Pulihora recipe with step by step photos. Pulihora is a popular rice dish from andhra cuisine made with tamarind, rice, tempering spices & curry leaves. It is also known as chintapandu pulihora. It is one of the most basic dishes prepared during andhra festivals.
All of these are very commonly made in traditional households during festivals & even on regular days. Pulihora is also popular in temples & is offered to the devotees as prasadam. The temple style pulihora is not only very flavorful but also delicious.
Making pulihora at home is simple & can be prepared even by a novice. I make chintapandu pulihora mostly during festivals & very rarely make for a weekend lunch when I run out of veggies.
Tips to make good pulihora
1.Cook rice to grainy and not mushy. You will not get good pulihora if you cook the rice too soft or mushy. Aged rice is better as you will need to cook the rice grainy. Use water according to the age of rice. Newly harvested rice will need only 1.5 cups water for every cup of rice.
2.Always rinse, soak & filter the tamarind pulp. Usually tamarind has lot of dust & unwanted particles so do rinse it at least once before using. Once it has soaked pass it through a filter. This helps to get rid of the fiber & unwanted pulp.
3.To make temple style pulihora, add little mustard powder or sesame powder. However this is optional. Do not use both as it may make the dish bitter. I usually make a few tbsps of this powder and keep in the fridge as it is very hard to make only a bit.
4.If making pulihora for offering to god, then we skip chilies & ginger. For the heat some people even add coarse crushed pepper.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ½ tsp mustard powder lightly roasted or roasted sesame seeds powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp Oil
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 tbsp urad dal or senagapappu
- 1 tbsp channa dal or senagapappu
- 2 to 3 tbsp peanuts
- 2 red chilies broken
- 2 Green chilies slit (if not for naivedyam)
- ½ tsp Ginger finely chopped (optional)
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 pinch Hing or asafoetida
How to make the recipe
Preparation for pulihora
- Cooking rice – Add rice to a bowl & wash it well a few times. Pour 3 cups water. Place the bowl in a pressure cook and cover with a lid. Pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles on a medium flame. When the pressure goes off remove the bowl and transfer to a wide plate. Do not mash it.
- Preparing rice – The rice has to be grainy and not mushy. Sprinkle salt and turmeric over the rice. Then pour 1 tbsp sesame oil. Allow to cool and mix well. If needed add more turmeric to get the color you desire.
- Making mustard powder (optional) – If you wish to use mustard powder, roast the seeds until slightly hot and cool. Powder and set aside. or You can use sesame seeds after dry roasting until they begin to splutter. Cool and powder. Do not use both, use either of them.
- Soaking Tamarind – Add tamarind to a small bowl and rinse it. Pour hot water just enough to immerse it. When it turns soft, squeeze and make a thick paste. Pass it through a filter, discard stones and pulp.
How to make pulihora
- Heat a pan with oil. Then add mustard, peanuts, chana dal & urad dal. Fry till the peanuts turn golden & aromatic. Then add curry leaves, green chilies, red chilies and ginger (optional). Fry till the red chilies turn crisp
- Then add hing, followed by tamarind pulp, jaggery and little more salt.
- Mix everything well & cook till the mixture thickens & begins to leave the oil. If you take off the mixture a bit early then your pulihora will turn very moist & mushy. Turn off the stove.
- The rice must be cool by now. Sprinkle mustard powder or sesame powder all over the rice. Then transfer ¾ of the cooked pulihora mixture to the rice.
- Gently mix and add more if needed. If offering to God then do not taste it. Otherwise you can taste and add more salt if needed. If the pulihora is too dry then add more oil & mix.
- Serve pulihora with fresh homemade curd.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Jaggery enhances the taste without adding too much of sweetness to the pulihora. You can also skip it if your tamarind has slight sweet tones in it.
- Sesame seeds or mustard powder is used in temple style pulihora. You may skip it if you do not like.Use only one of them. Using both may make your dish bitter.
- If making for naivedyam then skip chilies & ginger or you may consult your elders.
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
How to make pulihora
1. To make mustard powder (optional) – Add mustard seeds to a pan and heat them. Do not fry a lot they may turn bitter. Remove and set aside to cool. or you can also use sesame seeds. Dry roast them in a pan until they begin to splutter. Turn off and cool them. Make a fine powder. Set this aside.
2. Soaking Tamarind: Rinse and soak tamarind in hot water and make a thick paste by squeezing. Filter to remove stones and debris. Set this aside.
3. Cook rice without making it mushy. I cook rice in a pressure cooker directly for 1 whistle. Spread the rice on a wide plate and sprinkle salt, turmeric and oil.Set aside to cool completely.
4. Add oil to a pan and heat it. Next add mustard, chana dal, urad dal and peanuts. Fry the peanuts till golden & aromatic. Then add curry leaves, ginger, green chilies and red chilies. Fry everything well until the curry leaves turn crisp.
5. Add tamarind paste, jaggery, hing and more salt.Cook until the mixture becomes thick.
5. Switch off the stove when the mixture begins to leave oil.
6. Sprinkle mustard powder. Then add the pulihora mixture over it. Mix the rice well.