Kempu chitranna
Kempu Chitranna rice dish from south kanara
Written by Jayashree
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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.

  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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    • jayashree

      Thankyou so much Sharmila

  1. Kanchan

    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?

    • jayashree

      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. Jagruti Dhanecha

    Oh my gosh what a flavourful and spicy looking rice, need one bowl right now.

  3. Shobha Keshwani

    Kempu chitranna looks spicy and yummy.. just the way I like it.. l will surely make it.

  4. Soma Mukherjee

    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.

  5. Lata Lala

    Kempu chitrana rice looks delicious with lovely colour. I have never heard about this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Vanitha Bhat

    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!

  7. Geetha Priyanka

    You have reminded me of my childhood days. My grandmother used to prepare it often. Thanks for reminding me, It’s time for me to try this recipe.

  8. Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    Thankyou Jayashree, My husband loves this and I did not have an authentic recipe to it. I am saving this to make it soon.

  9. Pavani

    Chitranna looks favourable and spicy. I never added coconut into this rice. Maybe I should try adding next time.

  10. Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

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

  11. poonampagar

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

  12. Meghna Chatterjee

    The coconut masala is a fantastic touch to this rice recipe. It looks so tempting and thanks for lovely share and step by step pictures 🙂

  13. Jolly

    Comfort food and looks delicious. I loved your red paste more.A well explained recipe!!

  14. Nisha Ramesh

    Oh this is more or less like a thengai thogayal without the cooking part. Wonderful. Will def try this out.

  15. Shalu

    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.

  16. Priya Srinivasan

    My god I m salivating as I read thru the recipe! Looks totally droolicious, perfect for a lazy weekend meal!!

  17. mayurisjikoni

    Wow, just love the colour of Kempu Chitranna. Makes it so tempting and just can image the flavour with coconut and red chillis. Can’t wait to have some leftover rice to try this dish out.

  18. themadscientistskitchen

    Kempu Chitranna sounds so very flavourful and easy to make. My mouth is watering at the ingredients you have listed. Must try.



  1. Raw Mango Rice / Mavina kayi chitranna | Ever Green Dishes - […] other South Indian rice recipes from the blog:    Kempu Chitranna,     Sesame […]

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Hello and Welcome to my blog! I am Jayashree from India. An enthusiastic blogger, with a zest for life.  I believe in living life to the fullest.

Cooking has been my passion. I have always loved to try new recipes.  Writing has been a feel good factor and extremely  loving it. With these two passions of mine, my culinary blog was born. Read More…


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