Pulihora | Puliogare | Puliodharai | Tamarind Rice from Andhra Pradesh

Chintapandu Pulihora | Puliyodarai | Tamarind Rice

Chintapandu Pulihora or Tamarind Rice. The very mention of it conjures up a festive atmosphere. In my home, no festive meal is ever complete without it.

Pulihora in Telugu simply means Sour Rice. The source of sourness could be tamarind (chintapandu), raw mango (mammidikaya), lemon (nimmakaya), or sorrel (gongura). So we preface the word Pulihora by the source of sourness. So, Chintapandu Pulihora means Tamarind Rice. 🙂

Chintapandu Pulihora | Andhra Tamarind Rice | Puliyodarai
Chintapandu Pulihora | Andhra Tamarind Rice | Puliyodarai

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


  1. Rice – 1 Cup
  2. Tamarind Paste – 3 tbsp (I used Mother’s Recipe Tamarind Paste)
    Tamarind – 1.5″ size ball
  3. Rai – 1 tsp
  4. Udad Dal – 1 tbsp
  5. Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
  6. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  7. Peanuts – 1/4 cup
  8. Hing – 1/2 tsp
  9. Turmeric – 1 tsp
  10. Curry Leaves – 10 to 12
  11. Spicy Red Chillies – 4 to 6
  12. Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  13. Salt – To taste
  14. Sugar/Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
  15. Oil – 4 tbsp (Til oil preferred)

The Step-by-Step Method to Make Chintapandu Pulihora | Tamarind Rice | Puliyogare | Puliyodarai

  1. If you are using Tamarind:
    1. In a small bowl, soak tamarind in 1/4 cup hot water for about 10 mins.
    2. Let the tamarind cool.
    3. Crush well with your hand and squeeze to extract the pulp.
    4. You can add a bit of water again to the tamarind if you think there is some more pulp you can extract.
    5. Set aside.
  2. If You Are Using Readymade Tamarind Paste:
    1. Take 3 tbsp of the Tamarind Pulp into a small bowl.
    2. Add 3 tbsp water and mix well.
  3. Getting the Rice Ready
    1. Wash the rice well.
    2. Add 1.5 Cups of water.
    3. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Immediately drizzle about 1.5 tbsp oil on the rice and sprinkle the curry leaves over it.
    7. 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.
    8. Set aside.
  4. Getting the Tempering Ready:
    1. Heat the 1.5 tbsp oil.
    2. Add mustard seeds to it and stir-fry till they splutter. If you are using sesame oil, the oil will also froth a bit.
    3. When the mustard seeds splutter, add udad dal and chana dal.
    4. Fry till the dals are light brown.
    5. Add fenugreek seeds and fry for 1/2 min.
    6. Add peanuts and stir-fry till they start to pop.
    7. When the peanuts start to pop, add split red chillies and slit green chillies.
    8. Stir-fry for ½ min.
    9. Add asafoetida and mix well.
    10. Set aside.
  5. Cooking the Tamarind Pulp
    1. Heat 1 tbsp oil
    2. Add the tamarind pulp.
    3. Cook the tamarind pulp till it thickens. Stir constantly, otherwise the paste will stick to the bottom and burn.
    4. When the oil starts to leave the sides, add the turmeric, jaggery, and previously fried green chillies.
    5. Mix well and cook well till the chillies soften.
    6. Turn off the heat and add salt. If you are using readymade paste, be careful with the salt because the tamarind paste has salt.
    7. Mix well. 
    8. Set aside.
  6. Putting It All Together
    1. Add the tempering to the rice.
    2. Using your hand, crush a few of the red chillies. This will add the spicy taste to the Pulihora.
    3. Mix well.
    4. Add the cooked Tamarind paste.
    5. Mix well.
  7. Let the Tamarind Rice or Chintapandu Pulihora rest for at least one hour before eating.

    Chintapandu Pulihora | Puliyogare | Puliyodharai | Tamarind Rice
    Chintapandu Pulihora | Puliyogare | Puliyodharai | Tamarind Rice


  • 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). 🙂


  1. I recently attended a half saree function out here in US and tasted tamarind rice after ages and relished it 😉 but I now I have a to go recipe which I can follow and make it when ever I feel like eat it!

  2. I’m crazy about tamarind rice and I always use the MTR readymade mix to make it at home. Your recipe looks awesome. Pinning it.

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