Pulihora translates to sour/tangy rice. It is typically made using tamarind or lime juice. It is also made with seasonally available ingredients like amla (gooseberry) and raw mango. I love all of them. These dishes are usually made during festive occasions and celebrations. So, when I make pulihora of any kind, there is a sense of happiness.
I love raw mango in almost any form. When we see raw mangoes in the market, it is a promise of yummy times ahead. The grandmoms and moms get into a pickle making frenzy, and as the season progresses and summer heat is at it's peak, come the yellow, sweet juicy mangoes, mango shakes, mango lassi, aam ka murabba , chunddo, mango taandra/ aam papad ( fruit leather) that is made during the end of the season. I remember the excitement in my mamma's ( father's mom) voice and her face during pickle making. I remember street vendors selling thinly sliced raw mango with salt and chilli powder during summer. Then there is aam panna, the refreshing raw mango drink ( one could call it a raw mango lemonade) raw mango chutney, raw mango coconut chutney ( mamidikaya kobbari pacchadi) , raw mango lentils ( mamidikaya pappu) and of course raw mango pulihora. I am sure I have not mentioned quite a few other preparations all over India.
Raw mango pulihora is a spicy tangy rice dish prepared using freshly grated raw mango and cooked rice. Purists will not be pleased with my choice of basmati rice for pulihora but I like it. The basmati we get here in the United States is not as fragrant as the varieties available in India, so the aroma does not interfere with the taste of this dish. I like the long grain texture of this rice so I use it for every Indian rice dish. The raw mango should be firm and tangy. I used to rarely get perfect raw mangoes at the Indian store but this year, I seem to be getting lucky every time. The perfect raw mango will be firm and when you taste it, it should be mouth puckering sour. If the mango is firm but not appropriately sour, you could add some lime juice as well.
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Raw mango - 1 peeled and grated
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Methi seeds (fenugreek) - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 2 split in two
Green chillies - 3-4 slit lenghtwise
Ginger - 1 tbsp sliced
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Wash rice two or three times till the water looks clear. Cook it with 2 cups of water. If you are using other varieties of rice then use water accordingly. Take care that the rice does not get mushy, once cooked you should be able to fluff with a fork and each grain should be separate. I love using a rice cooker, it comes out perfect every time.
Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl, separate and fluff with a fork and add salt to taste.
Wash, peel and grate the raw mango. Grate till you hit the seed, do not use any part of the seed. Add the grated mango to the rice.
Take olive oil in a pan and heat it. Fry the peanuts and strain from the oil and add to the rice.
Add channa dal, urad dal and methi seeds to the oil, once they begin to roast, add mustard seeds and red chillies ( always break the red chillies, otherwise they can burst while frying), then add ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and fry till the green chillies wilt slightly.
Add this mixture along with all the oil to the rice and mix well.
This rice tastes great at room temperature.
In fact, it tastes better as it sits for a little while and all the ingredients get a chance to mix with each other.
Enjoy as is or with yogurt!