I'm not sure how the combination of mango and mustard turned out to be such a delightful pairing, but believe me, it is. The horseradish-like heat of the freshly ground mustard stands up perfectly to the tartness of the green mangoes.
This rice is a must-have in South Indian homes during mango season, but thanks to the year-round availability of fresh raw green mangoes, you can enjoy this treat whenever you wish. —Panfusine
Test Kitchen Notes
This is a beautiful, unique rice dish, and it gave me the chance to visit the famous Kalustyan’s in New York City for black mustard seeds and curry leaves. I topped the finished rice with fried shallots and fresh cilantro and served it with masala okra, raita, and tamarind chutney. It was vibrant and balanced, with tartness from the mango, pungency from the mustard, and heat from the Serrano chilis. If you taste it and find the mustard seed overwhelming, you can mellow it by adding another pat of butter. —Ellen Ioanes
4 to 5 servings
diced raw green mango (peeled)
black mustard seeds
1 to 2
serrano chiles (to taste)
Mango Mustard Rice
basmati rice, rinsed and drained
3 to 4 tablespoons
ghee (use oil for a vegan version)
Grind the ingredients for the mango-mustard paste to a smooth consistency with a little bit of water -- use as little as possible. Set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of ghee (or oil) in a Dutch oven and add the basmati rice. Toast until the grains turn opaque. Add the water, stirring to dislodge any grains that stick to the bottom. Bring to a boil, add a pinch of salt, cover, and turn the heat to low. Allow the rice to cook in peace for about 20 minutes without peeking! Once the rice is done, transfer to a wide mixing bowl, fluff with a fork, and allow to cool.
Heat the remaining ghee (or oil) in a skillet, and add the cumin seeds once the oil begins to shimmer. When the seeds split, lower the heat and add the curry leaves and give it a good stir. Add the mango-mustard paste, along with the turmeric and salt (remember the rice is already salted, so be judicious with it). Cook on low heat until all the moisture has evaporated. Transfer this paste to the cooled rice and fold it in gently so that the paste coats the rice evenly. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature with a side of plain yogurt, labneh, or raita. I served up this dish with a cranberry chutney from David Leite's blog, Leite's Culinaria.