Mangai sadam (Mango Rice with lots of Mustard)
1.5-2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
7-8 curry leaves, washed and dried
1 cup unripe green mango, peeled and diced
2 tbsp split coarsely ground skinned mustard seeds (rai kuria)
2-3 Thai green chile
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 cups water (+ 3/4 cup for the lid)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
Add mango-mustard purée, followed by turmeric powder.
Mix well. Add 1.5 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Once it boils and the level of liquid falls below the level of rice, cover preferably with an indented or concave lid. Turn the heat down to medium low. Pour about 3/4 cup water onto the lid, less if it is more shallow, ensuring that it does not go into the kadhai. This condenses the moisture inside the pot and ensures that the rice cooks evenly and does not dry out on the top. Cook covered for about 15 minutes.
Carefully lift off the lid and drain off any remaining water from the lid. Check that the rice is cooked.
This is based on my friend Niv‘s recipe for Mango rice with Mustard. She uses black mustard seeds while I used split skinned mustard seeds. She does not soak her seeds. I did that to help my blender along.
Traditionally, about 1.5 tsp of mustard seeds are ground to a paste with diced mango. Mustard seeds and asafetida are then added to ghee / oil. Niv’s recipe skips this step and adds all the mustard seeds to the paste. This really appealed to me as I love the sharp taste of mustard. If you are not crazy about mustard, you may want to tone it down by using only half the quantity of mustard or even less. There are versions of mangai sadam that don’t have any mustard in the mango paste and the chiles are added to the seasoned oil. Think about what your preferences are and make adjustments accordingly.
I made this into a one-pot dish since I dislike washing dishes. This also allows me to halve the amount of ghee from 3-4 tablespoons (for 1 cup of rice) to 1.5 tablespoons. Use more if it floats your boat.