Saturday, April 11, 2015

(Almost) Instant Puliogere - Ready to Mix Puliogere Spice Powder

I started writing this blog to help my daughter ad her housemates cook for themselves between their hectic time table. If that helped them or not, this activity, has given me much to learn from and experiment and venture further into food. I used to part cook and freeze dishes for my husband when ever I travelled. It helped that he only had to thaw defrost and cook until done. Over the years now, he has picked up cooking for himself a basic meal, and, a little more too.
My nephew found three other guys who would share chores, cooking and washing dishes. He packed a few utensils and basic stuff like home made powders with him. We also purchased ready to mix and cook instant mixes for him. that gave us an idea to try making ready mixes at home. I made adai mix, rawa dosai mix and such last time for my husband which he found useful.
This time on, my younger nephew is off abroad for twelve weeks. He has not been trained to even making his own tea. To manage in a foreign land, between his busy schedule, working on and presenting thesis would be tough. My sister tried finding friends and family closer to his University without much help. Then between my mother and the three of us, we came up with making at home ready mixes that will aid him and the other boy who will be at the same university.. We suggested boil in bag rice to go with whatever we pack. thus we have made rasam, sambhar and this puliogere ready mix. It is not instant, but can be made in under 10 minutes.
The list of ingredients can be intimidatingly long, but the end product is worth the effort.

Ready to Mix Puliogere Spice Powder

Yield 300 grams of powder (not taking into account the garnish of peanuts, cashews and curry leaves)
(Put together they fill a 800 gram capacity jar)

1 cup (Heaped and tightly packed)/ 250 millilitres/ 140 grams torn bits of tamarind
1/2 cup/ 125 millilitres broken dry red chillis
3 tablespoons sea salt (adjust salt level according to individual taste)
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1/8 cup white sesame seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 tablespoon balck pepper corns
2 tablespoons channa dhal
2 teaspoons urad dhal

For garnish* (See Notes)
1/2 cup/125 millilitres roasted peanuts
25 numbers cashew nuts roasted
10-15 dry red chillis dry roasted and broken in medium size bits
10 sprigs curry leaves, washed and sun dried or roasted dry

These can either be mixed in the powder or can be added in required quantities when the tamarind rice is being mixed.

Tear the tamarind in small bits removing the membrane and tiny bits of shell that might be present.
Spread it on a plate and dry it in a pre-heated 200 degrees C oven for 8-10 minutes. The tamarind would have become dry and brittle when cooled to room temperature. You may choose to sun dry them for a few days until the texture is achieved.
Keeping the heat low to medium, dry roast each of the listed ingredients separately until crisp. The turmeric powder and asafoetida powder can be dropped in the warm pan after switching the heat off.
Allow to cool and grind to an almost fine powder in a mixer/ spice grinder.
To the mixed powder, add the ingredients for garnish.
Store in an airtight container.
The powder alone comes to 300 grams/ 550 ml. Adding the ingredients listed under 'for garnish' it fills a 800 ml glass jar approximately 420 grams.
This can be stored for six months.

To make the puliogere (puliodharai/ puliamsadham):
Cook a cup of rice, allow to cool and fluff with a fork.
Add two tablespoons of gingelly oil to the rice and mix it in.
To the above add required amount of the powdered ready mix.(If salt is less in the mix, you can always add salt at this stage to the rice also) Mix well with the rice.
Heat some oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, allow them to crackle. Temper the mixed rice.

Serve as part of meal with fried crisps (vadam/ appalam) and/or potato/ banana chips. We enjoyed it with urulai roast.


  1. Great idea, Lata-ji! I don't like the commercial ready made mixes (not even MTR) so this will be perfect to try out for myself when I get a craving for tamarind rice!

  2. Wow, looks so tasty and loved the rich color.


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