Tamarind Rice

I have fond memories of eating tamarind rice in temples when I was a little girl. It’s my all-time favourite dish – simple, spicy and delicious! This is the perfect recipe to rekindle that childhood memory and spark some joy.


  • 1 Cup Rice (preferably a medium-sized grain – do not use Basmati)
  • 1/4 Cup Tamarind Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Channa Daal
  • 2 Tbsp Urad Dal
  • 2 Tbsp Peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 6 Dried Red Chillies
  • 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Jeera Seeds (cumin)
  • A Pinch of Asafoetida (hing) 
  • 1 Tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 3 Stalks Curry Leaves 
  • Salt to Taste


Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes

  1. Wash a cup rice three times until the water runs clear and pressure cook with 2 cups of water for 3 whistles. Alternatively, you can steam it for 20 minutes until al dente. Do not cook the rice fully or you will end up with mushy rice.
  2. Once the rice is cooked, transfer immediately to a bigger vessel and let cool completely.
  3. Grind the channa dal, urad dal, peanuts, coriander seeds and 3 red chillies to a coarse powder. Set aside.
  4. In a pan add oil, mustard seeds, cumin, hing and let splutter.
  5. Add the curry leaves and remainder of 3 red chillies. Let crisp up for about 10 seconds. Keep the flame medium to avoid the risk of burning.
  6. Add the ¼ cup tamarind paste with ¼ cup water and let simmer for 10 minutes. This is to remove any raw tamarind flavour.
  7. Add red chilli powder, salt and the coarse dal powder made earlier. Cook the mixture completely until the oil starts to separate.
  8. Turn off the heat and add the completely cooled rice in batches, mixing slowly to avoid clumping.
  9. Mix well until each grain is coated. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. This ensures the flavour penetrates the rice and makes for a more flavourful dish.