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.
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
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
- World Palate Series – Thai Green Curry (walktomarket.wordpress.com)
Other Related articles :
- Kovil Puliyodharai / Temple Puliyodharai (subbuskitchen.com)
All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.