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Pulihora the Tmarind Rice

This tangy traditional dish is very popular during festivals at most homes and many south Indian temples. It’s colour, taste and texture makes the best choice for communal feasting and family picnics all year and specially during the ‘Shravan’ month (July/August). The tangy taste comes from Tamarind, antiseptic turmeric gives it’s celebrating dark yellow colour while the addition of nuts, pulses and mustard seeds give the enjoying texture – all in all Pulihora is a melt-in-the-mouth dish that everyone loves! The addition of ingredients like curry leaves, black pepper, turmeric powder make this dish healthy too. Here is the method to follow to cook authentic Pulihora at home.

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Here is Your Recipe

200 gr rice (not basmati, but fine quality like Sona Masuri or Kolum type)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A bunch of fresh curry leaves
50 gr tamarind
15 gr jaggery
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppers
5 dry red chilli
1 green chilli
1 1/2 tsps finely chopped ginger
1/4 tsp hing or asafoetida
2 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp peanuts
2 tbsp cashew nuts
3 tbsps sunflower oil
salt to taste

Wash and soak rice in a cooking bowl. Tamarind to be soaked in two cups warm water for over 20 mins to get the pulp out by squeezing. Roast peanuts and cashew nuts by heating a tsp oil and keep aside. Dry roast the sesame seeds and make powder and keep aside.

Cook rice well in correct amount of water (usually 1:2 rice to water ratio)  so that each grain is separated and then allow to cool while Pulihora mix is prepared.

Heat oil and add mustard, cumin seeds and allow them to pop for a couple of minutes. Now add chana dal, urid dal and fry them for over 5 minutes and make sure not to burn. Then add curry leaves, green chillies, red chillies, black peppers and let them fry for another 5 minutes. Now add ginger, and hing and all them to fry for another couple of minutes. Pour tamarind juice or pulp prepared earlier and cook for around 5 to 8 minutes till the mixture is well cooked. Add sesame seeds powder, jaggery, roasted nuts. Now add salt to taste and keep stirring so that the mixture is uniform and well mixed.

Now take a large flat bowl, spread the cooled rice in it and pour the Pulihora mix into the rice. Using clean hands or suitable spoons mix well so that the Pulihora mixture covers all the rice and uniform dark yellow colour is achieved. Allow Pulihora to marinate for over an hour or so for better taste and tanginess.

Serve Pulihora in a traditional banana leaves to make it more authentic! Remember the Pulihora mixture or Pulihora itself can be store in cool and dry place for over 12 hours. It won’t get spoiled. Enjoy the tangy Pulihora for lunch, dinner and as a snack when you go out with your family and friends!

Pulihora is also prepared in many other flavours. Substitute tamarind extract with lime juice or raw mango pulp to get the seasonal and different tastes.

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