The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

March 15, 2010

Pulihora (Tamarind Rice), Made Easy!

Happy Ugadi or Gudipadwa to all!

Ugadi/Gudipadwa is a Andhra, Karnataka, and Maharashtrian holiday which celebrates the arrival of the New Year, which also coincides with the beginning of Spring. This year it falls on a working day (3/16) and so my mom decided to make dishes that don't require a lot of time and happen to be our favorite. Yay for all.

The two dishes are Pulihora (Tamarind Rice) and Sooji Halwa (A Semolina Sweet). Both of these items are served as Prasad (offering to the god) at South Indian temples. Tamarind Rice is a very traditional delicacy which is often served at festivals and weddings.

One of the key components to making this rice dish so tasty, is Chaunk or Talimpu (seasoning). Also, traditional Tamarind rice making involves time-consuming method of soaking tamarind in water, squeezing the juice out, cooking it to make it into a paste, and then mixing it with rice. With semi-processed tamarind paste available these days, tamarind rice can be made in 10-15 minutes. It is a great way to turn your left over rice into a mouth-watering dish enjoyed by all.


Ingredients:
- 2 cups Basmati Rice

Ingredients for seasoning:
* 3 Tbsp Vegetable oil
* 1/3 cup Peanuts
* 2 Tbsp Channa dal (yellow peas)
* 1 tsp Mustard seeds
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* ½ tsp (Asafoetida) Hing
* 1 tsp Turmeric powder
* 1 tsp Methi powder (fenugreek)
* 1 to 1-½ Tbsp Tamarind paste
* 6 small Green chilies, sliced into half  (3 Red chilies, broken into 1-inch pcs)
* 8 to 10 curry leaves
* 1-½  tsp Salt to taste
* ½ Tbsp Brown sugar (or gud)

Procedure:
1) Cook rice with slightly less water so that the grains are separated and not sticky. Then immediately transfer into a open dish, add a tbsp oil and spread it to loosen the grains.


2) In a small skillet add oil and heat it on medium heat. Hold your hand above the skillet and feel the heat. When hot, add peanuts and fry for 3 minutes. Add channa dal and continue to fry.


3) When peanuts and dal start to turn golden brown, add mustard and jeera and fry until the seeds start to splutter.
4) Add green chillies and a pinch of salt and fry for 2 min., then add hing, turmeric and methi powder. Add curry leaves and mix well.
5) Remove from the stove and add brown sugar. Transfer the seasoning onto the rice.

6) Add tamrind paste into rice and mix it well to a uniform color of deep yellow color. Allow the rice to absorb the seasoning for atleast 30min and serve.



4/26/2010:
Hey you all, just wanted to add that, you can also make this dish with rice noodles or vermicelli. Just follow the same recipe but with cooked rice noodles versus cooked rice:



To learn more about the spices used in seasoning, click here.

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