Deepavali lit up the kitchen with fun, laughter and culinary conversations. Our family whipped up an elaborate vegetarian meal which included Pulihora, a traditional favorite among South Indians, an unassuming tangy rice dish speckled with spices, roasted peanuts and aromatic curry leaves. The aroma of Pulihora preparation is enticing that brings nostalgic memories of my grandmother’s kitchen. Isn’t there something about smells and tastes that trigger our moods and take us down memory lane?
One popular version of Andhra style preparation that is absolutely loved at home involves the use of roasted sesame seeds powder. The moment it touches your tongue, you are hit with addictive flavors that make you crave for more. To savor the true taste of traditional recipes like Pulihora, its advisable to prepare from scratch and resist the temptation to follow the easy route of MTR Pulihora instant mix. Yes, even though instant mixes make our life convenient, store bought mixes lack the authentic home made flavors and aromas. Wouldn’t you agree?
Recipe source: Amma
Prep & Cooking: 45 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
2 cups raw rice (cook such that each grain is separate, spread to cool)
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi/pasupu
15-20 fresh curry leaves
salt to taste
large lemon sized tamarind (soak in a cup of hot water and extract pulp)
1 tsp jaggery or brown sugar (optional)
1 tbsp channa dal (split bengal gram)
1 tbsp urad dal/minappapu/split black gram
1 tsp teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 medium dry red chilli
4-5 green chillis slit length wise
1 1/2 tsps finely chopped ginger
1/4 tsp hing/asafoetida/inguva
1 1/2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds pwd
2 fistfuls roasted peanuts
3 tbsps oil
1 Sprinkle turmeric pwd, salt, a tbsp of oil and few fresh curry leaves to the cooked and cooled rice and keep aside.
2 Heat the remaining oil in a cooking vessel, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add dry red chillis, cumin seeds, channa dal, urad dal and fry for a minute till light brown. Next add the slit green chillis, ginger, asafoetida and few curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
2 Add the tamarind extract and jaggery and cook till the raw smell of tamarind disappears, approx 5-7 mts. It will be a like a thick but flowing paste. Remove from heat.
3 Add the cooked tamarind mix and combine well such that its spread all over the rice. Adjust salt. Finally sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds pwd and roasted peanuts and combine well. Let it sit for at least 3-4 hours for the flavors to set in.
4 Serve with appadam/chips, majjiga mirapakaayalu (sun dried chillis) and yogurt. Makes a complete meal.
Pulihora tastes best after sitting for a couple of hours from the time of preparation. Another version is to replace sesame seeds pwd with a tsp of black mustard seeds pwd (ava podi or paste).