How would you like to have a meal that offers you every great taste that Indian food offers right from tangy, spicy, sweet, savoury, and is crunchy and is filling too?
Yup this is one dish that elevates a snack to a meal. I know Chaat especially a good Paani Puri would be one answer, as some would think it qualifies for a full meal – but the right answer for me is the Puliyogare rice (also called Puliyodare, Puliodharai etc.)
The big difference for me between chaat and Puliyogare rice is that Chaat is best done by experts and served by ‘others’. I especially enjoy a golgappa (paani puri) only when it is served by this guy briskly mixing and stuffing the filling into the puri and dunking it into the sweet sauce and then the spicy mixed water, and then serves each puri to you immediately into your cup, that you need to gulp it down immediately. A lot more chaat centres nowadays refuse to do this and ask you to make it on your own – which frankly neither tastes good nor is as much fun.
But a Puliyogare rice is best eaten at home, made by yourself/ family.
You might get a much more simpler version in the south indian temples as an offering from the temple – this is the less spicy version. (sometimes served as lemon rice after sprinkling this with lemon juice).
But add to this a tamarind paste laced with a bit of jiggery and other spices and then mix it with this, and then sprinkle crunchy deep fried peanuts and this dish is unbeatable.
The combination sounds extremely familiar and everyone does this formula from south India to South East Asia where the rending and green curry pastes are sometimes also used to make spicy fried rice or nasi gorengs of different varieties. (but the main feature of those rices are the shrimps, seafoods or the meat served with them). And since I only eat the vegetarian versions, while they are nice they don’t really even match up to the Puliyogare rice.
I think making this at home also makes the world of a difference and each home uses its own formula – at my home I think we make a slightly sweeter and possibly slightly moister version, but its absolutely lipsmacking satiating fare.
And typical to all great south Indian vegetarian fare – you can simply keep eating this forever and even long after you are full. (and that also becomes a problem when you eat this at a good restaurants – i.e. those few ones that actually prepare and serve this – because you can never get enough, if its made perfectly). If you do eat at a restaurant try having the puliyogare by itself and don’t take any of the chutneys or other sauces they might serve on the side or the chips, as they will interfere with the taste.
Needless to say we eat and make this occasionally and almost rarely – but when we do – its all by itself, we don’t have anything else – because its one good complete meal and best savoured by itself without any Sambhar, chutney or chips.
Go grab a plate at your closest south Indian restaurant – or better still, highly highly recommended is that you please learn the recipe and try making this at home and you will be thanking me for a really long time. Some recipes below – try this link and also watch the video below
(and yes you are welcome!)