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.
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
- 2 cups ponni rice
- 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
Step 1Wash 2 cups of ponni rice (or any non-sticky rice you prefer) and soak in water for 30 minutes.
Step 2Bring 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.
Step 3Grate 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.
Step 4Toss 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.