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Picking fruits and vegetables at a grocery store definitely qualifies as an art. Or rather as a chance to put analytical skills to test.

For me (I bet, for most of us), trip to grocery store is a mundane task – starting from making a list, carrying bags, baskets or pushing carts to picking fruits and vegetables, haggling with vendors (no longer applicable, India story), standing in lines for checkout or struggling to find enough cash/change in purse and then finally hoping that fruits and vegetables turn out as desired. In short, doing groceries is a tedious process for me unlike a trip to gap or express store. Even though I am a cook, I still haven’t managed to like grocery shopping enough. Yeah, it’s a shame. If I could, I would strictly visit store only once a month or utmost twice. But alas, that cannot happen. To get fresh supply, I need to do the grunt work. If I won’t, no one else can for me but me. To give an analogy, it’s like wanting to cross a river without putting an effort to swim, when I don’t have a boat (but know how to swim) :P.

And so yes, ultimately I cannot ignore the fact that the right picks are essential ingredients of a tasty recipe. And this very thought helps me wade through the crowded counters at the store. From choosing firm tomatoes to ripe okra, fresh strawberries to sweet grapes, or judging the ripeness of mangoes from their very smell, every pick needs to be careful enough to prevent an oversight. For me, this exercise may take years to evolve as an experience. Even though I started such trips to Mandi aka vegetable-fruit markets, early in life, by (sometimes) accompanying my father on Saturdays for groceries, I still haven’t gotten any better at picking fruits from its face-value.

Even if I can (now) successfully prevent, visibly rotting vegetables, making way into my basket, I still cannot be too sure of my choices until I have cut them open. This, especially, happens to me when buying green raw mangoes. And on rare occasions, when luck is on my side and I pick the right unripe ones, I use them to make Mavinakayi Chitranna aka Green Mango rice. (Note to self: Choose a green looking mango over red-green shaded mango)

And it’s a blessing and joy to cook and enjoy such a delicacy at leisure on 4th of July under warm sun and with cold raita. Totally, ideal for a memorable holiday.

Mavinakayi samples – raw and ripe


Grated Mavinakayi


Long threads of grated Mavinakayi with leftover seed in the background


Sample spices, curry leaves, lentils and coconut shreds


Mix raw mavinakayi with spices and cooked rice to prepare chitranna

 

Top view of Mavinakayi chitranna


  • Preparation Time: 10 min
  • Cooking Time: 15 min
  • Recipe Level:  Easy
  • Serves many
  • Source: N
  • Cuisine: South Indian
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1.5 cups of grated green mango aka Mavinakyi or katcchi keri
  • 0.5 cup grated coconut -frozen or thin chips
  • 1 tbsp chana daal
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp cashews (optional)
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp methi aka fenugreek seeds
  • 2 -3 red chillies strainer
  • 1-2 green chillies (optional)
  • Pinch of hing aka asefoetida
  • 1 string of curry leaves
  • 1-2 leaves of mint or cilantro (for garnishing)
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  • Soak rice for 10-15 minutes. Boil/Cook the rice. Let it cool.
  • Separately, soak chana daal for 5 – 10 minutes as well.
  • In a separate thick bottomed pan or kadhai, add cooking oil and put it on a medium flame. Add pinch of hing.
  • Add mustard seeds and red chillies to the pan. Allow mustard to splutter.
  • Drain water from soaked chana dal. And add chana dal, methi seeds. Cook for a bit and then add peanuts, and cashews to the kadhai as well.
  • Now add curry leaves. Follow by adding grated mango to the kadhai. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes, and then stir well. And grated coconut.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric to the mango (as the cooking progresses). Let the mix cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • As all the ingredients are cooked, the greenish mango threads tend to look tad less green and less raw. Now add cooked rice.
  • Following by adding salt. Now mix contents of kadhai and cooked rice well. Stir a couple of times until rice is no longer white in color (and now has a yellowish tinge)
  • Allow the kadhai to be on the flame for another 3-4 minutes and stir a few more times until the mango is completely cooked and mango and rice cannot be distinguished conspicuously. Switch off the gas.
  • Garnish with cilantro or mint leaves. Serve with raita.
Chitranna served with chips and raita

 

Mad Notes:
  • Cashews is optional here. I used for added taste and flavor and also because T and I love cashew.
  • Coconut is optional too. If not handy, it’s absolutely Ok to do without it.
  • Add green chillies if extra spice is preferred else skip
  • Mixture or chips can be used as a side.
  • You may also choose to serve with curd rice for added taste. I preferred raita to avoid eating dry.
  • Another way of making mavinakayi chitranna is blending spices and mango pieces in a mixer. And using the paste obtained to mix with rice. I preferred this as it has more engaging raw mango taste.
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