The Imli is another staple ingredient in South Indian Cooking. And that’s the only place I thought it was used, till I “Wiki”ed about it. Turns out, it is used in Latin American cuisines and is also an important ingredient in Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce; and the Jamaican-produced Pickapeppa sauce!

Puli Saadam – Literally Translates to “Tamarind Rice”, and must say, its one of my favorite South Indian dishes. So, obviously I have the recipe copied for the “Shift” and am posting it here, for the irrational fear that I might lose the recipe slip of paper in the midst of all this sorting and shifting.

Ingredients for the Puli Saadam paste

2 Lemon size balls of dried tamarind – Soak in water and get a thick paste, with no trace of the pulp.

1 tsp turmeric (haldi)

3 tsp salt

2 tbsp channa dal (uncooked, split white channa)

3 tbsp oil (preferably sesame oil)

3 tspn mustard seeds

7-8 red chillies – slightly broken

Curry leaves – 15 – 20

2 -3 tbsp peanuts

1 tablespoon channa dal

For the Dry Powder – This is to be fried in very little oil and ground.

1 tsp methi seeds

3 tsp dhaniya (whole)

10 – 12 chillies

1 cm raw hing


Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves, peanuts and channa dal and cook till roasted (there should be no trace of water). Add the tamarind paste, haldi, salt and channa dal and cook thoroughly till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.

Add the powdered masala and cook further.

Before removing from the gas, add a teaspoon of gur (jaggery).

Add the paste to boiled rice, along with fresh curry leaves. The paste can be prepared and kept in the fridge. It is added to the rice as per taste. Adjust the salt.

At home we serve this with a special chutney. The recipe for the same is given below


Ingredient for Chutney

1 quarter grated coconut

3 red chillies

1 mm of hing

1 tsp of urad dal

1 tsp of tamarind paste


Fry the chillies and hing. Fry the urad dal seperately. Grind and add the tamarind. Add the coconut. Add salt. Grind further. Finally at the urad dal which has been seperately fried.

I plan to keep the paste ready for packed lunches. Make the paste on the weekend and add whenever to boiled rice 🙂