Cranberries are considered a super food as they are high in antioxidants. I have observed that they are commonly used ingredient in Thanksgiving meals . People usually make drinks, sauce and desserts. I bought two packets of these seasonal berries thinking that I would make bread or cookies. But finally ended up making something unconventional to satisfy my south indian palate.
Puliyogare/Puliyodharai is a simple Tamarind Rice which is one of the most popular Southern Indian Rice varieties. “Puli” means “sour” refers to the use of Tamarind as one of the main ingredients. It is known for its longer shelf life and is often used as a great travel food. I have fond memories of my mother packing this during most of our long road trips. Every family has their own recipe, some use sesame seeds some don’t, some make it simple without lentils. This is my take on this classic recipe with a slight twist, i.e. addition of cranberries.
While cooking, these berries eventually pop up and become mushy so chopping them is not the best use of time. Traditionally Pulikachal or Puliyogare gojju( ‘Gojju’ means ‘gravy’)is made using Tamarind juice/water and spices. Addition of tamarind is a must in this recipe because it gives the much needed sourness & tanginess to balance the tartness from the berries. I used indian dry red chillies for the spice and jaggery for the sweetness. Instead of Jaggery brown sugar can be used too. What we make is the Puliyogare Gojju and once it is mixed with rice it becomes Puliyogare/Puliyodharai/Pulihara.
I was expecting a pinkish or reddish colored rice but surprisingly it just looked just like the regular Puliyogare. Looks like cooking it with tamarind and all the spices did the trick. They tastes best when cooked in sesame oil which is actually the authentic way of making this recipe.
Just use little gojju to mix with cooked Rice. You wouldn’t need the whole batch. The Gojju should be refrigerated and should be good for about two weeks or so. Enjoy!