Pulihora recipe | How to make pulihora (chintapandu pulihora)
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.
Each south Indian state has a different version of this dish & most commonly these are known as Tamarind rice. Puliyogare is one such variation from Karnataka cuisine.
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.
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.
Chintapandu pulihora is ready.
coconut milk rice
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.
Rice payasam, simple Curd rice , Rava kesari and Ven pongal are some of the most made foods for festivals in Telugu speaking homes.
Pulihora can be served with
mixed dal vada,
If you are looking for more andhra festival recipes check
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1½ cups rice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (or any cooking oil)
- 1/8 tsp Turmeric or as needed
- ½ tsp Salt or as needed
- 1 handful tamarind or 4 tbsp. thick tamarind pulp (adjust to suit your taste)
- ½ to 1 tsp Jaggery optional
- 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
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.
- 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.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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I cooked pulihora for the first time today. I didn’t add jaggery and the results were awesome. It was almost the same as my friend Paul’s mother cooked me in guntoor. Amazing explainantion…..!!!!
Glad to know! Thank you
Recipe is very good. Liked the taste will make it again.
Glad you liked it Aditi
Thanks for trying
Can the tamarind mixture be stored in refrigerator for a week n mix it when required with rice
Yes usually it keeps good for a month in the fridge. Just ensure you cook it well until oil begins to separate.
How much tamarind concentrate if using?
I don’t use concentrate so no idea. Just add a tsp of it and check first. Then add more if needed.
I tried it very tasty thank u very much
Hi madam i am Venkanna, first i like to thank you a lot for giving us a great idea regarding tasty and delicious recipes for us. Bachelors like me really learning a lot of things from you and the recipes are really mouth watering for us, we would like see lot more yummy foods from you.
You are welcome
I am very happy to know the recipes are useful.
Yes surely will be sharing more easy & delicious recipes
Thanks for your time to write back here.
Difficulty level: 3/5
Very tasty. Thank you
I like these recepie a lot… Thank you very much
Welcome Mounika. iam glad you like the recipe
i like this site so much.
i like this site & it is amazing too because i don’t know how to cook rice but with u’r help i can make pulihora .
Thanks Sultana. Iam glad you like this site
Garelu resipe is so testy and i love Garelu. It was breakfast
Thanks Sowdhamini. Glad to know you enjoyed garelu
I just love different kinds of poha, I have today spicy version too.
Thank you Swathi garu, not jus this for all your receipe I feel it like the same taste which my mom makes in home when I try for myself. My only burden is the receipe to cook anything and the recipes you share makes my task very easy 😀 .. Though I do for the first time my roomates Just loves to taste them and enjoys food.. Thanks so much for that..
You are welcome! So happy to know the recipes are helping you cook! Thank you and stay safe!
I am sure this is delicious! Looks a bit like couscous.
I used to make a lot when my daughter is small..now it has been a long time since I made it…seeing your dish I feel like to make it soon….
Very interesting healthy twist, love to start my day with this pulihora.
Healthy & delicious pulihora 🙂 Lovely clicks too..<br />