Andhra Pulihora (Tangy) spiced rice

Andhra Pulihora (Tangy) spiced rice

Pulihora rice is an authentic Andhra recipe. The word “puli” means sour and “hora” means meals or food in Telugu, the language spoken in Andhra Pradesh. The word “Pulihora” literally translates to  sour rice due to the tangy taste from tamarind, lemon or mango. The sour/tangy taste is balanced perfectly with other spices for a sour, spicy and salty taste all at once.

I remember eating my mom's Andhra Pulihor "sour" rice with dry fried spiced lamb meat when traveling on a train from North Indian to South India to visit family many decades ago. My mom used to make a huge “dekchi” or pot of sour rice with fried meat that we would eat as the movement of the train gently swayed us back and forth into a food coma. The food lasted a couple of days on the train without refrigeration due to the acidity of lemon or lime juice that served as a natural preservative for the food. However, I would caution you AGAINST leaving it unrefrigerated especially now when we have easy access to fridges.

My mom’s version of this recipe substitutes tamarind with lime juice for a tangy taste that is just AMAZING! It’s so easy to make when you have leftover rice. My only complaint about it is that you just can’t stop eating it. I have served it with Ground Beef (Keema) made with my Ground Beef (Keema) seasoning kit (pictured below). However, you can certainly eat it with baked chicken or chickpeas or beans for a vegan twist. I hope you love it as much as my family does.

Download the recipe HERE


Prep time: 10-15 minutes 


Oil: 2 – 3 Tablespoons

Mustard Seeds: ½ tsp

Red Chilies: 2, keep whole (do not break in half)

Curry Leaf: 4-6 fresh or dried leaves

Onion: ½ cup, preferably purple, finely diced

Lime juice: 4-6 Tablespoons (freshly squeezed or in bottle), according to desired tangy taste

Tomato: 1 cup, finely diced

Salt: 1 Teaspoon, add more if desired

Eggs: 2 raw

Rice: 3-4 cups cooked rice


  1. Heat oil in large pot/pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds and red chilies. Blacken chilies and roast spices till mustard seeds sputter over medium heat (~ 2-3 mins). Stir occasionally.
  3. Add onions, slightly brown for 4-5 minutes while occasionally stirring.
  4. Add tomatoes, salt and curry leaves.
  5. Cook over medium low heat till tomatoes are soft for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Add cooked rice and break up any lump of rice by mashing it with spoon. Mix well, turn heat down to low.
  7. Add lime juice, mix well.
  8. Scramble raw eggs in a separate small pan with 2 pinches of salt per directions below:
    1. Spray pan with olive oil over medium heat. Break open raw eggs, add a couple of pinches of salt and scramble eggs.
  9. Add eggs to rice, mix well and turn off heat.


Serve with baked chicken, ground beef (keema) or sautéed veggies. For a delightful vegan twist (omit the eggs) and serve with chickpeas, beans or veggies.  



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