Pulihora – Andhra Tamarind Rice

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? 🙂

Pulihora ~ Andhra Tamarind Rice

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?

Pulihora Recipe

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).

Pulihora, Puliyogare

This is my entry to Srivalli’s ‘Rice Mela’ and Sunshinemom’s ‘Food In Colours – Brown’ food events.

Pulihora – Andhra Tamarind Rice

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  tamarind


  • http://sumikitchen.wordpress.com aparna

    Looks yummy. My mouth is watering already.

  • http://indosungod.blogspot.com indosungod

    Absolutely Sailu, home made powders and sauces definitely make a difference and the fresh taste is something to savor.

  • R.Punitha

    Hi Sailu,
    Your pulihora recipe looks yummmmmmyyy.
    mouth watering.
    i also prepare pulihora like this ,
    but i didn’t add sessame and peanut.
    Thank you Sailu,
    Take care, bye.

  • http://cilantro-cilantro.blogspot.com/ Cilantro

    You said it right, homemade food always gets a special touch of love and respect from people we serve.
    Pulihora looks delicious.

  • http://www.divya-dilse.blogspot.com Divya Vikram

    Looks authentic n appetizing..

  • http://www.cookingandme.com Nags

    We serve this with a red chutney at home. I love it, tastes especially good wrapped in banana laves and eaten in trains 🙂

  • http://tumyumtreats.blogspot.com/ Sunshinemom

    I too love tamarind rice when I have it after letting those flavors get totally absorbed! Thank you for sending the delicacy to FIC:)

  • http://kitchenflavours.blogspot.com Lubna Karim

    Wow looks yummy.

  • cham

    Homemade is far better for the fresh aroma. Ur bowl of pulihora is very authentic!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/newfolder/ Billy

    Thanks for this, made it the other night and it was fantastic! Photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/newfolder/3018608753/. This might be a stupid question but do you crush the chana and urad dal after frying them?

    Its not a stupid question, Billy. You don’t need to crush the dals. I’m glad you enjoyed tamarind rice. 🙂

  • Susan Nambiar

    My mom is from Andhra.I tried this recipe Ms.Sailu. It was a winner at home! Thanks again for all the recipes with pictures!

  • jagadesh

    Now you are making me homesick.. 🙂

  • pinky

    Wonderful recipe and nice photos.

  • Aparna Narasimham

    Hi Shailu,
    Just now happened to read this recipe.Thank u for giving such a wonderful recipe.
    I would like to give one suggestion.Instead of adding Cumin seeds,we can add very little amount of fenugreek seeds.It gives nice flavour.Somehow,cumin seeds doesnt go with tamarind pulihora.


  • Aparna Narasimham

    And no ginger please in this preparation.


  • sona

    hi, i tried many other recipes,but i really liked ur preparation the best.thanks for sharing with us.

  • Sini

    Hey Sailu,

    thank you so much for this recipe.I love Tamarind rice and tried hard to make a good one but every time something would go wrong. this time i followed your instructions and guess what…it came out really well.
    I’ve added this recipe to my favorites list !!! thanks once again.

  • Deepthi

    its really looking tooooo yummyyyyyyyy…….thanks shailu

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  • Aruna

    This is the easiest and most well described recipe of all times – I always refer to recipes online and sometimes, I feel so disappointed with the measurements suggested or the ingredient names mentioned, that I simply dump the recipe. But this recipe is too good! Not only does it taste great, but the recipe writer had taken so much of care and precision while writing this recipe, that there is no scope for any confusion or mistakes.

    Sailu you did a great job by paying attention to the minutest details – I especially loved the way you have provided names for most ingredients in 3 different languages. I also loved the alterations you suggested – using ava podi instead of sesame seeds.

  • usha

    its yummy.thanks for replying as soon.
    can u pls send palak panneer.

  • praveena

    hi sailu i tried many of your reciepes, all of them came out good. my hubby is very happy. every time i try a new dish he asks if its from sailus site. 🙂

    thank u

  • http://preeoccupied.blogspot.com/ PreeOccupied

    Hi, my first time here. Was looking for a recipe of Tamarind Rice. I have a feeling some others are using your photos:




    It cannot be coincidence that all of them are the same pictures of Tamarind Rice.

  • Jaya Sharath

    Dear Sailu,

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Dasserah.


  • gowriganesh

    hii sailu, i just love andhra spl.pulihora (to the extent that i visit my nearby temple very often for this prasadham).Srivalli is my best friend,we are school mates & i’m really proud of her for what she is today!!My best wishes to u too,for people like u are like cooking encyclopedias..congrats.

  • http://preeoccupied.blogspot.com/ PreeOccupied

    Sailu, I finally made your Tamarind Rice.

    We will eat it for dinner, its resting as you suggested to infuse all the flavors well. But I did steal a bowl for myself and it tastes awesome. I was thrifty with the tamarind, ‘coz I don’t like it too overwhelmingly tart. Thanks again for the wonderful recipe.

  • prathyusha

    thank u frnd.. it’s very helpful to me

  • Gilbert

    Thanks for the recipe. Helps everyone a lot. Minor suggestion: instead of adding Turmeric in Step #1, you might consider adding it in step #2 (so that the raw taste of Turmeric will disappear).

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  • Pravalika

    Thank u sailaja garu.Ur recipie is very helpful me and let me join in ur frinds list

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anil-Reddy/100003235515023 Anil Reddy


  • kring

    I think we need not add jaggery…..I added jaggery and it spoiled the whole thing :(….I had to make the dish again…oh god why me

    • Sailu | Indian Food

      Jaggery is optional.

  • nisha

    white or black seasame ?