Ugadi was celebrated on the 18th of March 2018 with much pomp and fervour. And when there are celebrations, one cannot keep food out of it. Hunting for that special meal that makes the festival even more joyous is when Priya Iyer decided to help me out with an excellent Mavinkayi Chitranna. This is when I let our guest blogger Priya narrate her festival experience and the recipe as a whole in her own words —
Priya’s Ugadi experience and recipe –
Not very long ago, we celebrated Ugadi, the lunar New Year’s Day for the people of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka, the festival is synonymous with people decking up in their best clothes, visiting temples and their near and dear ones, and adorning their doorsteps with beautiful rangolis. And then, of course, there is the festival food – plates of gorgeous festival delicacies laboriously and lovingly prepared, and shared.
Ugadi – also called Yugadhi in Bangalore – is surely time for revelry, gastronomic revelry included. Piping hot obattu or holige with ghee, different varieties of rice, vadas, and bevu-bella (a mix of fresh sugarcane pieces and neem flowers, to reinforce the fact that life is a mix of sweetness and bitterness) are some foods typically prepared in Kannadiga households to commemorate Ugadi.
Today, I present to you the recipe for Mavinkayi Chitranna, a rice dish flavoured with raw mangoes, a common preparation in Karnataka on the occasion of Ugadi. This is a very simple dish to prepare, but an extremely flavourful one, making for a hearty meal.
Here’s our family recipe for Mavinkayi Chitranna!
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 1 cup rice
- 3/4 of a medium-sized raw mango
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 green chillies
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- A few stalks of fresh coriander
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- Wash the rice thoroughly under running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water. Pressure cook the rice with 2.5 cups of water for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Meanwhile, peel 3/4 of a raw mango. Grate the raw mango, discarding the seed. Keep aside.
- Slit the green chillies lengthwise. Peel the ginger and chop very finely. Chop the coriander finely. Keep aside.
- Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool down completely.
- Once all the steam from the cooker has released, open it and get the rice out. Let the rice cool down completely and then fluff it up.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and allow to splutter. Add in asafoetida, slit green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and roasted peanuts. Let them stay in for a couple of minutes, stirring to ensure the ingredients do not burn.
- Add the grated raw mango to the pan. Saute for a minute on medium heat.
- Now add cooked rice, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for a minute. Taste and adjust seasonings as required.
- Add grated coconut and mix well. Cook on medium flame for a minute. Switch off the heat.
- Mix in the chopped coriander. Serve the Mavinkayi Chitranna hot, warm or at room temperature. This dish, on its own, bursts with flavour and does not really an accompaniment.
- We commonly dry roast the peanuts till crunchy, and then add them to the chitranna. This ensures that the crunch of the peanuts is retained. Alternatively, you can add in the peanuts directly to the pan, while making chitranna, without dry roasting them before.
- We use totapuri raw mangoes to make this dish, usually. This variety of raw mangoes is just the right mix of sweet and sour, unlike other tooth-clenchingly sour varieties. However, you can use any variety of raw mango that you prefer.
- Since this Mavinkayi Chitranna is festival food, there is no onion or garlic added to it. However, if you plan to prepare this dish on non-festival days, you could even add in some onion. Chana daal is yet another ingredient that can be added to the tempering.
- We typically use Sona Masoori rice to make this dish. You can use any other variety of rice that you prefer, as well.
- Increase or decrease the quantity of water you use to cook the rice, depending upon how grainy/well-cooked you want it to be. Accordingly adjust the number of whistles for which you pressure cook, too. 2.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice, pressure cooked for 3 whistles is just perfect for us. The rice needs to be cooked, but not overly soggy, for the chitranna to turn out well.
- Make sure that the cooked rice has completely cooled down, before proceeding to make the chitranna. Fluff it up well, but gently, before use. If you have cooked rice left over (a day old, cold and not very soggy), you can use it to make Mavinkayi Chitranna as well.
Sounds interesting? Do try out this recipe, and let me know how you liked it!
Who is Priya Iyer ?I am a Bangalore-based food and travel blogger, freelance content writer, stay-at-home mother, avid reader, ardent explorer, eternal romantic. I love writing about my foodie experiments, my day-to-day life, the books I read, the places I explore and the simple pleasure of everyday things on my blogs The World Through My Eyes and The Girl Next Door.
Enjoy the dish and do provide us feedback on the same.
More to come soon on Festival specials on Food N Travel Diaries.