Here’s how you can put raw mangoes of the season to a unique, yet delicious use. Make this simple Mango Rice – a South Indian style raw mango fried rice, which is spiced and tempered just for that extra punch. This Mango Rice recipe is tangy, vegan, comforting and loaded with flavors. Once you have a bowl of it, you will know what I am talking of.
Table of Contents
About Mango Rice
This Mango Rice has rice cooked with a robust raw mango-coconut masala and tempered, and is a common way of consuming both these significant ingredients in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
This particular Mango Rice recipe is inspired by the version made in the food culture of Karnataka, where it is also known as Mavinakayi Chitranna. Other regional dishes that I make, especially with raw mangoes are the Andhra style Mamidikaya Pappu and the Andhra style Mango Rice also known as Mamidikaya Pulihora.
Out of the many reasons for this Mango Rice to be a favorite at my home is that in addition to it being a simple recipe, there’s a beautiful balance of flavors in this dish – sourness from the unripe mangoes, subtle sweetness from the fresh coconut and the fieriness from the red chilies.
The tempering made of mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida (hing) just perks up the taste and makes it absolutely desirable and droolworthy. The looks might be just regular, but one bite and you’ll known the flavors are going to linger!
Generally, I end up savoring on a bowl of this Mango Rice during my working lunches, just as it is. But you can serve it with some chips, papad or as a side dish in a South Indian meal.
How to make Mango Rice
1. First, soak 1.5 cups rice in water for 20 minutes. Use any regular rice. I used a particular variety of organic basmati rice. Drain the rice after 20 minutes.
2. Then, pressure cook the rice with 2.5 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon oil for 2 whistles on high heat.
You can also cook the rice in a pot. If cooking in a pot, then you may need to add more water.
3. When the pressure settles down naturally, spread the rice on a large plate or tray. Keep aside and allow the rice to cool completely.
Cover and keep so that the rice grains do not dry out. The cooked rice grains should be separate.
The trouble I had was that the rice I used got sticky after cooking. When the rice grains cooled down, the stickiness did reduce somewhat. So, use rice which is not sticky.
Make Mango Paste
4. While the rice is cooking, rinse, peel and chop 1 large raw mango (250 grams mangoes or 1.5 cups chopped raw mango).
Proportion is important here and the weight depends on the stones inside the mangoes. So I would suggest to use the cup measurement.
5. In a grinder jar, add the chopped mangoes along with the ingredients mentioned below:
- 3 to 4 dried red chilies (broken and deseeded)
- 1 chopped green chili or ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons peanuts
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon powdered or grated jaggery
If you don’t have dried red chilies, add about 2 to 3 green chilies. I used the variety of Byadagi red chilies which were not very hot. If using a hotter variety of red chilies, reduce the amount to 1 or 2.
I added jaggery to balance the sourness of the mangoes. In place of jaggery you can use sugar, but the taste will change a bit. Feel free to omit jaggery if you do not have it.
6. Without adding any water, grind to a semi-fine paste. Don’t make a fine paste. Keep aside.
Make Mango Rice
7. In a pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil and add 3 to 4 tablespoons peanuts. I add the peanuts at this point so that they cook well and do not have any rawness inside.
8. On low heat, sauté the peanuts for about 2 to 3 minutes or till they change color.
9. Then, bring the peanuts to the sides of the pan and add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds in the center. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
You can also add 1 teaspoon each of chana dal and urad dal at this step. If adding chana dal or urad dal, allow them to turn golden before you proceed to the next step.
10. When the mustard seeds crackle, add 12 to 15 curry leaves and 1 or 2 dried red chilies (halved and seeds removed). Stir and sauté till the red chilies change color.
11. Then, add a pinch of asafoetida (hing) and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder. Stir and mix well.
12. Now, add the ground raw mango-coconut-spices paste.
13. Stirring often sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on low to medium-low heat. The mixture should thicken and come together.
14. Next, season with salt.
15. Stir to mix very well again. Remove the pan from stovetop and keep it on the kitchen countertop.
16. Now, add the sautéed raw mango-coconut-spices paste to the cooked rice. You can mix in batches or at once. The rice has to be at room temperature before you start mixing.
17. Now, with your hands or with a spatula, gently mix the rice with the raw mango-coconut masala. I mixed both the cooked rice and the masala in batches in a bowl.
18. Serve Mango Rice with some fried papads or chips. You can also serve with some curd (yogurt) or pickle. While serving Mango Rice, you can also garnish with chopped coriander leaves if you like.
More Indian Rice Dishes
Primarily, rice is a staple food for South Indians and the people from Bengal. This idea might be changing, with more and more people adapting to eating many healthier varieties of rice and other alternatives, but there are a few dishes that are best done, the traditional way.
Also, when it comes to rice-based dishes, I like them best in a homely avatar, when they are fuller with all flavors and textures intact, just the way they should be. Makes the meals wholesome and heartier too.
This Mango Rice recipe is one of my favorite ways of using green mangoes. Apart from this, these are a few other savory rice dishes that sit right at the top of my chosen list.
- Lemon Rice – a.k.a Chitranna or Nimmakaya Pulihora is an Andhra special, which can also be made with leftover cooked rice. Just toss it with some fried nuts, spices, herbs and a good spoonful of lemon juice and you’re ready for a yellow-hued sumptuous meal.
