The mango is indigenous to India and is considered to be India’s national fruit. It is enjoyed throughout the country in many desserts and beverages, as well as, in its pickled form (Mango Achaar).
This very unique dish from the state of Andhra Pradesh (located in South Central India) combines dal with unripe green mango for a delicious tangy and sour taste. Most recipes from Andhra Pradesh tend to be extremely spicy, many dishes use both fresh and dried chilies along with red chili powder. So feel free to prepare this dish according to your own personal spicy “heat” preference.
Green mangoes are usually seasonal and found easily in most large Asian markets. Although fresh green mango works best, I have made this dish using both frozen and canned green mango in a pinch.
MANGO DAL (Mamidikaya Pappu)
1 medium green/unripe mango, peeled and cubed into 1” pieces
1 cup toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas, non oily variety), washed well
2-3 small green fresh Thai chilies, split in half lengthwise
1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
½” piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 whole red dried chilies
pinch of asafetida (hing)
salt, to taste
6-8 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly grated coconut for garnish (optional)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a medium size saucepan or soup pot on medium high heat, add the dal along with the mango pieces and enough water to cover. Add the turmeric and red chili powder and stir to combine well. Bring the mixture to a good boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer until both the dal and mango are fully cooked and tender (approximately 15-20 minutes). Alternatively, this could also be done in a pressure cooker as well. Add the salt to taste and stir well. When done, remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
In a small sauce pan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, very carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat to low and quickly add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafetida, minced garlic, minced ginger, whole dried red chilies and fresh green chilies. Pour the hot oil mixture directly over the mango and dal. Garnish with the fresh coconut and cilantro leaves. Serve with hot chapatis and fragrant Basmati rice.