Cranberry Pulihora/ Cranberry Rice

Tangy and delicious Cranberry rice made in South Indian Pulihora style.

Pulihora is a very popular and traditional dish made during festivals in southern parts of India, specifically Andhra. You cannot imagine any festival without a simple offering of pulihora as prasadam. Pulihora is rice mixed with tamarind pulp, salt and most importantly turmeric and then tempered with spices. So here, instead of tamarind pulp, I use cranberry sauce/pulp and make it like a fusion dish. Cranberry pulihora tastes just as amazing as the regular pulihora with the same tanginess and yumminess as tamarind pulihora. And the cranberry rice looks seriously amazing with popping colors.

Cranberry rice with cashews on top and cranberries in the background.

There are several variations to this pulihora, one is called puliyogare originating from Karnataka and another called puliyodarai from Tamil Nadu. Lemon rice is another popular and quick version of tempered rice that is made all over India.

What are cranberries and how healthy are they?

Cranberries are these delightful berries that are native to North America and are sour and tart to taste. They are available only during fall, especially during thanksgiving season. My first taste of cranberries was at a thanksgiving feast as this amazing sweet and tart sauce. So naturally, I assumed the cranberries to be sweet and got them from the store. Imagine my surprise when they turned out be extremely sour. So I made cranberry pickle with it and it went great! That recipe will be coming soon!

Cranberries are a superfood that are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. They are a wonderful addition to your diet and are very beneficial for your gut. This recipe come together extremely well because of the sourness of the cranberries. Please try this variation when the cranberries are available in your region. You can also freeze the cranberries and make this sauce whenever you want, cranberries freeze really well and last for a year in your freezer. I buy 2 bags during the fall and freeze one bag for later use.

Cranberry rice with cashews on top and cranberries and Indian spices in the background.

What other grains can we use for this Cranberry rice/ Cranberry pulihora?

I am a believer of including various grains in our diet, we make steel cut oats dosa, use Quinoa in several recipes, etc. but when it comes to pulihora, my mind cannot process any other grain. Only other grains that goes well with this preparation are millets, in my opinion. I make lemon millets and they are quite good. Quinoa works too but I would rather stick with rice.

Procedure to make this awesome Cranberry rice/ Cranberry pulihora:

Its very very simple, honestly. First we make rice and sauce and mix them together. Then we temper the mixed rice.

Detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures:
  • First we make the rice. Wash 2 cups of sona masoori rice and add 4 cups water to it. I usually do pot-in-pot for my rice but you can add the rice and water directly to the inner pot. Set pressure cook/Manual mode for 8 minutes, vent in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally(NPR). If using pot-in-pot, don’t forget to add water to the inner pot before you put a trivet.
Pot in pot cooking of rice in Instant pot.
  • Next, we make the cranberry sauce. Rinse 2 cups of cranberries and add it to a heavy bottomed pot with a handful of green chilies and salt.
  • Let the cranberries simmer on medium-low heat till they pop and the juices are released. Add a cup of water and cook some more to make sure the cranberries are entirely popped, cooked and become saucy.
Process for making the cranberry sauce.
  • Use a large and wide mixing bowl and add cooked rice, 2 tablespoons avocado oil, salt and about half the cranberry sauce. Mix it once and check if the salt and sourness are good enough. You can add more sauce if needed to get the desired sourness. Overall, I would say for 2 cups uncooked rice, we need about 1/2 a cup of cooked sauce.
  • Now, we add tempering to the mixed rice. In a sauté pan, add avocado oil and when its hot, add peanuts, dried red chilli, chana dal, split urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cashews and curry leaves and fry them till the mustard seeds pop and all others are brown/roasted. Hing/Asafetida is usually added to all pulihoras, but it is optional.
  • Add this tempered seeds to the mixed rice and mix gently. Let the pulihora sit for a while before serving, so the flavors will be infused together.
Mixing the cranberry rice.

What is pulihora eaten with?

Pulihora is usually served as a side dish with vada or boorelu. I make these awesome masala vada made with moth beans that are super crunchy and spicy. They are perfect combination to pulihora. My daughter likes her pulihora with a Andhra style spice powder called gun powder or curry leaf powder. My husband likes it simple with plain yogurt. I like to eat it plain or with chicken curry 😉

Can we make this cranberry pulihora sauce ahead and use it later? How long can this sauce be preserved?

Yes! Absolutely! This sauce can be made days ahead and preserved for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator. You can make fresh cranberry rice anytime using this sauce, just make rice, mix the sauce and add the tempering. Yummy pulihora is ready in minutes!

Cranberry Pulihora/ Cranberry Rice

Recipe by Blissful Bites by TayCourse: Rice/Grain DishesCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

45

minutes

Tangy and delicious Cranberry rice made in South Indian Pulihora style.

Ingredients

Method

  • In the instant pot insert, using either pot-in-pot method or directly in the pot, wash sona masoori rice and add water to it. Set pressure cook/Manual mode for 8 minutes, vent in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally(NPR). If using pot-in-pot, don’t forget to add water to the inner pot before you put a trivet.
  • Rinse the cranberries and add them to a heavy bottomed pot with green chilies and salt.
  • Let the cranberries simmer on medium-low heat till they pop and the juices are released. Add a cup of water and cook till the cranberries are entirely popped, cooked and become saucy.
  • Use a large and wide mixing bowl and add cooked rice, 2 tablespoons avocado oil, salt and about 1/2 a cup of cranberry sauce. Mix it once and check if the salt and sourness are good enough.
  • Now, we add tempering to the mixed rice. In a sauté pan, add avocado oil and when its hot, add peanuts, dried red chilli, chana dal, split urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cashews, Hing/Asafetida and curry leaves and fry them till the mustard seeds pop and all others are brown/roasted.
  • Add this tempered seeds to the mixed cranberry rice and mix gently. Let the pulihora sit for a while before serving, so the flavors will be infused together.

Notes

  • Any rice can be used for pulihora. Though basmati looks really neat, I prefer a short grain rice like Sona Masoori.
  • Please check above for more detailed instructions with pictures.
  • I am using Instant pot to cook my rice, please use any method you generally use to make rice.
  • This pulihora can be served hot or cold and keep well at room temperature for 24 hours.

Please do try this unique pulihora and you will love this variation for sure. Let us know how it goes in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.

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