The coming Sunday signals the start of Sravana Maasam (the month of Sravan according to the Hindu Calendar) in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. This is perhaps the most auspicious of all months and signals the start of the Chaturmasyam (4-month auspicious period). Almost every day of Sravana Maasam is significant for some reason and the Chaturmas is dotted with festivals.
Festivals mean poojas; and poojas, but of course, are incomplete without food. Rice plays a very important part in all the naivedyam/prasadam and so I thought I would post a round-up of some of the popular rice dishes that are made during festival days.
I am limiting this post to the savoury rice dishes. Sweets made with rice are reserved for another round up!
A well-made Chintapandu Pulihora is food for the body and the soul. This rice dish also keeps well and so is a staple on long train journeys in India along with its companion Daddojanam or Curd Rice.
Also called Puliyogare in Kannada or Puliyodarai in Tamil, this is a dish that I would consider my signature dish. I get a request to make this ever so often from family and friends who also request a detailed recipe. So I decided to create a step-by-step tutorial for making Pulihora.
While I traditionally make Tamarind Rice by soaking Tamarind and extracting pulp, here I have shown you a pictorial with readymade Tamarind Paste. The only reason for this is to ensure that you are able to replicate the taste.
There are many versions of Tamarind Rice. However, today I am writing about the simplest form, and the one that is most commonly made. My favourite version is the Kovil Pulihora or the Tamarind Rice you get in temples. There is something simply divine about it!
How to Make Chintapandu Pulihora | Tamarind Rice | Puliyogare | Puliyodarai
Rice – 1 Cup
Tamarind Paste – 3 tbsp (I used Mother’s Recipe Tamarind Paste) Or Tamarind – 1.5″ size ball
Rai – 1 tsp
Udad Dal – 1 tbsp
Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Peanuts – 1/4 cup
Hing – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – 10 to 12
Spicy Red Chillies – 4 to 6
Green Chillies – 2 or 3
Salt – To taste
Sugar/Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 4 tbsp (Til oil preferred)
The Step-by-Step Method to Make Chintapandu Pulihora | Tamarind Rice | Puliyogare | Puliyodarai
If you are using Tamarind:
In a small bowl, soak tamarind in 1/4 cup hot water for about 10 mins.
Let the tamarind cool.
Crush well with your hand and squeeze to extract the pulp.
You can add a bit of water again to the tamarind if you think there is some more pulp you can extract.
If You Are Using Readymade Tamarind Paste:
Take 3 tbsp of the Tamarind Pulp into a small bowl.
Add 3 tbsp water and mix well.
Getting the Rice Ready
Wash the rice well.
Add 1.5 Cups of water.
Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Let the cooker cool for 10 mins. This will help all the water in the rice to be absorbed. Otherwise, you will have very wet rice and some watery residue. This will make the Pulihora very mushy.
Spread the hot rice out in a large plate or a deep and wide dish.I find that using a wide dish makes mixing easier later.
Immediately drizzle about 1.5 tbsp oil on the rice and sprinkle the curry leaves over it.
With a gentle hand, mix well so that the rice absorbs all the oil. Ensure that the curry leaves are covered by the rice. The oil keeps the rice grains separate while the curry leaves lend a lovely aroma to the rice.
Getting the Tempering Ready:
Heat the 1.5 tbsp oil.
Add mustard seeds to it and stir-fry till they splutter. If you are using sesame oil, the oil will also froth a bit.
When the mustard seeds splutter, add udad dal and chana dal.
Fry till the dals are light brown.
Add fenugreek seeds and fry for 1/2 min.
Add peanuts and stir-fry till they start to pop.
When the peanuts start to pop, add split red chillies and slit green chillies.
Stir-fry for ½ min.
Add asafoetida and mix well.
Cooking the Tamarind Pulp
Heat 1 tbsp oil
Add the tamarind pulp.
Cook the tamarind pulp till it thickens. Stir constantly, otherwise the paste will stick to the bottom and burn.
When the oil starts to leave the sides, add the turmeric, jaggery, and previously fried green chillies.
Mix well and cook well till the chillies soften.
Turn off the heat and add salt. If you are using readymade paste, be careful with the salt because the tamarind paste has salt.
Putting It All Together
Add the tempering to the rice.
Using your hand, crush a few of the red chillies. This will add the spicy taste to the Pulihora.
Add the cooked Tamarind paste.
Let the Tamarind Rice or Chintapandu Pulihora rest for at least one hour before eating.
Tamarind should be sufficiently tangy. Avoid using new” tamarind or one that is very light in colour, because it will have a sweetish taste.
The tamarind pulp should be thick but of pouring consistency. Do not make it too thin.
Rice should be cooked such that the grains separate. The rice should not be sticky or have excess water.
Chintapandu Pulihora tastes better if you fry the red chillies separately and crush them by hand before mixing in Pulihora.
Add a generous dose of Nuvvula Podi to Tamarind Rice and taste the difference!
I eat Chintapandu Pulihora with cool Perugu (aka Curd). 🙂