This is one of the most favoured rice items in South India. Almost every community makes it for special occasions, and temples for prasadam. Also its an amazingly easy dish to carry along for long train journeys, when one is not sure of the quality of food at various stations. 🙂
This is the Pulihora. There are 2 versions: lemon (Nimmakaya) and tamarind (Chintapandu). Most people assume that pulihora means lemon rice. That’s not entirely correct. It means lemon rice, but could also mean tamarind rice.
What I’ll be writing about, is what I make for almost every auspicious occasion, sometimes for guests, and sometimes when I have a lot of rice leftover as well: Chintapandu Pulihora.
- 1/2 cup rice, cooked
- 1/2 cup thick tamarind juice
- 4-5 green chillies
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- curry leaves to taste
- Tadka: aavalu, mina pappu, senaga pappu, groundnuts, dry red chillies
- Take a largish basin/plate and put the cooked rice in it. Let it spread around a little to cool. Also the size of the plate/basin will help in mixing all the ingredients at the end.
- Add the salt, turmeric powder and curry leaves on top of the rice. Do not mix it now.
- In a wok, add 3 tsp cooking oil, and add the tadka. Keep stirring the tadka to ensure all the groundnuts are nicely browned, but not burnt.
- Once the groundnuts and other dals in the tadka are nicely browned (the groundnuts must be fried right till the center), add on top of the curry leaves.
- Pour the tamarind juice into the hot wok and put back to cook.
- Add the green chillies to the tamarind juice. You can either split the chillies down the length or break into smaller peices before adding.
- Keep the chiilies cooking till they change color. By this time the tamarind juice will also have reduced to a thick pulp.
- Add to the rice, and keep till it cools a little.
- Once it is sufficiently cooled, mix thoroughly. Ensure there is no bit of rice that is left unmixed. This will spoil the enjoyment of the pulihora. Usually it is mixed by hand to ensure this.
- Set aside for 1 hr before serving. This is not really necessary, but I find the taste really enhanced by setting aside.
This rice dish needn’t be served hot. You can have it cold as a snack, a main dish, or a side rice dish in your meal. The choice is all yours!