Usirikaya Pulihora | Usirikaya Annam | Nellikai Sadam | Andhra Style Amla Rice

Usirikaya Pulihora | Nellikai Sadam | Andhra Style Amla Rice

Usirikaya Pulihora | Usirikaya Annam | Nellikai Sadam | Amla Rice
Usirikaya Pulihora | Usirikaya Annam | Nellikai Sadam | Amla Rice

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.

Do try my recipes for Chintapandu Pulihora (Tamarind Rice), Mammidikaya Pulihora (Raw Mango Rice), Nimmakaya Pulihora (Lemon Rice), and Gongura Pulihora.

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
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Usirikaya Pulihora | Nellikai Sadam | Andhra Style Amla Rice is a tangy one pot meal made in winters. It is a variation of
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
  • 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
Cooking the Rice
  1. Wash the rice well under running water till the water runs clear.
  2. Add 3.5 cups water.
  3. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  4. Let the cooker cool.
  5. Spread the hot rice into a plate.
  6. Set aside the rice to cool.
Preparing the Usirikaya | Amla
  1. Wash and dry the usirikaya.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut into small pieces.
  3. Discard the seeds.
  4. Set aside.
Making the Usirikaya Pulihora | Nellikai Sadam
  1. Over medium flame, heat 1 tsp oil.
  2. Add the fenugreek seeds and stir-fry till they change colour.
  3. Add the Usirikaya pieces and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn off the flame and let the usirikaya cool a bit.
  5. Grind the usirikaya and fenugreek into a coarse paste.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Heat 3 tsp oil.
  8. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  9. Add the udad dal and chana dal.
  10. Stir-fry till the dals are light brown. Be careful, as the dals will fry further with the peanuts.
  11. Add the peanuts and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  12. Add the split red chillies.
  13. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  14. Add the turmeric and curry leaves.
  15. Mix well.
  16. Add the coarsely ground usirikaya paste.
  17. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes till the raw smell of the Usirikaya disappears.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Add salt and mix well.
  20. Add the rice and mix with a light hand.
  21. Let the Usirikaya Pulihora | Nellikai Sadam rest for at least 10 minutes.
  22. Serve with Papad (appadalu) on the side.
Recipe Notes
  • 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.



  1. It’s mouth watering. I never thought or knew one could make pulihora with usirikaya.. aaah, I’ll watch out of usirikaya here and would definitely attempt it. Thank you for sharing this. Happy new year Aruna. You blog is resourceful and your effort to expose your new found recipes to your online community is much appreciated. Thank you for what you do.

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