World Palate Series – Indian Rice Recipe


Andhra Tamarind Rice – Pulihoara

In South Indian cooking, meals are usually rice based like Idli, Pongal, Adai, and Pulihoara. Puli or tamarind is an essential ingredient in cooking and is found in abundance during the hot summer. The sharp, tangy taste of tamarind when blended with dry, red chillies and salt –gives a unique, mouth watering, fiery flavour.  Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh has a melange of cuisines – rich, aromatic, spicy Mughlai and more subtle, vegetarian Telugu Brahmin cuisine.

Credit goes to my Mother-in-law for teaching me this Andhra (Telugu) recipe. Often, she made this for puja or prayer offerings, especially on Saturday, to Lord Perumal / Vishnu . It’s a family favourite, and I have made it for many years now – for prayer time as well as for entertaining friends and relatives.

Indian Spices for Rice preparation Indian Spices for Rice preparation


1 cup Indian rice (medium grain)

1 1/2 cup water

3 tsp. cooking oil

Tamarind pulp – preferably brown coloured (small lemon sized ball)

8-10 curry leaves

2 dry red chillies (adjust to your taste)

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. turmeric

Pinch of Asatoefida (Hing) – available in Indian grocery stores

Salt to taste

For garnish: (optional)

2 tsp. roasted Sesame seeds

2 tsp. roasted Peanut seeds

Coriander stalk / Curry leaves

Banana leaf or prayer plate

Turmeric sprinkled over cooked rice

Turmeric sprinkled over cooked rice


Wash rice thoroughly and discard the coloured water. Cook rice with measured water in rice cooker /stove top/ pressure cooker. Add a drop of oil so that the cooked grains are loose and fluffy. Once cooked, immediately run a fork through it and loosen grains and pour onto big, flat dish to cool. Apply some turmeric powder and salt and leave aside.

In a deep pan /wok /kadhai pour some oil and let it warm. Add mustard seeds, dry chilli, half amount of peanuts, remaining turmeric, curry leaves and splutter this. Take care! Cover quickly if necessary and switch off gas. Let cool.

In a small bowl add quarter glass water and soak the tamarind (without seeds). Microwave for 1 minute and mash the pulp. Cool it. Roast peanuts and sesame seeds, remove any skin and cool.

Next part – Mixing of rice and the mixtures is the most therapeutic and divine indulgence. Refrain from using a fork or ladle. Use clean hands  and gently mix it all.

Pour the oil mixture, tamarind pulp, half of peanut /sesame seeds onto the cooled rice. Using your hand or fork lightly toss and mix it all. Adjust salt to taste. Take a small round bowl, wash with water lightly. Pour the rice mixture into it and press lightly. Keep a large prayer plate or serving plate ready, line it with washed banana leaf, if you fancy. Invert the rice bowl on plate, tap gently. Out pops the coloured rice. Garnish with rest of the toasted peanuts, sesame and curry leaves. Place food at altar to offer, if you wish. Share and enjoy the tangy flavour with a cup of cool yoghurt. It sure drives the summer heat away.

                                                         ‘A great introduction to cultures is their cuisine.

                                    It not only reflects their evolution, but also their beliefs and traditions.’

                                                                                                                 Vikas Khanna, Michelin star Indian Chef   

Pulihoara prasadam

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All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) Please see copyright disclaimer.


About Veena S.

'Travel broadens the mind.' It's been a wonderful journey through the past few years, living and travelling to many countries. Certainly there were few eye openers, at other times just a comparison on cultures and food and cuisines. My blog is my learning journey to capture and re live these moments, share photographs and use technology. Come ...see the world with me.

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: World Palate Recipes- Hyderabadi Mirpakaya Pakodi ( Jalapeno Fritters) | Walk to Market

  2. Pingback: Recipes with Turmeric Yellow | Walk to Market

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