India must be the country that has the most appreciation of rice. It boasts thousands of different rice varieties and many many more dishes that feature rice as the main ingredient. Rice is never ever relegated to a side dish, playing second fiddle to the main dish or dishes of the meal. There it is, front and centre, always. Pulaos, Kitcheri, Biryani, Bhats, Pongal and Mixed Rices are examples of well known rice dishes.
Pulihora is a South Indian rice which is usually made with tamarind. But the same dish can also be made with green mango or with lemon juice as the souring agent. It is a rice dish that plays homage to the love of sour tastes in Tamil Nadu and beyond. In this recipe, the tamarind is replaced with green mango, and some carrot adds a sweet counterbalance and colour.
This dish is also called mangai sadam and mavinakayi chitranna in different regions. The recipes vary a little, e.g. coconut might be added, but the base is essentially the same. In South India mango pulihora is made during certain auspicious occasions and festivals too.
Similar dishes include Green Mango Pachadi, Jeera Rice (Cumin Rice), Red Rice in Tomato Juice, 30 Indian Dishes for Mid Summer, Saffron Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Ghee Rice with Pandanus, and Green Mango and Coconut Rice.
Green Mango Rice | Mamidikaya Pulihora
this makes quite a lot of rice. The recipe can be halved.
2 cups basmati or sona masori rice
1 firm unripe green mango, peeled and grated (approx 2 cups)
1 small carrot, peeled and grated (optional)
2 Tblspn unsalted peanuts or cashews
2 Tblspn ghee
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
2 tspn channa dal
2 tspn urad dal
2 green chilli, chopped (or to taste)
pinch asafoetida powder (hing)
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
10 – 12 curry leaves
Soak the rice for 10 – 20 minutes, drain well, and cook using your normal method.
In a kadhai, heat the ghee and pop the mustard seeds. When they begin to finish popping, add the cumin seeds and then the channa dal and the urad dal. As they turn golden, add the green chilli, and after a moment, the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Now add the curry leaves and as they finish sizzling, add the peanuts and lower the heat. Saute till golden, then add the green mango and carrot (if using). Saute for 4 – 5 minutes until the mango just loses its rawness, and then add to the rice. Mix well but gently.
Serve warm and enjoy! Garnish with coriander leaves if desired. Lovely with crunchy chips or papads as side dish.
recipe notes and alternatives
You can blend 0.5 cup of the raw mango with 1 Tblspn of the peanuts plus 0.25 cup coconut and 2 Indian dried red chillies. Add this to the pan with the peanuts and saute. When you add the grated mango you can saute it for about 30 seconds – 1 minute instead of the 5 mins if desired.