Dabbakaya pulihora, a dish of spicy and high pressure rice tempered with Indian spices, red chillies and peanuts for the Ugadi, the Telugu in the New Year.

Dabbakaya Pulihora

Dabbakaya pulihora is a typical rice preparation from Andhra, similar to lemon rice aka nimakaya annam. A pleasant change from the tamarind from South India and the aka pulihora rice. Tomorrow is New Year’s Day in Telugu, Ugadi and this speciality from Andhra will make a perfect rice dish. A dear friend of mine gave me some raw lemons she had picked from her garden, and I used them for a good cause. I made dabbakaya pachadi or cucumber, dabbakaya rasam (concentrated juice) and dabbakaya pulihora.

The dabbakaya is a large lemon with a rough skin, also called raw lemon. Many people confuse them with grapefruit and pomelo. It belongs to the citrus family, has the size of an orange and has a less sour taste than a normal lemon. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, rich in antioxidants and strengthens the immune system.

Dabbakaya (Telugu), quicklime

The recipe for dabbakaya pulikhora is not different from that of lemon rice (nimakaya annam). You will need to replace the lemon juice with dabbacaya juice. Add a generous amount of roasted peanuts or cashews for flavor. If you have access to curry leaves, add one or two sprigs to temper them. I like to add at least three or four sprigs of curry leaves. It’s an essential ingredient, so don’t avoid it. I do not recommend using long grain or basmati rice. Ordinary rice like sona masuri or sannalu works well. Make sure the cooked rice is tender but firm and not soft.

I always make lemon rice or dabbakaya pulihora a few hours before dinner. When the rice dish is rested for a few hours, the flavors blend with the rice and absorb the aromatic tempeh and spicy flavor of the dabbakaya, giving it a lasting taste. Using a mixture of green and red peppers provides just the right amount of heat to balance the spicy flavor of the rice. You can serve with chips like papad or poppadam, pickles and thick yogurt (dahi).

Dabbakaya pulihora, coarse rice with lime flavour

Dabbakaya pulihora is an excellent festive dish for festivals like Ugadi, Ram Navami and Ganesh Chaturthi. Very simple, quick, easy to make South Indian rice and still delicious.

Discover other recipes from the UGADI festival.

How to make dabbakaya pulihora

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