We serve Chitrannam, a platter of rice dishes, as a lunch meal for the Aadi Perukku festival that we celebrate on the 18th day of the Aadi month of the Tamil calendar. Traditionally, we prepare tamarind rice (puliyodharai), lemon rice (elumichai sadam), coconut rice (thengai sadam), and sweet Pongal (Sarkarai Pongal). You can also check out my traditional chitrannam recipes here. Nevertheless, I prefer my chitrannam platter to be colorful and flavorful. So I have prepared spicy red tomato rice, aromatic green mint rice, nutty brown sesame rice, sweet yellow candied rice, and creamy white curd rice. Besides, they are easy to prepare with commonly available ingredients and we can even pack these rice dishes for children’s lunch boxes.
It is indeed a unique lunch platter with varied colors, flavors, and textures enjoyed by both the kids and adults. I have served chitrannam with mildly-spiced brinjal-drumstick curry (kathri-murungai masala), spongy medhu vadai, and crunchy maravalli kizhangu appalam, koozh vatral & mor-milagai.
Generally, we cook the rice, prepare the spice mix (wet or dry), mix them, and then add the tempering as a garnish. Here we can use raw rice, boiled rice, basmati rice, or millets for preparing these rice dishes. I have cooked the rice by draining the starch as shown here, spread out on a large platter, and left it aside for some time. Since hot rice may turn sticky & mushy while mixing with spice mix, we need to use the rice at room temperature. You can refer to the slideshows below that are self-explanatory.
Tomato Rice (Thakkali Sadam)
Sesame Rice (Ellu Sadam)
Ellu sadam recipe:
Mint rice (Pudina Sadam)
Pudina sadam recipe:
Candied Rice (Kalkandu sadam):
Kalkandu sadam recipe:
First, we need to grind kalkandu into powder before adding it to the cooked rice.