Summer means mangoes. Mangoes means yumminess. I am not really a fan of the fruit. But give me a raw mango anytime and I can weave magic around it. My most favourite is the mango pulihara. It is a mildly spiced mango rice preperation. You can have it for breakfast or as a meal in itself. For me its on-top-of-list comfort food. There is really no rocket science in making this. You just need to understand how much sourness from the mango gives the right balance of flavour to the rice. Another secret lies in the tempering. If you can get these two things right, you have nailed the recipe. It requires a couple of trial-and errors, but once you get it, it is gonna become a family favourite.
Few simple steps involved in this recipe:
Use regular plain rice. No flavoured or basmati rice. You don’t want the taste of the rice to overpower the sourness of the mango.
As with all rice dishes, left over rice works much better than freshly cooked, as it retains the texture.
Getting the tempering right gives the maximum flavour.
The key step is to get the right balance between the sourness of the mango and the starchiness of the rice. The best way to achieve this is to keep tasting while adding the mango to the rice.
Here’s the detailed recipe:
Cooked and cooled rice : 2 cups
Mango : 1 peeled and grated (depending on taste)
Cashewnuts and/or groundnuts- few
Oil : 2 to 3 tbsop
Bengal gram dal/senaga pappu/chana dal :1 tsp
Urad dal/minappa pappu : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/ avalu : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera : 3/4 tsp
Dry red chillies : 2-3 (broken)
Hing/asafoetida : a pinch
Green chillies : 2-3(or as per taste) sliced
Turmeric : a pinch
Curry leaves/karivepaku: few leaves
Salt: as per taste
Heat oil in a kadhai or a pan for tempering. When the oil is sufficiently warm, add the groundnuts and allow them to brown slightly. Add the bengal gram dal and urad dal. Allow them to change colour too.
Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop and splutter. Now add the cumin seeds and red chillies. Allow all the ingredients to fry properly while making sure they don’t burn. Add the dry red chillies and asafoetida. Add the cashewnuts,if using, at this stage and fry them slightly.
Add the green chillies and turmeric. Once the green chillies start blistering, add the curry leaves and turn off the heat. Let the tempering cool down a bit while in the pan. Once the tempering is cooled slightly, add the grated mango. Add half the salt and mix well. This will ensure that the mango cooks very slightly and the enhance the sourness and at the same time not overcook and lose its flavour completely. Add the rest of the salt to the rice and mix quickly. Now add the tempered mango grate to the rice and mix everything together gently. Take care not to mix too much and mash the rice. You could use forks to mix everything. Like every mango recipe, mango pulihara too gets delicious if it stays overnight, though freshly made and eaten tastes qually good. Enjoy as a simple meal. Good for lunch boxes too.