One reason I look forward to winters is for Usirikai (Amla, Nellikai, or Indian Gooseberry). I love the tangy taste of Usirikai and look forward to a whole of delicacies such as Usiri Avakaya, Usirikaya Pachadi, Usirikai Pappu, and of course, Usirikai Pulihora (Usirikaya Annam).
Pulihora is a classic Andhra rice dish that is most commonly made with tamarind (as Chintapandu Pulihora). However, you can make it with any tangy ingredient like lemon juice, unripe mangoes, or Gongura.
This recipe uses tangy Usirikaya (Indian Gooseberry, called Amla in Hindi and Nellikai in Tamil). Apart from the fact that Usirikaya is delicious, it is also laden with Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, which deliver a range of health benefits including the ever-popular weight loss. 🙂
I make Usirikaya Pulihora often in winter when Amla is plentiful and serve it with just some vadiyalu or appadalu on the side.
How to Make Usirikaya Pulihora | Nellikai Sadam | Andhra Style Amla Rice
Usirikaya Pulihora | Nellikai Sadam | Andhra Style Amla Rice
- 150 gms Usirikaya
- 2 Cups Rice
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds, Avalu, Rai
- 1 tbsp Udad Dal, Minapappu
- 1 tbsp Chana Dal, Senaga Pappu
- 2 tbsp Peanuts Optional, I like the crunch and so add them
- 4-5 Nos Red Chillies
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds, Menthulu, Methi Dana
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 4 tsp Oil Preferable Sesame Oil (Til ka Tel, Gingelly Oil)
- 8-10 Nos Curry Leaves
- To Taste Salt
- Wash the rice well under running water till the water runs clear.
- Add 3.5 cups water.
- Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Let the cooker cool.
- Spread the hot rice into a plate.
- Set aside the rice to cool.
- Wash and dry the usirikaya.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into small pieces.
- Discard the seeds.
- Set aside.
- Over medium flame, heat 1 tsp oil.
- Add the fenugreek seeds and stir-fry till they change colour.
- Add the Usirikaya pieces and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and let the usirikaya cool a bit.
- Grind the usirikaya and fenugreek into a coarse paste.
- Set aside.
- Heat 3 tsp oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add the udad dal and chana dal.
- Stir-fry till the dals are light brown. Be careful, as the dals will fry further with the peanuts.
- Add the peanuts and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the split red chillies.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the turmeric and curry leaves.
- Mix well.
- Add the coarsely ground usirikaya paste.
- Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes till the raw smell of the Usirikaya disappears.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Add the rice and mix with a light hand.
- Let the Usirikaya Pulihora | Nellikai Sadam rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve with Papad (appadalu) on the side.
- You can omit the fenugreek seeds if you do not like the slight bitter taste they impart.
- Be sure to cook the ground Usirikaya a bit, otherwise you taste the raw Usirikaya.