7 Quick-And-Easy Karnataka-Style Chitranna For Breakfast
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Breakfast is a necessity for most people, that first meal of the day that gives you the perfect start to the day. And yet, breakfast comes with its own challenges. Creating something new, especially from scratch, first thing in the morning can be quite difficult for most people, whether you are someone who works outside the home or inside. You might get some prep done the night before on some occasions, but doing so regularly can seem like a daunting task just for a meal that should be quick and easy to whip up. Thankfully, there is one category of Indian dishes that can totally help you solve this conundrum. 

Known as Chitranna, this dish originates in Karnataka and is basically made with cooked rice and a special blend of spices called Gojju or Oggarane. Since it is made with pre-cooked or even leftover rice, Chitranna is a desi-style fried rice that you can actually make the quickest breakfasts with. Of course, there are some staple additions to Chitranna that remain the same, including mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and lemon juice. And yet, by changing a few core elements of the dish, you can get a new taste of Chitranna every day for breakfast. 

Also, Chitranna is traditionally made without any onion or garlic, but the simple addition of these can also add to the variety of Chitranna you can eat for breakfast. The best part? Chitranna is always filling and a one-pot meal, so you can also pack some up for lunch when in a hurry. Here are some varieties of Chitranna straight from the heart of Karnataka that you can try. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Hebbars Kitchen

Kayi Sasive Chitranna 

One of the most popular varieties of Chitranna, this one is made with mustard seeds and coconut and has a unique taste. This one is made by first placing fresh coconut and soaked mustard seeds in a mixer jar and grinding them into a paste. This mix is cooked in ghee or oil until done, then cooked rice is added in along with spices like turmeric, cumin, etc to make this spicy Chitranna variety. 

Nimbe Huli Chitranna 

Also known as Nimbehannu Chitranna, this variety of the rice-based dish is even more popularly known as lemon rice across South India. Made simply with leftover or pre-cooked rice, this Chitranna variety sings with the flavours of fresh lemon juice. To make this one, you have to toast peanuts, curry leaves, mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal and asafoetida in oil, add in turmeric powder, salt and the rice, then finish off the cooking with the addition of lemon juice. 

Mavinakayi Chitranna 

This Chitranna variety is especially consumed during summers, when raw mangoes are easily avaialble and in season. The green mangoes or raw mangoes are first ground to a paste, then cooked with the staple tempering and ingredients of Chitranna, like curry leaves, green chillies and more. Then the rice is added in and cooked with the spice blend, giving it a tangy taste and a pale colour. This one is so special that it shouldn’t be missed. 

Eruli Chitranna 

Usually, Chitranna is a pure, temple food that hails from the Udupi region and no onion or garlic is used to make it. The exception is Eruli Chitranna, which is made with onions. The onions are sliced thinly and fried until golden brown, and then cooked with the traditional Chitranna ingredients. This simple addition turns this Chitranna into a dish that has a slightly heavy taste and earthy texture. 

Capsicum Chitranna 

A modern take on the traditional Chitranna, this one is made with the simple addition of vegetables that usually go into a fried rice, like capsicum or bell peppers. Many also add other ingredients like carrots, corn and even peas to this Chitranna, making it more filling too. The tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, peanuts and even lentils remains the same and so do spices like turmeric, cumin and lemon juice. 

Masale Chitranna 

A spicy version of Chitranna, this one has a beautiful reddish hue thanks to the addition of plenty of spices. Peanuts, red chillies, cumin, coriander and other whole spices are ground to a paste, then cooked with the traditional tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. The rice is then added in, while many also added chopped tomatoes and onions to make this one heavier still. 

Samai Chitranna 

Given how important a role millets play in our lives today, this Chitranna variety makes sense and is very easy to make. Featuring Samai or little millet, which cook really fast and have a stunning, pearly texture, this Chitranna variety replaces the use of rice—making this version lighter, healthier and definitely more contemporary in its feel. The tempering of peanuts, curry leaves, lentils, etc remains the same as usual, and you can customise it to make it any way you like too.