Kayee Sasve Chitranna


This traditional Kannadiga rice dish features a freshly prepared spice mix of coconut, black mustard seeds, and dried red chilies. It is a special item often included in festive menus in Karnataka. I find it perfect for dinner parties because the prep work can be done ahead of time, and then the dish can be assembled pretty quickly on the day of the event.

Kayee Sasve Chitranna (Coconut Mustard Rice)

Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 cup Rice Sona masoori or Basmati

For spice mix

  • 1 cup Fresh grated coconut
  • 6-8 Dried Red Chillies Preferably Byadagi chilies
  • 3/4 tsp Black Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Tamarind paste

For Vaggarnae

  • 1/2 tsp Black mustard seeds
  • 10-12 Curry Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts or Cashews Optional
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 3-4 tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
  • A pinch Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Cook rice as you would normally, either using a rice cooker or in a dutch oven. Once it is done, spread the hot rice on a large serving plate and allow it to cool. Cooling the rice will allow the rice to be fluffy rather than clumpy at the end.

Prep the spice mix

  • Using a small blender, make a fine paste of all the ingredients for the spice mix – fresh coconut, red chillies, tamarind paste, and mustard seeds. Use as little water as possible at this stage.

Make the Vaggarnae

  • Heat the oil in a shallow saucepan or kadai. Add mustard seeds and cover the pan. After the mustard seeds pop, remove the lid and add chana dal and urad dal. When the dals are a golden brown, add asafoetida (hing), curry leaves, and turmeric. This type of building a seasoning is called Vaggarnae. Add the spice mix to the vaggarnae.
  • Cook the mix, stirring often, on a medium fire until the oil begins to separate and the mixture begins to leave the sides of the pan. This should take about 8-10 minutes. You can store the cooked spice mix and Vaggarnae in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Assemble the chitranna

  • In a separate saucepan lightly toast the nuts in 1 tablespoon of oil. Remove from the fire and add the cooked spice mix, nuts and salt to the rice. Since the red chillies can be very spicy depending on the variety, I like to reserve some of the mix at this time.
  • Toss well and check the salt and spice level. Add the rest of the spice mix if needed at this point and toss again. Serve hot.


  • Serve with a cucumber and lentil salad (Kosumbri) or raita, and papad as the rice course.
  • The spice mix can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for several months.
  • Look up the post on making Vaggarnae in the cooking techniques section for more information on making the vaggarnae correctly.
  • You can substitute the peanuts with roasted cashews for an extra luxurious touch to the dish.
Calories: 300kcal
Course: Recipe
Cook delicious - by Sandhya Jaideep © Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.