestering my mom in law to give me the right recipe, but probably she had forgotten the recipe, thanks for this one, my family will love it. My children are very eatenturous and that is one reason I usually try adventurous cooking and successful, People like you can impact others with your blogging. Great job. Thanks a million.
Savitha Venkatraman

shwetyha said...

WOW!I tried this recipe.It turned out yummy.Thank u.

vaishnavi said...

looks yummy, i will surely try this.

Anonymous said...

Hi Veda,

Thanks for sharing this recipe. Me and my husband made this for our family and everyone loved it.

Keep posting.

Dee said...

Dear veda,

Thanks for the authentic Iyengar Puliyogare recipe. Was looking for one so many days. Came out really good.
Your presentation is so easy to follow.

Thanks again

Savitha Kumar said...

Hi Veda,

It is great to get back the ajji's puliyogare. I followed the procedure and it came out same as my grandma's puliyogare only.

Keep posting more authentic recipes....


Savitha Kumar

Anonymous said...

Dear Veda,

I followed the instructions to the T and the result was the most amazing Puliogare I have ever had.

Cant believe I made it myself.

Thanks Veda!


arathi said...

hi veda,
stumled upon your blog looking for traditional puliyogare recipe. just a small clarification, instead of 2 big blocks of jaggery how much can i use , i only get small,tiny blocks of jaggery here. thanks in advance.(i can do it by taste checking..but i dont like to do it :D)

Sang said...

Such a well written recipe and such wonderful photos make you want to prepare this instantly! Though am a south Indian, we never ever prepared this at home and dint have a clue how to, so ur photos make it easy to follow the steps. Thanks a million!

Anonymous said...

Dear veda,

Could you please advice if one can use concentrated tamrind paste instead of whole tamrind and skip the step 1,2 and 3? I am not trying to find shortcuts, it's just that I am pressed for time. Is this an option one can consider? That way I can start from step 4.

Kind regards.

Veda Murthy said...

Dear Anonymous, (I would have loved it if u had left ur name:-) )

Although I have never tried using tamaraind concentrate, You could try doing it if you dont have a choice. you could try doing a small portion first and if it works out fine then it should not be a problem. do let me know if it worked for u....thank u keep visiting my webpage....


us said...

really nice but i guess there can be easier steps to get same flavour....

very small thing is "gojju" which u prepared lasts only or maximum for 10-15 days.... the "powder" way saves a lot of time and gives same or even better taste and does last atleast for a month..!!! save fuel, time and get same taste.... i hope many can google and find powder way.....

well i really appreciate ur post though, very nice :)

Anupama said...

For someone who is very new & enthusiastic to try their culinary skills this was a perfect post.I tried making the resam powder , puliogre . it turned out "Perfect" & YUMMY. I was able to satisfy the taste buds ofmy dear husband :) . Thank you for your post & will wait to see many more...

shashank r said...

great job!!! very lucid explanation...thanks a lot. hats off to your patience

Shweta Akshay Prabhu Verleker said...

hey this is nice.. my husband loves puliogare and this I guess will be a nice treat for him.. Thanks a ton for sharing the recipe..


Anonymous said...

This is the best ever Puliyogare recipe and explanation I have come across. The word comprehensive should feel shy ;-)

Anonymous said...

This is the best ever Puliyogare recipe and explanation I have come across. The word comprehensive should feel shy ;-)
Being a Foodie and a Cookie (I experiment a lot on cooking), I rate this very high :-)
Great talent..

Madhu said...

Awesome awesome what I can say,very well explained.Thanks a ton for letting out the secret recipe.


Madhu said...

Hare Krishna,

Hats of your Ajji(Paati) for her efforts and Thank you for keeping your Paati spirits alive..


Madhu said...

Hare Krishna!

Hats off to your Ajji Grandma for her efforts and Thank You for keeping your Paati spirits alive.


Suman said...

Hi Veda,

I really liked your recipe.
Thanks for posting it.

I have one clarification though. It will be great if you could tell me

the total weight of the 2 blocks of jaggery that you used.

Veda said...

Hi Suman,

Sorry for the delayed reply. Jaggery would be approximately 2cups.


shashikala palman said...

Dear Veda,

You recipe is awesome. I really am struggling for words to tell how fantastic your recipe is. I just made gojju & my home is filled with this puliogare aroma. I can't thank you enough for this recipe. I will prepare rice in some time & will let you know how it tasted.

And I really want to thank you for sharing this recipe with everyone, because there was (and still is ) a time when people who knew this recipe kept it a secret. So, Thank you...Thank you...Thank you :)


shashikala palman said...

Dear Veda,

I made puliogare & it was like Heavenly Manna !!! Thanks a million !!!


viju said...


By looking at puliogare in pan my mouth is watering.. o my god
when i will prepare this...
please let me know how many time i have to add rasam powder
once is enough for preparing puliogare gojju.

thank you

Vidya said...

Thank you for an authentic comprehensive recipe. Google should show this in the first page of search and on the top.

Mini said...

Dear Veda, thank you so much for detailed recipe. I plan to make to make it coming weekend. I have one question.. Excuse me if it is a silly one.. Rasam powder goes in step 5 and 15 . how much quantity goes in both the steps.