Chitranna (or shall I dare to call it as COLORED RICE literally translating the word to English!!) is probably a food that you must have been eating since years. It can be as simple as rice mixed with salt and lemon juice topped with seasoning or it can be bit complex involving roasting and grinding of spices. However simple or complex it may be, chitranna has the real kick of taste plus tanginess plus sort of spice.
Most importantly chitranna is labelled as travel food since you can prepare it with ease and eat to the full. Today I thought to post an authentic rice recipe from Udupi called masale chitranna which calls for some sort of roasting and grinding.
Essentially you can get the spice powder ready beforehand and stock in airtight container which can last for a fortnight. Spices lined up to roast are sesame seeds, red chillies, chickpea lentils, black gram lentils, coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. After roasting the spices they get transformed in to fine powder in a blender or mixer. Masale Chitranna spice mix is ready right away.
As you must have noticed chitranna kind of rice recipes should have a tangy substance in them like, we are using tamarind for this version. Tamarind juice, jaggery and salt get cooked in a mustard seeds seasoning with which the spice powder is combined. It forms a thick paste. As you add cooked rice and gently mix with your fingers, a pleasant colored, feel-good, humble masale chitranna would be whipped up.
In my life this version of rice can happen many a times. Like when I have lots of leftover rice then masale chitranna comes in the form of breakfast. Some times as my vegetables stock gets over amidst of a week and I feel the vegetable shop a long way for the moment, I scheme this colored rice(Can I call like this??!) for lunch too. Finally when all the rice side dish get emptied (on hungry days) in the afternoon itself then masale chitranna arises as a dinner saving my kitchen time. So I say Chitranna => You are versatile.