- Curd Rice – also referred to as Thayir Sadam, Daddojanam or Bagala Bath in various South Indian languages, is that perfect cooling rice meal for a sweltering summer afternoon. While this recipe is a personal one, you can spice it up and finish it the way you want. Many people also add grated carrot, cucumber and fried nuts in it.
- Tamarind Rice – or Puliyodharai in Tamil Nadu is a spiced, tangy rice dish. The souring agent in this dish is tamarind which is balanced with the addition of jaggery. Once you check out the recipe, you’ll know that there’s nothing to not like in this preparation.
- Tomato Bath – This is my version of the Karnataka style tomato rice made with a ground paste of tomatoes, spices, coconut and herbs. It is a super flavorful vegetarian rice dish where ‘bath’ means rice and not the other way round!
- Sesame Rice – Popularly known as Ellu Sadam in Tamil cuisine. This is one of the easiest and most delicious rice-based dishes that you can ever think of, vegan too. The earthy flavor that comes from the ground sesame seeds is unexplainable. Try it!
- Any regular rice variety can be used for this Mango Rice. No pressure cooker? Cook the rice in a pot instead. However, in this case, more water might have to be added.
- The tartness of the raw mangoes is balanced with the addition of jaggery.
- I have used the Byadagi dried red chilies with less heat. For a spicier rice, use a variety with more heat. In this case, 1 to 2 chilies will be sufficient. You can also use 2 to 3 green chilies in place of dried red chilies.
- In the tempering, you can also add 1 teaspoon each of urad dal and chana dal, fry till golden and then process with the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix the cooked rice and raw mango-coconut masala with gentle hands or gently with a spatula, or the rice grains might break.
The taste will change with desiccated coconut. You can still use ⅓ cup of it and see how it turns out.
You can balance the sourness by increasing or decreasing the quantity of jaggery in it.
While it is best to make the masala and use it fresh, in case you are premaking it, don’t keep it for more than one day in the refrigerator.
There is no need to roast the peanuts as they are made into a paste, which is eventually cooked.
Please be sure to rate this recipe in the recipe card below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Mango Rice Recipe (Mavinakayi Chitranna)
For pressure cooking rice
- 1.5 cup rice – any regular non-sticky short-grained or medium-grained Indian rice variety or basmati rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oil
- 2.5 cups water
For the mango paste
- ½ cup grated fresh coconut
- 1.5 cups chopped mangoes – 250 grams, peeled raw unripe green mangoes
- 3 to 4 dried red chilies – broken and deseeded
- 1 green chili – chopped, ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons peanuts
- 1 teaspoon jaggery or add as required, optional
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil or sesame oil or any oil
- 1 or 2 dried red chilies – broken and deseeded
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon chana dal – optional
- 1 teaspoon urad dal – optional
- 3 to 4 tablespoons peanuts
- 1 pinch asafoetida – hing
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- 12 to 15 curry leaves or 1 sprig of curry leaves
- salt as required
- First, soak rice in water for 20 minutes. Use any regular non-sticky rice or basmati rice.
- After 20 minutes, pressure cook the rice with 2.5 cups water, salt and oil for 2 whistles on high heat.
- You can also cook the rice in a pot. If cooking in a pot, then you may need to add more water.
- When the pressure settles down naturally, spread the rice on a plate.
- Keep aside and allow the rice to cool at room temperature. When the rice is warm, cover and keep so that the rice grains do not dry out.
- While the rice is cooking, rinse, peel and chop the raw mango.
Making mango paste
- In a grinder jar, add the chopped mangoes along with dried red chilies (broken and deseeded), chopped green chili, sesame seeds, peanuts, grated coconut and powdered or grated jaggery.
- I added jaggery to balance the sourness of the mangoes. If you don't have dried red chilies, add a total of 2 to 3 green chilies.
- I used Byadgi red chilies which are not very hot. If using a hotter variety of red chilies, reduce the amount to 1 or 2.
- Without adding any water, grind to a semi-fine paste. Don't make a fine paste. Keep aside.
Making mango rice
- In a pan, heat oil and add peanuts.
- On low heat, sauté the peanuts till they change color.
- Then, bring the peanuts to the side of the pan and add mustard seeds in the center. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
- You can also add 1 teaspoon each of chana dal and urad dal at this step. If adding chana dal or urad dal, allow them to turn golden before you proceed to the next step.
- When the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and dried red chilies. Stir and sauté till the red chilies change color.
- Then, add asafoetida and turmeric powder. Mix well.
- Now, add the ground raw mango-coconut-spices paste. Stir and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on low to medium-low heat or until the mixture thickens more and comes together. Next, season with salt.
- Stir and mix very well again. Remove pan from the stovetop and set aside on the kitchen countertop.
- Add the sautéed raw mango-coconut-spices masala to the cooked rice. You can mix in batches or at once. The rice has to be at room temperature before you start mixing.
- Now, with your hands, gently mix the rice with the raw mango-coconut-spices masala. I mixed both the cooked rice and the masala in batches in a bowl.
- Serve Mango Rice with some fried papads or chips.
- You can also serve with some yogurt or pickle. While serving, you can also garnish Mango Rice with chopped coriander leaves if you prefer.
- Make the recipe only with green sour tasting mangoes and not semi-sweet or semi-ripe mangoes.
- Adjust the green chillies and red chillies according to the spice level you need.
- To balance the sour taste, jaggery is added. You can use sugar in place of jaggery. Add jaggery less or more according to your taste preferences. You can also omit adding jaggery if you prefer.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Mango Rice recipe from the blog archives first published in April 2015 has been republished and updated on 4 June 2022.