Pulihora or Tamarind Rice is a dish we prepare for most of our festivals in South India especially in Andhra Pradesh.Its a tangy flavored rice mixed in tamarind sauce and spices and garnished with roasted peanuts,cashew nuts and tastes great with plain yogurt.The combination of all the ingredients not only makes Pulihora a sumptuous deal for the stomach, but also a great feast for the eyes.It is a great picnic meal too.
There are some variations in other people making Pulihora when compared to what is prepared by my Amma and Ammamma (grand mother). Here is how she makes it.

Ingredients :

* Rice - 250 gms (Basmati rice)
* channa dal(split bengal gram)- 1/4cup
* Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
* Tamarind - 2 lemon size balls
* Curry leaves - 20
* Urad Dal (Black gram dal)- 2tsp
* Mustard seeds(aavalu)- 1/2tsp
* cumin seeds (jeera)-1tsp
* Cashew nuts - 1tbs
* Peanuts -2tbs
* Split Red chillies - 4nos
* Split Green chillies -6nos slit length wise
* Asafeotida (Hing,inguva) a pinch
* Oil - 4tbs
* jaggery(gud)-1/2 tsp
* Salt -to taste
* Red chilly powder-1/2 tsp
* A pinch of fenugreek seeds

Method of Preparation :

1)Soak the tamarind for around half an hour in water and extract the juice free of all the pulp and seeds.
2)Wash the rice and chana dal and cook it together with enough water (don't overcook).While cooking put one tsp oil in rice so that rice particles don't stick to each other and each grain is separated.After cooking spread the rice into a vessel.
3)Heat 4 tbsp oil in a vessel.Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.Now add dry red chillies,cumin seeds,fenugreek seeds,urad dal,cashew nuts,peanuts and fry for 15-20 seconds till light brown.
4)Now add the slit green chillies,asafoetida and curry leaves and fry for 10 seconds.
5)Now add the tamarind extract and turmeric,salt,jaggery and red chilli powder for color and cook till the raw smell disappears..approx 7-8 minutes or till oil comes up.
6)Remove from heat.
This can be stored in a refrigerator if you keep it in a moist-free and tightly closed container for a few days or nearly a month.
7)Mix the rice with tamarind paste evenly with one tbsp of oil, salt to taste and turmeric. Take care not to mash the rice grains. You can use a spoon here but I do not mind using my hand to mix thoroughly without having to mash the rice grains.
8)Cover with a lid for an hour.
9)Serve with plain yogurt and papad/potato chips.

Note:
* You can adjust the tamarind extract according to your taste.
* This can be stored in a refrigerator if you keep it in a moist-free and tightly closed container for a few days or nearly a month.
* Pulihora tastes even better the following day.

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