We use mangoes, especially raw mangoes a lot in the traditional cuisine of my Palakkad Iyer community. They’re pickled and also cooked with, both raw and ripe. We also make quite a few varieties of vegetable rice. Yet we don’t make Raw Mango Rice.
Maybe it is because we make Lemon Rice which is quite close in taste an appearance to Raw Mango Rice. I first came across this a few years back during a conversation with one of my cousins. Somewhere she mentioned that she had cooked Raw Mango Rice for lunch that day. When I asked her about it, she told me her mother use to make it often. Her mother had come across the recipe in a magazine or on a television show.
My cousin shared the recipe but I misplaced it. By the time I found it mangoes were out of season. In the meanwhile, I discovered that Raw Mango Rice is part of traditional cuisine in the Indian state of Andra Pradesh. They call it Mammidikaya Annam.
So when the next mango season came around I made it a few times. I just didn’t get around to photographing it. It’s mango season once again, and this time I remembered to photograph it.
Raw Mango Rice is very easy to make and a good way to use up left over rice. It’s a light dish and so perfect for the summer. Pair it with a salad, yogurt or raita, and some papad or crisps and you have a meal ready in no time. To stay true to the recipe and the cuisine, use short or medium unscented rice. Basmati rice wouldn’t really work well here.
Typically, raw mangoes are quite sour. I prefer to use a variety of raw mango that’s not very sour. My preference is use the Thothapuri/ Kilichundan variety. It’s a large firm mango that’s not too sour when raw. I pick those that are still raw and have just started ripening. This gives the rice a nice tanginess and just a hint of sweet.