Vegetarian Concoctions

September 24, 2007

Chitranna – White, Yellow and Brown!!!

Filed under: Karnataka, Kootu, Lemon, RCI, Rice, Tamarind, White pumpkin (Pooshinikkai) — Hema @ 11:59 am

Rice, Chawal, Arissi, Bhiyam, Ari or Akki, once boiled, has the greatest ability to look elegent in any combination of flavor or color. With little effort, the plain white grains can be transformed into a colorful explosion of reds and yellows and browns and greens. A staple diet in South India and many other regions across the world, the rice has endless ways of pleasing the most refined palate. Keeping in mind the theme for the month dedicated to Karnataka cuisine, here are my entries served with pooshinikkai morkootu.

Nimbehannu Chitranna:

Long-grained Rice)- 3 cups cooked

Turmeric – 1 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Chana dal – 2 tsp

Udad dal – 1 tsp

Peanuts – a handfull

Methi powder – 1/2 tsp

Hing – 1/4 tsp

Lemon – 1 1/2 tbsp or to taste

Salt – to taste

Green chillies – 4 or 5

Curry leaves – 6 or 7

oil – 1 tbsp

til/gingerly oil – 1 tbsp

lime zest – 1 tsp

Red chillies – 1 or 2

Boil rice and let it cool down for a while, add the til oil and mix it with the rice so that all the grains seperate easily. Make a small pit in the center and spoon in the turmeric and the zest. Heat up half the oil and roast the peanuts well. Set aside. To the other half add mustard seeds, chana dal, udad dal, hing, methi pwd, red chillies and let it roast up. Then add the green chillies and curry leaves. Pour this directly into the pit on the turmeric and add required salt. Once cool, add peanuts and lemon juice and mix well. The lemon zest gives it an extra flavor (a tip from my aunt).

Kayi-Sasive chitranna:

Rice – 3 cups

Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup fresh or shredded

Red chillies – 2 + 1

Tamarind – 1 tsp

Jaggery(optional) – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp

Chana dal – 2 tsp

Udad dal – 1 tsp

Hing – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 6 or 7

Grind the coconut, 1 tsp mustard seeds, tamarind, turmeric, jaggery and red chillies with minimum water. Spread the cooked rice and mix it with the coconut oil. Heat up the oil and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, chana dal, udad dal, 1 red chilli, hing and curry leaves. Add the ground paste and roast till the raw smell of tamarind goes. Add salt and mix this with the rice. I like my rice white and not-sweet, so left out the jaggery and turmeric.


This is my aunt’s innovation for making instant puliyagare. It tastes just as good without the hardwork of making the pulikachal / gojju.

Tamarind concentrate – 1 medium heaped spoon

Cooked rice – 3 cups

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Chana dal – 1 tbsp

Udad dal – 1 tsp

Peanuts – a handful

Methi kuria – 2 tsp

Gingerlly oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp

Red Chillies – 4

hing – 1/4 tsp

Black pepper pwd – 1 tsp

Dhania pwd – 2 tsp

Turmeric – a pinch

Jaggery – 1 tsp (optional)

Curry leaves – 7-8

Salt to taste

Prepare the rice and mix it with 1 tbsp of til oil and methi kuria. Methi kuria is a spice powder prepared in Gujarat using fenugreek that is coarsely ground, red chilli powder and til oil. In the USA, it is available in Indian stores and in India, you may find it in khadi udyog. If, unavailable, roast 2 tsp of fenugreek seeds and dry grind into a fine pwd. This can be substituted for the same amount of methi kuria. Heat up the rest of the oil and first roast the peanuts and set aside. Then to the same oil add mustard seeds, chana dal, udad dal, hing, red chillies and curry leaves. Once the dals have browned, dissolve the tamarind paste in very little water and add it to the spices. add turmeric, roasted peanuts, jaggery and salt and let this boil till the raw smell goes and the paste has thickened up. Now add the dhania and pepper powder and pour into the prepared rice. Mix well and enjoy!

I am packing these off to Asha for RCI-Karnataka!



  1. Aha!!! What an unusual Chitrannas! Great entry Hema. Nice one before the deadline.
    And all served with Morkootu(my fave form your blog!). I am moving in!!!Got a spare bed? 😀
    Thank you for taking time Hema,I know how busy you are! Great entry,I will take it! Hugs to you:))

    Comment by Asha — September 24, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

  2. @Asha
    Thanks! Moving in? Really? Lucky me!!!! Why a bed, take the whole house, I will happily sleep on the floor in the kitchen:)

    Comment by Hema — September 24, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

  3. A rice gallore here…i just loved the site of this rice festival.

    Comment by pooja v — September 24, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

  4. lovely colours!

    Comment by Nags — September 25, 2007 @ 2:21 am

  5. Aren’t these all-time lunch box favourites 🙂

    Comment by Suganya — September 25, 2007 @ 3:08 am

  6. Colorful and delicious!!! Lovely spread of Chitrannas!!

    Comment by Cinnamon — September 25, 2007 @ 6:43 am

  7. lovely and colorful plate of feast. wish I could taste some. well presented.

    Comment by sharmi — September 25, 2007 @ 8:42 am

  8. I like the yellow chitranna:-)

    Comment by TBC — September 25, 2007 @ 11:20 am

  9. @ pooja, Nags, Cinnamon, TBC

    @ Suganya
    yes and I do a good job stuffing them into H’s lunchbox every now and then

    I agree. Turmeric and Lemon combine to give such a pleasing color.

    Comment by Hema — September 25, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

  10. Hi Hema, glad to see you’ve awakened 😉 All the chitranna look so beautiful!!


    Comment by outofthegarden — September 26, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

  11. PuliyOgaraiyum sOrru…

    Ha ha Ha ha HA HA!

    Comment by saapatu raman — October 3, 2007 @ 4:46 am

  12. Kaliyugada kumbakarnaaa, wake up and post something for RCI tamizh festival too!:D

    Comment by lathanarasimhan — October 17, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  13. Lovely looking…:))

    Comment by Rajeswari — October 22, 2007 @ 6:10 am

  14. Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual
    effort to produce a superb article… but what can I
    say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly
    anything done.

    Comment by Desi Chinese — July 5, 2017 @ 4:21 am

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