Chintapandu Pulihora ~ Tamarind Rice
Pulihora is a traditional South Indian flavored rice. It is a tart/tangy rice and lime juice, tamarind or mango are the tart/tangy fruit used to prepare this rice. Tamarind or chintapandu pulihora and lime or nimmakaya pulihora are most common preparations while mango or mamidikaya pulihora is seasonal. Chintapandu pulihora is a tangy flavored rice which is prepared with concentrated seasoned tamarind paste. This flavored concentrated tamarind paste is called pulihora paste. It is prepared by cooking tamarind extract (juice) with some chilies, salt and few other spices until it is concentrated and then mixed with rice. Pulihora is most often prepared rice for festivals and the flavor depends on the season.
Pulihora is a great meal to pack in lunch boxes, for picnics and long journeys. It is also an excellent meal to put together on lazy days or when cooking for one. Hence, I made it for the second day of this week’s theme, cooking for one. I made it last week for my festive thali but could not note down the ingredient measures. Therefore, I made it again couple of days ago for my lunch. I made the instant version using homemade tamarind concentrate or paste. This paste is nothing but tamarind juice/extract cooked to a thick concentrate. Pulihora paste ~ pulihora pulusu is also prepared similarly but with few additional ingredients. Since I have tamarind paste handy, I made instant pulihora with it.
Total Time: 30 – 40 minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
- ½ cup uncooked Basmati Rice (I used measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker)
- 1 cup Water
- ¼ – ⅓ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste. Tamarind paste had some salt, hence used less)
- 2 tsp. Oil
- ¼ tsp. Mustard Seeds
- 1 Dry Red Chili
- 2 Curry Leaves
- 1 small Green Chili, slit into 2
- 1 tbsp. Peanuts (I used roasted)
- ¼ tsp. Fenugreek Powder
- Pinch of Turmeric
- 1 tbsp. Home-made Tamarind Paste/Concentrate (depends on how tangy the tamarind is. Mine isn’t very tangy.
- 1 – 2 tbsp. Water (opt)
- Wash rice and cook with 1 cup of water. Once done, spread it in a plate or in a wide bowl to cool. Leftover rice also works great here.
- Mix salt and keep the rice aside.
- Heat oil in a pan for tempering.
- When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, red chili, curry leaves and let the seeds crackle.
- Add peanuts, green chili and roast the peanuts.
- Add fenugreek powder, turmeric and give a good stir.
- Add tamarind paste/concentrate, 1 – 2 tbsp of water and mix well.
- Reduce the flame and continue stirring until water is evaporated and tempering blends into tamarind paste. Keep an eye on the tempering as this will take only a few minutes.
- Pour it over rice and toss.
- Taste the rice and adjust salt to taste. If the rice is tangy, add some sesame seeds powder to reduce the tanginess.
- Serve pulihora with tomato shorva or with some yogurt. Pulihora and yogurt is my favorite combo.
- This is an instant version of chintapandu pulihora. I used homemade tamarind paste / concentrate to prepare this pulihora. Traditionally, pulihora paste is used. Tamarind juice is extracted by soaking tamarind in water for 15 – 20 minutes. Extracted juice is then boiled with some oil, dry chilies, salt, fenugreek powder, and some sesame seeds powder until the juice is thick and reduces to a thick paste. This pulihora paste is used immediately to prepare pulihora or is refrigerated in the fridge for later use. I shall try to post pulihora paste also known as pulihora pulusu, when I make it at home.