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Usirikaya Pulihora / Amla / Gooseberry Rice

Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

Prep Time:10 mins   CookTime:10 mins   Cuisine:Indian

This recipe is a must in every South Indian household, during winter. It is the preferred rice recipe for offering to the God / Goddess during this season. Not only for its availability during this season but even for its excellent health benefits.

This recipe is so easy and quick to make, except for the grating part of the usirikaya / amla. And this rice recipe is perfectly suitable for diabetic patients, for kids lunch box and for travel too.

Health Benefits of Gooseberry / Usiri / Amla

Gooseberry / Usiri / Amla is in season during winters. As we all know, they are excellent food source for hair growth, to stop hair fall and for lovely skin tone.

Few other major extremely useful benefits of this winter fruit are anti-inflammatory characteristics, high in fiber, boosts immunity, slows down ageing, clears sore throat, reduces blood sugar, increases body metabolism (info from internet).

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

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Usirikaya / Amla / Gooseberry for reference

Usirikaya / Amla / Gooseberry for reference


  • Rice (cooked) – With 1 cup of rice grains
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons (or) as per taste
  • Cooking Oil – 4 tablespoons
  • Grated Amla / Turimina Usirikaya – ½ cup
  • Hing/Inguva/Asafoetida – ½ teaspoon
  • Dry Red Chillies – 5
  • Green Chillies – 5
  • Curry Leaves – 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 – ½ teaspon
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Cashew Nuts – 10
  • Ground Nuts – 10 

Special Ingredients:

  • Curry Leaves
  • Hing/ Inguva/ Asafoetida
  • Cashew Nuts & Pea Nuts

Step wise pics Procedure:

  • Firstly, get the rice cooked and keep it ready.
  • Cut the green chillies length wise.
  • 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.
  • Add half of the oil, let it heat and then add all the items under ‘Ingredients for Tempering’ just like the below pic.

    Cooking Oil and all ‘Ingredients for tempering’ added to the frying pan
  • Saute the tempering items for 2-3 mins and then add the slit green chillies, dry red chillies, curry leaves and hing / inguva / Asafoetida.

    Green Chillies, Red Chillies, Curry Leaves and Hing / Inguva added to the pan
  • Saute until until the red chillies darken in colour, Then add the grated amla / usirikaya / gooseberry.
  • Stir fry it for about 3-4 mins., until the raw smell and raw texture are gone. Or until the grated content softens.

    Grated Amla / Usirikaya / Gooseberry added to the pan
  • Then add all of the cooked rice and salt into the frying pan.

    Cooked Rice and salt added to the frying pan
  • Keep mixing everything thoroughly all throughout, so that the grated amla content, salt and tempering are all blended well with the rice.
  • Let the flame be on for about 2-3 mins, then switch off and serve. Done!!


  • You can use any type of non-flavoured 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.
  • 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.
  • It 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 obviously sour, yet its lip smackingly delicious. 
  • Usirikaya Pulihora / Amla / Gooseberry Rice, can be served with chilled curd/yogurt and with any chutney/dip on the side. Or can be eaten as it is.
  • Perfectly suitable for travel and for lunch box too.

    Usirikaya Pulihora / Gooseberry / Amla Rice ready to serve

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