Pulihora – The Poor Man’s Feast
Image Credit: Pulihora is a spicy, tangy dish | Instagram - @kirans_kitchen_

There are various ways in which rice is cooked in our country. From biryani to kheer to cheela – rice is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner and both as a sweet and a savoury dish. The comfort of a plate full of steamed rice with your favourite curry is unmatched. Or a hot bowl of ghee laden khichdi is enough to warm the cockles of your heart. In the southern states of India, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, one of the most popular kinds of rice dishes is the Tamarind rice. Called Pulihora in Andhra Pradesh, it is also known as the poor man’s feast.

Pulihora literally means sour rice. With the word puli meaning sour. It is a dish that is regularly offered as prasadam in temples during various festivals that are celebrated. Especially during Vinayak Chaturthi and Sita-Rama Kalyanam, Pulihora is prepared and served in packets to the devotees that visit temples. A great quality of this dish is that it is very travel friendly and stays absolutely fresh for a couple of days. During olden days, it was the one food item that was carried when people went on long journeys. Pulihora also has a lot of turmeric which makes the dish look a bright yellow colour. Turmeric is considered pure in the Hindu culture and that is why pulihora is so promptly used as Prasadams in temples. It has spicy, sweet and tangy flavour and it is packed with a unique taste. It is often called a poor man’s feast because it is so affordable, has a delicious taste and can be eaten for all three meals of the day. It is also a very healthy option because tamarind has many health benefits like anti-bacterial properties and reduction of cholestrol.

Pulihora | Picture credits : Instagram - @curryandvanilla16

Let us look at a quick recipe for pulihora.


  • 500 gms Rice
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 cup Curry Leaves
  • 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 50 gms Tamarind pulp
  • 2 tbsp jaggery powder

For seasoning

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 6-7 Red Chillies
  • 1 tsp asafoetida


  • Boil your rice and take out all the starch.
  • Add turmeric powder, curry leaves, green chillies and salt while the rice is still hot.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and pour in the tamarind pulp.
  • Mix jaggery with the tamarind. When it gets cooked, add the rice to it.
  • For the tempering, heat up the oil and add mustard seeds.
  • When it gets spluttered, add your asafoetida, red chillies and peanuts.
  • Fry till the peanuts are light brown.
  • Pour the seasoning over your rice. Mix well and serve hot.

Enjoy your pulihora with curd or pickle and store it up to 3 days without a refrigerator and for a week with it.