Make Ahead

Mango Rice with Mustard

March  3, 2014
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 4 to 5 servings
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • Mango-Mustard Paste
  • 1 cup diced raw green mango (peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles (to taste)
  • Mango Mustard Rice
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ghee (use oil for a vegan version)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marmalady
  • msmely
  • dorota krysinska
    dorota krysinska
  • NuMystic
  • QueenSashy
A biomedical engineer/ neuroscientist by training, currently a mommy blogger on a quest for all things food - Indian Palate, Global perspective!

24 Reviews

Marmalady December 22, 2015
For the mango, I can use just a regular not yet ripe mango from the grocery store? Or those will already be too ripe? Sounds divine and I'm hoping to make it soon!
Panfusine December 23, 2015
the absolute green ones that we usually avoid in the pile of fruits would probably work, although they may be a bit sweet (personally, I like the hint of sweetness)
msmely April 19, 2014
Does anyone know the conversion from 1 cup of green mango to amchoor powder? Amchoor powder is just dried powdered green mango, but I'm not sure what the equivalency is.
Panfusine April 19, 2014
Amchur will not work as a viable substitute to the green mango, msmely. Other than the common 'tartness' factor, the flavors are completely different.
PdeV April 14, 2014
I heard that if you don't TOAST the mustard seeds, you'll insult all those who've made this delicious dish before. Do NOT forget to toast your mustard seeds before grinding them up!!!
Panfusine April 14, 2014
LOL.. well then, I've insulted enough folks out there.. This is one of the few recipes that calls for raw mustard, along with such classics as pickled baby mangoes & a Kerala style spicy as hell raita where the mustard is blended to a paste along with fresh coconut.
PdeV April 14, 2014
Oh. I think my life up to this point has been a total lie
evelyn April 7, 2014
I love mango but am severely allergic to it. Any ideas for a substitute? Evelyn
Panfusine April 7, 2014
I once tried pureed and strained fresh cranberries. the rice retains that astringent characteristic of the berries. I made it only once when it was in season, so not too sure about the proportions i used.
NuMystic April 8, 2014
Closest substitute would be very hard unripe papaya which you can find in grocery stores that cater to the Southeast Asian and Indian community since they are used in Thai Som Tam and Indonesian Lamlam salads. You'll also want to add some lemon juice or rice vinegar as well as green papaya doesn't bring as much sour/acid flavor to the table as green mango does.
dorota K. April 7, 2014
this looks so good i actually went to check out the contents of my pantry now, and there it is, a sweet, orange mango; i've never had green mango, so please excuse my silly question, but is swapping it for what I have an option? Thanks in advance, have a nice day!
NuMystic April 7, 2014
Unfortunately not plantsontheplate.

Unripe green mango is hard firm and tart. Imagine something like a granny smith apple but starchier vs the soft extremely sweet floral quality of ripe mango. Green mango is often eaten in Southeast Asia with salt and pepper so that should give you an idea of how different it is.

Totally different flavor and texture profile so they're not interchangeable at all.
Panfusine April 7, 2014
I totally second Numystic!
Mika April 2, 2014
I'm so excited to make this! After seeing this dish as a #bestover feature, I'm also excited to make it last... Any tips or tricks for turning it into that stuck-pot style? Thank you!
Panfusine April 2, 2014
If you want the stuck pot crust, I'd suggest using Jasmine rice . Make the rice with the mango mustard paste, add some extra oil in a non stick skillet and press the rice into the pan and let it brown gently on a low-medium flame
Mika April 2, 2014
Thank you!!
NuMystic March 30, 2014
When you say "Grind the ingredients for the mango-mustard paste to a smooth consistency with a little bit of water -- use as little as possible." what do you use to grind the mango? Also please add the steps for getting the green mango to a dice as many have no experience handling raw green mango. Thanks!
Panfusine March 30, 2014
Sure, will do that. For the mango, I peel the tough dark skin ( a standard vegetable peeler works ) and then cut off the 'cheeks' and cut them up into pieces. Alternately, you can grate the cheeks using a box grater. In the end it ends up in a paste, so it doesn't matter.
the Paste is basically combining the 3 ingredients in the small smoothie / dry jar of the blender and blend it into a smooth paste. A couple of tablespoons water helps the blending process. You're looking to get as thick a paste as possible.
Hope this helps NuMystic.
NuMystic March 30, 2014
Thanks so much for clarifying panfusine. Was a bit thrown by the use of "grind" rather than blend/process, since that usually implies the use of either a mortar or actual grinder. Looking forward to giving this a try!
Panfusine March 30, 2014
LOL, thats my secret 'Indlish' thats peeping out!
QueenSashy March 27, 2014
I so wanted to test this dish but I was traveling with no access to the ingredients. I am very excited about trying it out! Congrats on the CP!
Panfusine March 27, 2014
Thanks so much QueenSashy!
zoemetro U. March 4, 2014
wow panfusine--my all-time two favorite ingredients... together! mangos and mustard is a magnificent marriage in my kitchen. this is a keeper. thank you.
Panfusine March 21, 2014
Thanks so much zoemetrouk.. made my day reading your comment!