Green Mango Rice

Prep Time: 10 min, plus soaking time Cook Time: 35 min

Green Mango Rice

Prep Time: 10 min, plus soaking time Cook Time: 35 min

About This Recipe

A friend shared this recipe that she likes to make in the blistering heat of a Chennai summer. The unripe, super-hard mangos she uses are as round as tennis balls and very sour; they are made into chutneys and easy pickles in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Here, they go into a rice dish that is quick to rustle up, doesn’t require much time over a hot stove, and is very light and easy on the stomach. It’s a tangy mango rice that is inspired both by versions of this dish found in different South Indian traditions, as well as a tabbouleh style salad.   

The Benefits

Originating in Tamil Nadu, ponni rice is partially boiled in the husk, and tends to retain major B vitamin such as thiamine and niacin. Fennel seeds improve meal digestion, helping with bloat, and contains anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compounds including anethole, fenchone, methyl chavicol, and limonene that also aid the digestive process. The use of herbs and spices promotes satiety, encouraging lower sodium intake.

Note: Use any hard, green unripe mango.

Tools & Equipment: Grater


4 servings
  • 2 cups ponni rice
  • Salt
  • ½ tsp lime juice (optional)
  • 1 (250 g) unripe green totapuri mango
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (50 g) cashew nuts
  • 2 tsp (10 g) raisins
  • 1 tsp (3 g) fennel seeds
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped
  • 1 loosely packed cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 loosely packed cup mint leaves, finely chopped


  1. Step 1
    Wash 2 cups of ponni rice (or any non-sticky rice you prefer) and soak in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Step 2
    Bring 4 cups (1 liter) of water to a boil and add ¼ tsp of salt. Drain the soaked rice and add to the boiling water. Add a few drops of lime to brighten the rice. Give it a stir and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked but still firm. Drain any excess water and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then spread the rice out on a wide serving platter to cool. You can use a fork and a spoon to fluff it up a bit.
  3. Step 3
    Grate the mango on a box grater or chop it into tiny bits. In a cast iron pan, add oil and roast the cashews to a golden color and then add the raisins. Allow them to sizzle for a moment, then pop in the fennel seeds. When the fennel seeds release their aroma, add the green chile, followed by the grated raw mango, and sauté for about 5 to 8 minutes. You want the mango to soften slightly and not cook through. Add a sprinkling of salt, cilantro and mint leaves, mix well, and take the pan off the burner and let it cool.
  4. Step 4
    Toss the mango mixture in the rice and mix evenly with a salad spoon and fork. Serve warm or room temperature.

Substitutions: You can substitute cashews with peanuts for crunch.

Level Up: Sprinkle on a bit of amchur powder, made of dried mango seeds, for a tangier flavor and aroma.

Try It With: This is a great base for Mexican-inspired dishes. Use it as a substitute for plain rice in a burrito, or on the side of a mole.