Chitranna is rice dish with steamed rice, spiced and flavoured with different ingredients to give rice a unique taste and name. In southern Karnataka we prepare many different rice dishes such as nimbe hannina chitranna, mavina kayi chitranna, kottambari soppina anna, menthyada soppina anna, kayi sasive chitranna, yellu pudi chitranna, herale kayi chitranna, tuppada anna and the list goes on. Why do we have/need so many variants?

In Mysore Bangalore region we have a custom and tradition of preparing a rice dish whenever a payasam is prepared. This combo of payasa and chitranna is so so ingrained in our culinary custom that a phrase payasa chitrannada aduge translates to a feast. Our festival season starts with Bhimana Amavasye and continues till Anantha Padmanabha vrutha during Shravana and Bhadrapada - mostly in the months of August and September. We celebrate Mangala Gowri pooja, Sampaththu Shukravara, Shravana Shanivara, Varamahalakshmi pooja, Holi, Upakarma, Swarna Gowri Vrutha, Ganesh Chaturthi, to name some festivals during this season. In between birthdays, anniversaries, guests coming home for lunch etc, creates a need to think innovative to have a chitranna payasa combo that goes well with other spread planned in the menu.
I was sick for some time. Fever and cold had rendered my taste buds numb and I felt like eating something to stimulate my taste buds My first choice was oralu kallu chitranna famous for sharp spicy, sweet, tangy taste. Well what is oralu kallu ? In Kannada oralu kallu means grinding stone. (Rolu in Telugu, attra kallu in Tamil). In olden days, the main ingredient for this rice was prepared in a grinding stone, rice and seasoning were all mixed in the same oralu, thus making it oralu kallu chitranna !.
My Oralu kallu chitranna was polished clean by people at home though the choice was mine.
  • Ease - very easy
  • Preparation time - 10 minutes
  • Cooking time 30 min
  • Rice - 250 gms
  • Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized
  • Green chilli - 6 -7
  • Jaggery - 2-3 spoons (crushed)
  • Grated fresh coconut - 3/4 cup
  • salt to taste
  • Asafoetida - 3 grains
  • Turmeric - 1/2 spoon
  • Fenugreek - 1/2 spoon
  • Cumin - 1 1/2 spoons
  • Sesame seeds - 3 spoons
  • Ground nuts - 3 spoons
  • Mustard seeds 1 spoon
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Oil - any oil of your choice 1/4 cup for seasoning
  • Cook rice with required amount of water to get steamed rice with grains separate
  • Heat a few drops of oil, add asafoetida, when it pops add fenugreek and roast it under low heat till aromatic
  • Add cumin and sesame seeds and roast till sesame seeds pop.
  • Add green chilli , roast for a few secs and remove all the roasted ingredients into a plate and allow to cool.
  • Heat oil in the same wok, add mustard seeds , after they splutter add ground nuts into the oil and fry till crisp and golden followed by curry leaves. Close the fire and add turmeric powder.
  • Grind tamarind, jaggery, salt, coconut and all the roasted ingredients kept for cooling - to a coarse paste.
  • Add steamed rice to the wok (with peanut seasoning), and then add ground paste.
  • Mix all the three components gently but thoroughly.
  • Oralu kallu chitranna is ready to serve now. Serve with happala /sandige

Notes and tips
  • Use sona masuri or kollam rice
  • Never use basumathi or any scented rice
  • Keep the masala paste aside, this you can use to adjust the taste.
  • Donot mix when rice is puffing hot.