Monday, 3 November 2014

Iyengar Puliogarai From Scratch

Puliogarai or tamarind rice is a speciality of Iyengar cuisine. No celebration is complete without puliogarai.
When I was little, I have  seen the preparation of this puliogarai paste, the basic paste required to make this tamarind rice. Each and every ingredient was choosen carefully both in quality and quantity. The exact measure of all ingredients, the oil used and so on. The big iron kadai used to be used to boiling this paste. The aged tamarind will be used, mean to say that, tamarind which is bought atleast a year back, is cleaned, pounded and made into big size balls,dried in sun and then stored, after an year this tamarind would have turned to very dark, black colour. This tamarind may be around 3-4 kilograms, used to be soaked in water previous day.
The next step is to make the dry roast powder, well before and keep ready which will go to the puliogarai paste.
Then a stove will be lit in the backyard near to the tap and the big iron kadai is lit, given the seasoning, then add thick tamarind juice and allowed to boil for hours, until it reaches medium consistency.
Then salt and jaggery is added and boiled again to reach more thicker consistency.
Finally Powder is added and boiled in low flame to get lehyam thick, cooled and stored in sterlized air tight bottles.
So when you want to make puliogarai, cook rice and cool.
Add lehgyam and dry roast powder salt and mix and then give the tempering.
Add grated dry coconut and serve.
Now I live abroad, everytime I used carry this paste from My Mom's place and prepare the puliogarai.
But sometimes it used to get over early or due weight limitations I was not able to carry the basic paste, then I used to always think If I had the infrastructure I would have prepared it myself. That's when I started experimenting to make in very less quantity, say just enough to make once or two times.
I succeeded, though I have made a small changes in roasted powder by adding little bit of chana dal and urad dal, which is not used in original powder, but again I have added to give body to the mixture, since I make it in very less quantiy.
To get the exact taste I would suggest you use either sesame oil or groundnut oil only.
Also I would suggest you to make this paste in a week's advance and go ahead with preparing the puliogarai, the older the paste the better the taste.
I have seen storing this in my house for more than a year, without fridge.

Rice - 250 grams,
Oil - 2 tablespoon(preferably sesame or groundnut oil),
Mustard Seeds - 1 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - fat pinch,
Tamarind - 1 large lemon size soaked in water for atleast 3-4 hours,
Jaggery - 2 tablespoons,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon.

For Roasting and grinding:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana Dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Urad dal - 1/4 teaspoon,
Coriander seeds - 3 teaspoons,
Red Chillies - 10-12,
Pepper Corn - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 teaspoon,
Sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry Leaves - 5-6 leaves.

Though originally all the ingredients under dry and roast table is done without oil, as large quantities of ingredients are used and easy to dry roast.
But since I am using very less quantity so I am using oil to roastthe ingredients, with any oil of your wish.
In a pan add oil and heat it. Add all the ingredients under roasting table and in medium low flame fry until evenly browned.
Remove from heat, cool and grind it to fine powder and keep aside.
Strain the thick pulp from the soaked tamarind and keep aside.
In broad deep kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Add the thick pulp, and allow to boil with turmeric.
When it reaches to medium thick consistency, add salt and jaggery and boil.
Continue to boil until it thickens to very thick paste.
Add the ground powder and boil for 3-4 minutes you see the whole mixture coming together as a big lump.
Remove from heat and store.

How to proceed:
Cook 250 grams of rice with enough water and spread with fork, to separate the grains, and completely cool it.
Spread the paste on the rice and mix with rice well.
Adjust the salt.
Tear around 10-12 fresh curry leaves into pieces and mix with rice.
In a kadai heat a tablespoon of sesame/ground oil(very important), add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida.
Add a tablespoon of grated dry coconut and mix.
When mustard seeds crackles, add 3 tablespoons of peanuts and 1 teaspoon of chana dal and fry until brown and add to the rice and serve and enjoy!!!!!!!!!

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