Raw Mango Rice (MavinaKayi Chitranna)

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This Raw Mango Rice called as ‘Mavinakayi Chitranna’ in Kannada is a variation of the usual Mango Rice recipe that I have posted here. In the latter version, all the ingredients are mixed and cooked over the stove top; where as in this version, the cooked rice is mixed along with raw mango paste and then aptly seasoned. Of course, for this version the seasoning plays a very important role and needs to be as strong as possible. This is achieved by using good asafetida, fresh curry leaves and good dried chillies. 

I got this recipe from my MIL who happened to see this in a cookery program on TV. She passed along this recipe last week. Since I had a raw mango, I gave it a try this week and we loved the taste. The tanginess for this rice comes from the raw mango and there is no need to add lemon juice to this. 

I have also posted a basic variation of Chitranna (without any raw mango) here. 

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Rava Idli and Potato Saagu/ Bombay Saagu


Rava Idli or Rave Idli is a variation of Idli, made with Rava/ Sooji/semolina instead of the usual rice and Urad Daal.  It is a specialty of the state of Karnataka and is usually served as a breakfast item. It has been said that the popular restaurant chain, Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) of Bangalore invented it. Apparently during World War II, when rice (a staple item used in idli) was short in supply, they experimented in making idli using semolina and created the now famous Rava Idli.

 Rava-Idli translates to semolina-idli in the Kannada language. Rava idli is served hot and is usually eaten along with Saagu and Coconut Chutney. A dash of Ghee poured on the top of Rava Idli adds to the overall taste. (Adapted from here). 

Unlike a regular Idli, the batter can be prepared in an instant and does not require any grinding or fermenting. So this is more of an Instant Idli. There are many versions of Rava Idli and Saagu, but this is the one that I follow often.


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Potato Saagu Ingredients:

  • 3-4 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 4-5 Curry leaves
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • Asafetida  a pinch
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • Cumin seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • Red chilli powder (depending on taste)
  • salt, Oil



  • Peel the potatoes and chop into small cubes. Put them in water to avoid browning. Now cook them over the stove top or microwave along with salt.
  • Alternatively pressure cook potatoes with water and then chop into cubes. Retain the water and keep aside.
  • Take a big pan and heat oil.  Now add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida and curry leaves,
  • Add the chopped onion, green chillies and cook until the onion turns transparent.
  • Add salt, chopped tomatoes, turmeric, red chilli powder and mix well.
  • Add the cooked potatoes, peas, salt, and water from the boiled potatoes. Cover a lid and turn the flame to medium and let it boil until the whole thing becomes thick and starchy.
  • Turn off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Rave Idli.


Ingredients for Rava Idli: (makes about 9 medium Idli)

  • 1 cup Semolina/Rava(coarse)
  • 2.5 cups yogurt/curd (sour is preferable)
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger(grated)
  • Coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Salt to taste
  • Seasoning/Tadka
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • Asafetida (a pinch)
  • 1-2 Green chillies(finely chopped)
  • 2-3 Curry leaves
  • Oil
  • 10-15 small Cashew pieces (optional)

  • Method for making the Idlis:
    Heat oil in a big pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Now add the curry leaves (cut into pieces), asafetida, urad dal, cashew pieces, green chillies and mix well.
  • Add Semolina/rava slowly to this seasoning and fry until it turns light brown and the aroma waffles through. Keep aside and allow to cool.
  • Take a bowl, add salt and whisk the yogurt.  Add this yogurt to the seasoned semolina mixture in intervals and mix well.
  • Now add baking soda, coriander leaves, and ginger to this and mix again. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
  • Note: If the batter is thick then add 1-2 Tbsp of water to thin it out.
  • Grease the Idli plates. Add spoonful of the batter to each of the idli plates.
  • Heat water in a pressure cooker and place the idli stand in a pressure cooker and cook covered without the whistle for 10-12 minutes.

Serve hot with a spoonful of ghee, potato saagu and with coconut chutney.

Steamed Spiced Multi-Lentil Squares

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OK, I have to admit this, before I go on with the recipe. I do not know the traditional name of this dish; all I know is that it is a dish from Karnataka. The English title that I put more descriptive of the procedure, seems so formal and does not seem to have that connection with the dish. If somebody knows the name please let know.

Many years ago my mom had learnt this from one of our neighbor “Uma Aunty”.  She was an ace cook who could whip delicious dishes in no time. Many a times she would send over some of her dishes to us and we would enjoy tasting it. This is one such dish, but unfortunately I do not remember the name of this. She used to say that, this is usually served to people recovering from an illness. Not only in this healthy, low-fat but also caters to their lost taste and appetite.

During the process of writing this post, it stuck to me that this dish is more like a distant cousin of nucchina-unde. The ingredients are mostly similar; the procedure of steaming is the same, the difference being that in this case the daal mixture is steamed as a whole, instead of steaming each ‘unde’ separately as in nucchina-unde.

I do not prepare this often as most of them in my family are not huge fans of this dish; I am the only exception though. Don’t be worried by the long list of ingredients, most of the items are used for grinding and act as taste enhancer. Daal mixture when steamed tends to taste bland and so most of the ingredients are used to kick it up by a notch J Nevertheless it is easy to prepare, rich in protein and nutritious as well.

If interested you can check out another version of steamed daal that I posted long time ago, here Steamed Toor Daal Dill Cake.

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