Chitranna (lemon rice) is a popular breakfast dish from Karnataka, India. It’s a great way to repurpose left over rice from the night before and can be whipped up in 15 mins or less. It tastes slightly sour because of the lemon, feels fresh thanks to chopped coriander (cilantro), and has roasted peanuts & lentils for a bit of crunch. Come summer time however, some home cooks substitute grated raw mango (Mavinkayi) in place of lemon. Raw mango is a great souring agent, but also brings so much flavour! In fact, I often use raw mangoes that are just starting to turn yellow; they are still quite sour, but also have a mild sweetness to them that takes Chitranna to another level. This version also uses freshly grated coconut in addition to the raw mango, to enhance the sweet & sour contrast of flavours.
The key to making a great Chitranna is getting the texture of the rice right! Its best to use rice that has been cooked the night before. If you don’t have left overs, freshly cooked rice works too; just make sure to spread the freshly cooked rice out onto a plate and allow it to cool to room temperature before using. This will help you get to that texture where the grains are separate and it doesn’t turn to mush.
Recipe: Green Mango Rice
- Frying pan
- Box grater
- 1 tbs Oil
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- ½ tsp Urad Dal (split black lentils)
- ½ tsp Channa Dal (split bengal gram)
- 2 tsp Peanuts
- 8 -10 Curry leaves
- 2 Green Chilies [slit]
- ½ cup Onion [chopped]
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- ½ cup Grated Green Mango
- ⅓ cup Freshly Grated Coconut
- 2½ cups Cooked Rice
- ½ cup Coriander leaves (Cilantro) [chopped]
- Salt [to taste]
- Heat oil in frying pan; add mustard seeds and wait until they pop. Lower the flame and add the urad dal, channa dal and peanuts. Roast on low heat until they begin to change colour and give off a nutty aroma.
- Add the slit green chilies, curry leaves and onion to the pan. Cook until the onions turn translucent.
- Add the turmeric and sauté for about 30 seconds, making sure that turmeric blends well with the oil.
- Add the grated mango to the pan and sauté for 1 – 2 mins. Add salt to taste.
- Once the mango has softened, add a third of a cup of freshly grated coconut and stir well. Turn the heat off!1
- Now add the cooked rice, about half a cup at a time, making sure its well combined with the mango-coconut mix before adding more. Finish with fresh, chopped coriander.
1Its important to turn the heat off before mixing the rice into the mango-coconut mixture. This prevents the rice from overcooking and turning to mush. You can heat the rice gently after its well combined, but make sure to turn the heat back off before adding the chopped coriander. This is essential to retaining its freshness!
Make the most of mango season by giving this one of a kind breakfast dish a shot, and let me know in the comments below if you do🖖