Today, marks the beginning of 2017, another new year. Wishing all my readers a very happy and prosperous new year. May this year  be an awesome one for all of us. On this ocassion presenting a rice dish from South Kanara. This is another variety of rice dish which eases my cooking.  It is  full of flavours and easy to make. This is   “Kempu Chitranna” which means Red Rice.

It is one of the earliest variation of cooking known to people of Karnataka. Back home, I remember my mother used to prepare it for a light dinner.

kempu chitranna
kempu chitranna
Kempu chitranna
Kempu chitranna
ingredients for paste
ingredients for paste
ground paste
ground paste

And here are a few more dishes from South Kanara region:

 Kempu Chitranna

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Serves : 4 persons
  • Cuisine : South Kanara
  • Course: Main meal


Ingredients :

  • 1 cup rice  [measurement: 1 cup = 250ml]

  • 1/2 grated coconut

  • 2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 5-6  dry red chillies

  • 3 tablespoon oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • a pinch of asafoetida

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon bengal gram

  • 1 teaspoon urad dal

  • a few curry leaves

  • 6- 8 cashew broken into pieces

  • salt to taste

  • 2 tablespoon ground nuts

Method :

  • Cook the rice  in a pressure cooker and keep it aside.

  • Once the pressure is released, put the rice in a wide plate and allow to cool.

  • Grind coconut, mustard seeds and red chillies together to a smooth paste.

  • Take oil in a pan.

  • Make the seasoning. Add mustard seeds, as it crackles, put in asafoetida, turmeric powder, bengal gram and urad dal. Once it turns slight brown in colour, add ground nuts, let cook for a minute, then throw in the curry leaves and cashew pieces to it.

  • Now, add the ground paste and saute it for sometime.

  • You should get a good aroma.

  • Keep it aside.

  • Put the rice and salt.

  • Mix well. Kempu chitranna is ready to serve.

Kempu Chitranna

A flavourful food which can be prepared during festivities and celebrations.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 200 kcal
Author jayashree


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 fresh coconut
  • 2 teaspoon mustard
  • 6-8 dry red chilly
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon bengal gram
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 6-8 cashew broken into pieces
  • a few curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon groundnuts
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon groundnuts


  1. Cook the rice in a pressure cooker and keep it to cool. The grains should be seperate.

    cooked rice
  2. Grind mustard seeds, red chilly and coconut to a paste.

    ground paste
  3. Take a pan and oil to it. Add mustard seeds. Let it splutter.

    mustard seeds to it
  4.  Then, put bengal gram, urad dal, asafoetida and turmeric powder to it.

    Kempu Chitranna rice dish from south kanara
  5. Once it turns golden, add groundnut to it. Allow it to cook for a minute. The rawness of the nuts should not be there.Then add cashew pieces and curry leaves.

    ground nuts, cashew pieces and curry leaves
  6. Now, add the paste to it

    paste goes into it
  7. Saute the paste for five minutes. You get a good aroma when it is done. Switch off the stove.

    saute the paste
  8. Put rice and thoroughly mix it. Kempu Chitranna or red rice is ready to serve.

    Kempu chitranna

Recipe Notes

  • Add little water while making the paste.
  • You can see coconut pieces in the picture, the copra came out of the shell and thus I cut and used it.
  • The water used in cooking the rice differs from each kind of raw rice used. Thus, I do not mention it.
  • 1 cup =250 ml is the measurement cup used


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  1. Hi, Jayshree. Thanks for the recipe, I want to try for sure tonight and I want to know, how many tsp of mustard seeds to put for the paste with coconut and red chillies? And do you use fresh grated coconut or dry coconut? Which will taste the best?

    • Hello Kanchan,
      Glad to have you here, I have used two teaspoon of mustard seeds. Coconut used is fresh grated coconut. Grind all ingredients together with small quantity of water.

  2. Wow Jayashree I am always amazed by your recipes and this kempu chitranna is so tempting, love how the coconut and chilli paste will do wonders for the recipe, best dish for tiffin box too, bookmarking it.

  3. Loving this! Coming from Karnataka, I so enjoy eating all the “annas’ there! I love that you have used a coconut masala to flavor the rice; will try this 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kempu chitrana dish looks delicious 🙂 What a lovely color !!!! Though never heard about this yet, thanks for sharing.

  5. Love all the South Indian delicacies and this spicy rice is my next in the to do list. Thanks for the share Jayashree.

  6. This is something very new for me. And very delicious too. I love south Indian dishes so it’s worth trying. Thanks for sharing dear.

Appreciate all your comments.

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