Pulikkachal (Tamarind Pickle)

  • Author: Kavitha
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x


  • 1.5 cup Tamarind fruit (or 2 cups thick tamarind extract)
  • 4 cups warm Water
  • 810 Dried Red Chilli
  • 1 TBsp Black Mustard Seeds (Rai)
  • 2 TBsp Chana Dal (brown chickpea lentil)
  • 2 TBsp Urad Dal (split black gram) {opional}
  • 2 tsp Methi Seeds (Fenugreek)
  • 1 tsp Jaggery (or sugar)
  • 2 TBsp Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Hing chunks (asafoetida) {If chunks not available, use powder}
  • 4 TBsp Curry Leaves
  • 1 cup Sesame Oil (til oil)


  1. Soak tamarind fruit in warm water for 15 minutes.
  2. Squeeze out all the pulp into the water and discard the fruit.
  3. Dry roast fenugreek (methi) seeds Remove & grind to a coarse powder. (use a mortar & pestle or a grinder)
  4. Heat Sesame (Til) Oil and add the Hing chunks. Let that fry for 1 minute. (If you don’t have chunks, skip this step & add powder along with the salt.
  5. Add Dried Red Chillies. Let them fry in the oil for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the mustard seeds, Chana Dal & Urad Dal & fry until the dals turn golden brown.
  7. Add curry leaves & turmeric powder. Add the tamarind extract water & mix well.
  8. Add the salt, (if using – asafietida powder), jaggery (or sugar)
  9. Let the mixture boil & reduce by half.
  10. Add the ground Methi (fenugreek) seeds
  11. Mix well and continue to boil.
  12. Let the mixture cook until it has reduced and become a thick paste. (another way to tell if its done is when the oil starts to leave & float around the sides)
  13. Store in air tight container in the fridge for upto 3 months or sometimes even a year.

  • Category: Condiments
  • Cuisine: South Indian