In this part of the world that I live in, the Indian Subcontinent, the summers are harsh. The mercury keeps rising until it is unbearable to be outdoors. Hot dry winds hold a vigil on the summer afternoons making sure you do not venture outdoors. And while you must have a got picture of how Indian summers are, I will say that for the Almighty, all his kids are equal and he doesn’t do any injustice to any of his kids. Why else would he bestow us with the king of fruits, Mango, in such abundance across India? While I can go on and on about the ripe mangoes, today my agenda is a bit different. It is early summers here in Bangalore, and the small, tart, raw mangoes have started to flood the markets. While the pickle is the first thing that comes to the minds of most Indians when you mention raw mangoes, some of like to eat it just like that, cut into slivers and rubbed with salt and chilli powder. At least, the childhood of most of us is full of such memories. Now that we have grown up, the hustle bustle may not allow us to sneak in such moments.
So, because of the strong associations we have mangoes, when I saw raw mangoes during this week’s grocery errands trip, it was as if, the mangoes were beckoning me towards them, almost hypnotically to be honest! And, I had bookmarked this raw mango rice recipe somewhere eons ago. So, I had to make Mavinkayi Chitranna or Raw Mango Rice with these beauties.
Mavinakayi Chitranna / Raw Mango Rice with the usual accompaniments of Papad, Raita and pickle because the mercury has risen and the markets have tiny, green mangoes beckoning me towards them, in an almost hypnotic way! Also, some nights, it has to be comfort food. The recipe is from Chandra Padmanabhan's Dakshin and the cook book is proving to be a very good primer for novices like me, when it comes to South Indian cuisine. The best thing is, the book gives the recipe for spice mixes from scratch and yet is simple to execute. This is a Kannadiga version, or so the internet says, because I have used fresh coconut in the spice paste. The Andhra version does not use coconut. The taste is quite similar to lemon rice, but in between, you can feel the subtle flavors only raw mango can provide! If you ignore the Raita, rest is all #vegan friendly. #mavinkayi #chitranna #rawmangorice #tendermango #whatsfordinner #whatsonmyplate #myblr #trelltalebangalore #kannadacuisine #veganfoodporn #meatfree #vegatarian #vegetarianfoodporn #mavinakayichitranna #quickfixdinner #dinnerin60minutes #bangalorefooddiaries #mavinakayi #chandrapadmanabhan #dakshinthecookbook
If I talk a bit about the name, especially for folks like me who aren’t very familiar with the South Indian cuisine, Mavinkayi stands for raw mango in Kannada and Chitranna is a very popular rice-based dish widely prepared in homes in South India. It is prepared by mixing cooked rice with a tempering consisting of spices like mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, turmeric powder, and salt, with the flavor lending ingredient which is often lemon, or, like in our today’s recipe, raw mangoes.
The recipe is adapted from Chandra Padmanabhan’s cookbook called Dakshin. You can buy a copy here. The recipe is a Kannadiga version because I have used fresh coconut while making the spice paste. In the Telugu version, called Mamadikaya Pulihora, the coconut is not used. I will try out that version too pretty soon! 🙂
Recipe: ( serves 2 )
- 1/2 cup of raw rice, any variety is fine,
- 1 small raw mango, grated ( peel it only if you feel the skin is too thick and bitter ),
- 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
- a few pinches asafoetida (hing),
- salt to taste,
- 2 green chilies,
- 3 tbsp of grated coconut,
- 3 tbsp of oil
- 1 tsp of mustard
- a few curry leaves,
- 2 tbsp of peanuts,
- 1 tbsp of Bengal gram daal
- Cook the rice, the way you normally cook it, with an adequate amount of water, depending upon the variety of the rice. Do not over cook it, you may leave it slightly al dente, but definitely not mushy. Spread it out on a plate to cool slightly.
- Grind together half of the raw mango, 1/2 tsp of turmeric, a pinch of asafoetida, some salt about 1/2 tsp, green chillies and grated coconut into a coarse paste. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a wide pan. Once it is hot, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the curry leaves, a pinch of asafoetida and Bengal gram dal. Once the gram dal is golden, add the rest of the grated mango. Cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the rawness is gone.
- Add the spice paste, and cook for another few minutes. Turn the heat off.
- Add the cooked rice and some more salt and mix the rice with the spice mix with light hands, taking care not to turn the grains into a mush.
- Serve hot with the accompaniment of your choice, with Papadams and Raita going very well with it typically.