Kayi Sasive Chitranna: Humble Rice Meal With Spicy Flavours
Image Credit: Kayi Sasive Chitranna is a wholesome meal | Instagram - @tadka.plus

The plain rice consumed daily with dal and sabzi is not so ordinary and unassertive after all. It can easily transform itself into a vibrant and happening meal, provided one knows the way. The Temple Prasad Kayi Sasive Chitranna is a living example of this. This humble rice meal is full of every flavour whether it's sweet, spicy or tangy. The earthy flavours of coconut, curry leaves, mustard seeds and white lentils, and the spiciness of chillies strike a delicate balance with the tanginess of tamarind water and the sweetness of jaggery. The ease of cooking can't be overlooked either with so many flavours and blasts of taste introduced in Kayi Sasive Chitranna.

All About Kayi Sasive Chitranna

Let's begin with understanding the name of the dish Kayi Sasive Chitranna, for Kayi means coconut, Sasive meaning mustard and Chitranna means rice. The rice dish is offered during Naivedyam during pooja.  It's a popular spiced rice recipe of Udupi households that is an integral part of the celebration feast and auspicious occasions. It is generally served as a condiment rather than the main dish. 

The origin of Kayi Sasive Chitranna cannot be traced, but the origin of its ancestral or main dish Chitranna can certainly be. Chitranna, widely known as Lemon rice, means rice-based dish in Kannada. The word finds mention in mediaeval Indian cookbooks like Manasollasa in 1130 AD, and Paka Darpana in 1200 AD. Some of the variants that arose from Chitranna are Nimbehannu Chitranna or Lemon Rice, Eerulli Chitranna or Onion Rice, Mavinakayi Chitranna or Mango Rice and Kayi Sasive Chitranna meaning Grated coconut with mustard seeds cooked with rice.

Kayi Sasive Chitranna | Picture credits : Instagram - @livelyhomestyle

Cooking: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 3


  • Small lemon-sized tamarind - small lemon size
  • 1 ½ tbsp oil 
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds 
  • ½ tsp white lentils 
  • 1 tsp chickpea lentils 
  • A few curry leaves 
  • 1 tbsp peanuts 
  • 1 green chilli (slit) 
  • 1 tbsp jaggery 
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder 
  • ¾ tsp salt 
  • 2 ½ cups cooked rice 

  • Ground masala paste:
  • ½ cup fresh coconut
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds 
  • 2 red chillies

Method :

  • Grind coconut, mustard seeds and chillies into a coarse powder.
  • Soak tamarind for 15 minutes.
  • In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, white lentils, chickpea lentils, curry leaves and red chillies to it and let everything splitter.
  • Then add peanuts and green chillies and saute for a few minutes.
  • Then add water from the soaked tamarind.
  • To this add jaggery, turmeric powder and salt and stir for a few minutes, until it thickens.
  • Add the ground masala to it and mix well.
  • Lastly, add the cooked rice and mix evenly with the spices.
  • Sasive Chitranna is ready to serve.

Kayi Sasive Chitranna could seem close to Lemon rice in its ingredients and cooking method. But the coconut ground masala, jaggery and tamarind that are the key ingredients of this dish spice it up to the next level. A great way to utilise leftover rice as well, it is an innovative idea to have as a tiffin meal.