Pulihora does not need any introduction for most of the South Indians, especially people from Andhra. It is called by different names in different regions. Tamarind sourness dominates the rice and is neutralized just right enough with the fiery hotness of green chilies, the wholesome crunch of fried peanuts, cashews and the flavor full richness of curry leaves. The combination of all the ingredients makes Pulihora a sumptuous deal for the stomach.
Andhra, Pulihora finds its place as a main delicacy during all festive occasions. Especially in my home, Pulihora, sweet pongal, Garelu are staple festive foods. Pulihora is also offered as the ‘divine’ prasadam in many Hindu temples.
When making this dish please resist the temptation of using store bought mixes, this is truly enjoyed with the fresh squeezed tamarind pulp.
- Cook rice with little bit of channa dal (around 2 tbsp) it gives very good flavor to the whole dish.
- Green chilies boiled together with the tamarind pulp gives a very nice flavor. One can enjoy biting into these tamarind boiled chilies and enjoy their hot and sour taste.
- This dish taste excellent after 4 to 6 hrs as the sourness of tamarind needs a bit of time to creep into the rice granules and delights the person to crave some more.
- 2 cups of rice (cooked and cooled to room temp)
- Lemon sized tamarind (soak in a cup of hot water and extract pulp)
- 5 Red Chilies
- 3 tbsp oil
- 5 Green chilies slit length wise
- 2 Curry leaf stalks
- Salt to Taste
- 2 pinches asafetida
- 1 pinch of Fenugreek powder
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seed
- 3 tbsp Groundnuts
- 2 tbsp cashews
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice free of all the pulp and seeds.( we need to do this step couple times to make sure, all the juice in the tamarind is extracted).
- Shift the tamarind juice to a cooking vessel, add 2 red chillies, 3 tbsp of oil, a stalk of curry leaves, a pinch of asoeftida, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of fenugreek powder (optional), little salt and put it to boil until the tamarind becomes a thick consistent paste, all the water evaporates and it separates some oil. This can be stored in a refrigerator if you keep it in a moist-free and tightly closed container for a few days or nearly a month.
- Cook rice separately and spread it out in a wide bowl/dish to cool.
- Mix the rice evenly with one tbsp of oil, salt to taste and turmeric. Take care not to mash the rice grains. You can use a spoon here but I do not mind using my hand (world’s best tool) to mix thoroughly without having to mash the rice grains.
- Mix the rice with the tamarind paste (from step 2) without having to mash the rice grains. Keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the groundnuts (peanuts), cashews drain them and add to the rice.
- In a small pan, add 3 tbsp oil and add mustard seeds, when they start to crack, add cumin seeds, curry leaves any left over green chilies and asafetida.
- Add this tempering to the rice and mix it gentle and thoroughly.
- Best tasted when served after 4-6 hrs. The sourness of tamarind needs a bit of time to creep into the rice granules and delights the person to crave some more.
This can be a great lunch box item too.