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Chinthapandu Pulihora / Tamarind Rice

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Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:10 mins  CookTime:15 mins   Cuisine:Indian

‘Pulihora’ / Yellow Rice is considered as the food form of Goddesses divine blessings in South Indian temples. Hence, devotees queue to get Pulihora after darshanam in any South Indian temple. And in any South Indian household, Pulihora is definitely prepared during Hindu festivals and functions as an offering to the Goddess. There are many varities of ‘Pulihora’, while this is the predominent of all.This particular recipe is that of Andhra Pradesh,a Southern stae of India.

I adapted this recipe from my MIL, whereas my MOM makes it in a different way. It is completely Vegan+Gluten free one-pot meal but it does has more usage of oil. It can be made with freshly cooked rice or with left over rice too.

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips mentioned at the end.

My other Rice recipes here⇒  Main Course

My Festive recipes collection here⇒  Traditional Indian Recipes for Festivals / Panduga Nayivedyalu

Related Posts⇒  

  1. Hanuman Jayanthi Bhojanam/ Festive Platter
  2. Munagaku Pulihora / Moringa / Drumstick Leaves Rice
  3. Mamidikaya Pulihora / Raw Mango Rice
  4. Usirikaya Pulihora / Amla / Gooseberry Rice

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  • Rice (cooked) – With 3 cups of rice grains
  • Salt – 4 teaspoons (or) as per taste
  • Cooking Oil – ½ cup
  • Dry Tamarind – 1 big lemon size
  • Hing/Inguva/Asafoetida – ½ teaspoon
  • Dry Red Chillies – 5
  • Green Chillies – 5
  • Curry Leaves – 10
  • Ground Nuts – 10 
  • Cashew Nuts – 10

Ingredients for Tempering:

  • Urad dal / Minapappu / Split Black gram – 1½ teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds / Aavalu – 1 teaspoon
  • Chana dal / Split Yellow gram dal – 1½ teaspoon
  • Jeera / Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Sesame Seeds – 1 teaspon
  • Turmeric Powder – ¾ teaspoon

Special Ingredients:

  • Tamarind
  • Hing/ Inguva/ Asafoetida
  • Cashew Nuts & Ground Nuts

Step wise pics Procedure:

  • Firstly, get the rice cooked and keep it ready in a wide mixing vessel/dish.
  • If you are using dry tamarind , soak it int hot water for it to soften.

    Dry Tamarind soaked in hot water
  • Cut the green chillies length wise.
  • Next, put a frying pan on stove top under medium flame.
  • Add half of the oil, let it heat and then add all the items under ‘Ingredients for Tempering’ just like the below pic.
  • Saute the tempering items and then add the salt, cashew nuts, slit green chillies,dry red chillies, curry leaves and hing / inguva / Asafoetida..
  • Let them stay on stove until the red chillies darken in colour, then transfer all the contents onto the rice. 
  • Return the frying pan back to the stove and add the rest of the oil. Heat the oil and pour it onto the rice.
  • Put the pan back on the stove, take the bowl of hot water and tamarind, tightly sqeeze a couple of times.
  • And add the pulp along with water into the frying pan.
  • Let the water content evaporate and the tamarind pulp thicken as shown above.
  • At that stage switch off the stove and transfer the tamarind pulp onto the rice in the vessel/dish.
  • Mix everything thoroughly more than twice so that the tamarind pulp and tempering are all blended well with the rice. Done!!


  • You can use any type of non-falavoured rice for this recipe,i.e.flavoured rice like Basmati is not much suitable. I used Sona Masoori rice.
  • Take care that the cooked rice is NOT sticky.
  • The heart of this recipe lies in the tempering. So be careful, not to burn it.
  • If you are using ready made tamarind pulp, add the same quantity as mentioned and heat up the pulp too.
  • Adjust the salt and sour according to your taste.
  • Actual saying about this dish is that, it tastes even better the next day than the same day.
  • Chinthapandu pulihora / Tamarind rice, can be made with freshly cooked rice or with left over rice too.
  • It stays good even for 3 days at room temperature.


  • The taste of this dish is amazingly delicious. Even my three kids just love it.
  • Chinthapandu pulihora / Tamarind rice, can be served with chilled curd/yogurt and with any chutney/dip on the side. Or can be eaten as it is.

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