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Summer Rice



Summer in India is mango season. Even when my other favourites - litchis, cherries and apricots - show up in May, mango remains the fruit of choice. In Mumbai, restaurants put aamras (essentially sweet mango puree) and mango lassi on menus across the board. Now I love sweet mangoes as much as the next person, but what I really like experimenting with is the flavour of the tart raw mango.

We made pickles and chutneys with the raw mango, and I've added it to Asian style salads and to curries in the past. So this time, I decided to move base to south India and try my hand at raw mango rice. The rice itself is fresh and summery and to up the flavour quotient even more, I served it with badanekayi bajji, a unique eggplant relish I first saw on Madhuri's blog. Get the recipe for the relish straight from Madhuri's while the recipe for the raw mango rice is given below.

Ingredients
2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 raw mango, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
1-2 green chillies
handful of coriander leaves
2 tbsp oil
8-10 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp chana dal
1/2 tbsp urad dal
asafoetida
salt

Grind raw mango, coconut, chillies and coriander leaves together to a paste. Heat oil in pan. Add a hearty pinch of asafoetida and the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add curry leaves and the two dals. Stir around for about a minute until the lentils are fried and crunchy, then add the mango-coconut paste. Stir fry on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the paste is cooked through. Add rice and salt to taste and mix well. That's it folks, it's as simple as it gets.

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