Spicy and sour , a traditional recipe , a must during the festival times. This is a bit tricky to make , but surely a winner amongst the lot and a sure to be on the menu , for every occasion , festival. I cannot remember a time when it was not cooked and I cannot remember a time , when I didn’t stamp my foot in anger and walk away because it was “this” dish again !
Today when I revisit this heirloom , in my kitchen , I am in awe of this wonderful recipe and wonder why I threw a tantrum when it was made.
Pulihora , as we call it , is predominantly made of thick tamarind paste , mixed with rice and a spicy tempering. Each household has their own way of making it , while the basic ingredients remain the same. Pulihora is often teamed up with Payasam(kheer) and they make a great combination.
My mother is here and it her signature dish and a final offering to god during Dussehra. This is her recipe and I hope whoever makes it enjoys it as much as we do.
The items used in these pictures are gifts from my mom. The brass bowl was normally used to cook rice or dal for naivedyam on a charcoal stove back in India. These are heirlooms which are immensely dear to me and remind me of my dear grandmother.
1 and 1/2 cups of uncooked rice to be cooked with about 3 cups of water and a teaspoon each of salt and ghee.
1 teaspoon of salt or more for later use during mixing.
For the Tempering/ Popu/Tadka
2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil( Gingelly Oil)
2 thick tablespoons of tamarind paste
2 teaspoons of Urad dal
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
4-6 red chillies
4-6 slit green chillies
10-15 curry leaves
1/8 teaspoon of asafoetida / hing powder
For the Garnish :
1/2 cup of roasted peanuts /almonds/ cashews
To be mixed with rice (optional)
2 teaspoons of roasted dhaniya powder / sesame powder or 1/4 cup of fresh grated coconut.
1. Cook the rice with a teaspoon of ghee and salt with 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker or in a microwave . If cooking in the microwave add an extra cup of water and cook for about 15-18 minutes on a high. Each grain should be separate.
2. Heat oil in pan , add urad dal , mustard seeds , red chillies , hing , curry leaves and green chillies , in that order , once the mustard seeds sizzle and the green chillies are done , add the tamarind paste , if needed add a bit of water , turmeric and cook until the raw smell dissapears. Take care not to burn the paste . Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
3. Once the rice is cooled , add the tempering , adjust salt , add dhaniya powder or sesame powder or fresh grated coconut, cilantro leaves and mix well. Let is sit for atleast 30 minutes before serving. It tastes best when served at room temperature with a dollop of thick yogurt.
The second picture is my entry to Click- Heirloom hosted by Jugalbandi.
You can skip adding these powders or coconut to the rice and keep it plain and simple or you can add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder mixed with a few drops of oil and add it to the pulihora. This is called ” Aavapettadam” The reason we add a few drops of oil is to awaken the pungent taste of the mustard powder.