Vatli Dal with Kairi or Ambedal is basically coarsely ground dal with the addition of green mango (kairi). Green mangoes are a seasonal item & when they are in season, I try to use them as much as possible. You will find green mangoes in spring right before proper mango season. These are unripe, green mangoes that usually have a tart & slightly sweet flavor. Adding grated green mango into this basic dal recipe really elevates the dish to whole other level – so try it soon! This dish is healthy, easy to make, refreshing & truly delicious!
I normally do not add any sugar to this dish, but if you like – feel free to add a pinch ☺.
VATLI DAL WITH KAIRI or AMBEDAL (Spicy Ground Dal with Green Mango)
1.5 cups dal (chana dal, toor dal or yellow moong dal)
1 green mango, peeled & finely grated (remember, there is a large seed in the center)
½” piece of ginger, peeled
2-3 small Thai green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp methi rai (coarsely sliced fenugreek seeds)
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
pinch of asafetida (hing)
5-6 fresh curry leaves
salt, to taste
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Freshly grated coconut for garnish (optional)
In a large mixing the bowl, add the dal with at least 3 cups of water. There should be enough water to cover the dal by at least 1.5-2 inches. Allow the dal to soak for at least 5-6 hours or overnight is fine (just cover it with a dish).
When you are ready to prepare the dish, drain the dal well in a fine mesh colander. Using a food processor, grind the dal to a coarse texture similar to the size of couscous. Do not add any water during this process. Now add the ginger and blitz for another 30 seconds & set aside until needed.
In a mixing bowl, combine the grated green mango (squeeze out any extra liquid before adding, you can reserve this flavorful liquid & add it to any dal or curry) with the finely chopped green chilies. Season with salt as needed per your taste.
In a small pan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the black mustard seeds. After they start popping, add the fenugreek seeds along with the asafetida, turmeric and curry leaves. After a few minutes, add this fragrant hot oil tempering to the dal & green mango mixture. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients. Lastly add the cilantro leaves and coconut for garnish. Enjoy!
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