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Monday, April 25, 2016

A - Z Andhra Recipes ~ U for Usirikaaya Pulihora

Time sure flies by. We are already into the final week of this month long blogging marathon. I am on alphabet 'U' in my A to Z series of Andhra vegetarian recipes, going in an alphabetical order. 

The first ingredient that came to my mind when planning for 'U' dish has been usirikaaya which is 'gooseberry' in English, 'bettada nellikaayi' in Kannada and 'nellikayi' in Tamil. I wanted to post about usiri aavakaaya, a spicy Andhra gooseberry pickle in mustard and chili powder base. Meanwhile, my husband suggested another regional recipe. I had both the stuff at home and so my pictures were taken and ready. And I thought this was going to be one of the easy alphabets which involved no cooking from my side until I called my mother for the recipes and she burst my bubble of excitement. I had called her to see whether she would give me the correct quantities of ingredients that go into the dishes and she used the word 'andaajuga' to my annoyance which is like saying a novice cook to use the ingredients as much as needed. She never measures her ingredients while cooking and so it was hard for her to give me the correct quantities for my blog sake. And so I had to strike them off from my list.

Coincidentally, I happened to see usirikaaya pulihora on a Telugu T.V. show, a couple of months back. I had seen the dish earlier too on shows and over online but gave real attention to the recipe this time and noted it down. I finalized it for my today's post as I hadn't picked any of the regular rice fare for this marathon. Usually a rice dish like pulihora, a spicy and tangy dish prepared sans onion and garlic would be the main course of a festive meal in Andhra brahmin households. It may be chintapandu pulihora (tamarind rice), lemon rice (nimmakaya pulihora), mamidikaya pulihora (green mango rice) and so on.

This usirikaaya pulihora aka gooseberry rice may be not a traditional dish but definitely a tasty one. And healthy one too considering that gooseberry is rich in vitamin C and is good for one's eyes and hair. This rice is a flavorful, quick meal idea for any time or even to pack for lunch boxes. I used frozen gooseberries since I don't have access to fresh variety locally. I delegated the cleaning job of gooseberries to my husband who loves rice dishes and so, this dish got done in no time. I pulsed the prepared berries in a food processor since grating frozen gooseberries is next to impossible. If using, fresh ones, the gooseberries can be grated and refrigerated in advance to make it quicker in the morning rush hours. We loved the dish immensely and I recommend it to anyone who loves Indian variety rice dishes.
'U' ingredients from Pantry:
Uddipappu / Minapappu - Urad dal / Black gram
Ulavalu - Horse gram
Uppu - Salt
Uppu Mirapakaya - Sundried chillies

Ullikaadalu - Green onion 
Ullipaaya - Onion
Urla gadda / Ulla gadda - Potato
Usiri kaaya - Amla / Gooseberry

Some 'U' dishes:
Uddi vadalu - Vada, Black gram fritterso
Ugadi Pachadi 
Uggani - Puffed rice upma
Ulava Charu - Horse gram rasam
Ulli garelu - Onion & black-gram fritters
Ulli pakodi - Onion pakoda
Ullikaram / Erra karam - Onion paste
Undrallu - Steamed semolina balls
Uppudu Pindi / Uppindi / Upma - Spicy semolina breakfast
Usiri Aavakaaya - Gooseberry Pickle in mustard base
Urumindi - A chutney is referred so in a traditional Rayalaseema kitchen

Ingredients: (Yield 6 servings)
5 cups cooked rice (I used sona masuri rice.)
1 cup grated / usirikaaya / amla / gooseberries
2 to 3 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. peanuts
1 tbsp. split chickpeas / chana dal
1 tbsp. black gram / urad dal
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies, broken into bits
2 green chillies or as needed (I used 2 long, spicy ones.)
12 to 15 curry leaves
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/8 tsp. asafoetida powder or to taste
Salt to taste
Juice from a small lime / lemon (optional)

* If using fresh gooseberries, grate them and discard the seeds. If using frozen variety, wash them and leave aside for one hour in a colander. Get rid of the skin and seeds and chop them into bits. Dry them with a paper towel if needed and pulse them in a food processor until they are crumbly / resemble grated stuff.
* Heat oil in a wide pan and add peanuts, split chick peas, black gram, mustard seeds and red chillies in that order. When the dals turn reddish, add green chillies and stir. When they start to look blistered, add curry leaves, turmeric, asafoetida and salt. Finally add the gooseberry/ usirikaaya grating and saute on low flame until the raw smell is gone. Turn off the stove.
 * Next add the rice to the pan and mix well with a spatula to combine. Each grain of the rice should look separate and if there any lumps, break it with the back of the spatula and  mix. Taste and add lime / lemon juice if needed and mix well.
* Let the rice sit for 10 minutes before serving so that the flavors get incorporated into rice.

So far on my 'A - Z' Andhra Cuisine,
A for Alasanda Vada
B for Bellam Garelu
C for Chiyali
D for Dondakaaya Kaarapu Kaaya
E for Endu Kobbari Podi
F for Fine Biscuits 
G for Gongura - Mamidikaya Pappu
H for Halwa Holigalu
I for Idli Karam Podi
J for Janthikalu
K for Kobbari Koora

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63.


MySpicyKitchen said...

Must the mention of usirikaya is mouthwatering and can imagine ho flavorful this can be. Will have to look for frozen usirikaya next time I do Indian groceries.

vaishali sabnani said...

I can see a couple of gooseberry dishes today..very interesting to make rice with gooseberry.It looks fantastic.

Srivalli said...

Lovely dish Suma...we do include this in our regular menu too..

Gayathri Kumar said...

I used to make this often. This is one of my most fav rice varieties..

Priya Suresh said...

Wonderful pulihora, my mouth is just watering here.. Love this rice variety very much and i do quite often too.

Pavani said...

Love this usirikaya pulihora, nice variation to the regular pulihoras and frozen gooseberries come quite handy all year long.

Harini R said...

Love it Suma. My MIL makes this and it tastes fantastic, right? I totally forgot about this. Thanks for the reminder. Shall add usirikaya to my grocery list :)

Amara’s cooking said...

I heard this but never made it, but love the taste of Amla. Going to try soon.

Kalyani said...

wonderful variation to the rice variety !! love amlas and get them almost 10 months of the year...

The Pumpkin Farm said...

my husband loves amlas, but we never use it in cooking except for the occassional pickle and jam varieties...would love to try

cookingwithsapana said...

Gooseberry rice in my to do list since long.Love to taste them.Nice choice .

Smruti Ashar said...

I have never used gooseberries in everyday cooking. Your version of the usirikaaya looks great!! :)