The significance of Ayurveda in South Indian cuisine is undeniable. In cultural and festive gatherings, people happily sit on the floor cross-legged to enjoy their feast on a banana leaf. Each and every morsel of food is relished using nothing but bare hands. Cutlery is out of sight, along with most ingredients and foods that are not seasonal or local. Tamarind is found in abundance in most regions of South India, hence the free use of the same in curries, stews and chutney. Did you know the word Tamarind, comes from the word Tamar-e-hind or the ‘dates of India’, there sure is a resemblance in appearance, in terms of flavours, they are poles apart. Tamarind is renowned for its sharp sour, sweet, often tarty and tangy flavour. It is used to flavour sambar and rasam, and if you are in the mood to make none, you can simple add it to water, and combine it with cooked rice, mustard seeds, peanuts, chana dal, urad dal, green chillies, curry leaves and turmeric and make some tamarind rice.

Tamarind rice, also known as Pulihora or Puliyodharai, is one of the most beloved South Indian comfort food, much in the league of rasam rice, sambar rice, lemon rice et al. It is made across Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, and is also one of the prasadams at the Tirupati Mandir. The word ‘puli’ means sour or tangy, which is the dominant flavour of the rice dish, but it is aptly balanced by the hotness of chillies. The dals lend a nice savoury base to the dish.

It is so easy, that you would be making it again and again. You can use your leftover rice to make the same, or make some fresh ones. It is so flavourful on its own that it does not even require and accompaniments or side dishes like chutney or sambhar.

Try this delicious recipe created by homechef Alison for Slurrp.

 Ingredients

-Cooked rice - 1.5 cups

-Oil- 2 tbsp

-Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

-Peanuts - 1 tbsp

-Chana dal - 1 tbsp

-Urad dal - 1 tbsp

-Green chilli - 2 slit

-Dry red chilli - 2

-Curry leaves - a few

-Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

-Tamarind water - 4 tbsp( soak a lemon sized piece of tamarind in hot water for 10 mins, squeeze and use the water)

-Salt as per taste

Method

-Heat pan, add oil, once hot, add mustard seeds, allow to crackle.

-Add peanuts, chana and Urad dal and sauté few seconds.

-Add green chilli, red chilli, curry leaves, turmeric and tamarind water, salt and cook for 2-3 mins on low heat.

-Add cooked rice and Sauté for a minute.

-Serve hot just the way it is.