This is a very traditional dish from Tamil Nadu in South India. South India was historically one of the first places to cultivate rice, about 1200 BC, and some scholars believe that rice, or a variant of rice was cultivated here before its origins in China. The South of India has a number of traditional rice dishes, (coming on this blog soon), but this is my summer favorite.
Light, refreshing and moist, the combination of cool yogurt tempered with spices and tart from green mangoes is a prefect treat on any hot summer day. I pair this with a spicy mango pickle.
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2-3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons husked black gram dal (urad dal)
2 teaspoons Bengal gram dal (chana dal)
1-2 dried red chiles
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (available at any Indian grocery store)
10 curry leaves
1 cup cooked basmati or long grain rice, cooled
1 (2/3 cup) small green mango, peeled and grated
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced fine
1 green chile, diced fine. Adjust amount to taste
1/2 cup cilantro, finely diced
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 cups plain yogurt, mixed to smoothen
Salt to taste
Heat a pot with oil. Add the tempering spices keeping the asafoetida for the last. as soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, turn off the stove and add the rice and greate green mango. Mix well and allow to cool completely.
When cool, add all other ingredients and mix well. Taste for salt and chili and adjust as needed.
Serve sprinkling some decorative cilantro on top.