Mamidikaya Pappu – Mango Dal
Ugadi is just a few days away and all the festive nostalgia has started hitting in. Mangoes are a significant part of this festival because this is the time when green, un-ripe mangoes are harvested. This is also the time every year when mom would make maidikaya thokku/mango pickle. This pickle is prepared in large quantities and can be preserved and lasts for upto a year. There was never a dearth of mango pickle on the dining table at all times. Mango leaves are also a part of every hindu festival or auspicious occasion. ‘Thorans’ (garlands of mango leaves) adorn the entrance doors of the house and it is a popular belief that they ward off any negative energy from entering into the home. Mangoes are also one of the ingredients in Ugadi Pachadi.
Just like every other festival, food is an important part of the celebration – Bhakshalu (stuffed jaggery flatbread), Mango rice, Mango Dal being my favorite. This dal has the goodness of lentils and mango all packed into one dish. The mangoes add a nice tang and slight sourness to the dal. I like to peel the mangoes as the thick outer skin in usually very tangy and would overpower the mild lentil taste. I always cook dal in the pressure cooker because it takes less time. You could certainly make it in a deep skillet/pan, but it takes double the time for the lentils to turn really nice and tender. Every dal is finished off with a tempering mix of some regular spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chilli, garlic cloves and curry leaves toasted in a few tsps of oil. It adds color and additional flavor to the dal.
Serve this delicious, spicy and tangy dal along side mango rice for more mango madness or with steaming plain rice drizzled with some ghee! Lip smacking goodness!
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 to 25 mins
Yields: ~ 3 cups
– 2 green/unripe mangoes
– 1n1/2 cup toor dal/pigeon pea lentils
– 3 cups water
– 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
– 1 tsp red chilli powder
– 6 green chillies (cut length-wise)
– 1n1/2 tsp or to-taste salt
– 2 tsps oil
– 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
– 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
– 4 or 5 dry red chillies
– 2 or 3 garlic cloves
– a fistful of curry leaves
1. Peel the mango and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces discarding the center core. Rinse well and set aside.
2. In a pressure-cooker or a deep dish with a lid, take well-rinsed toor dal and add 3 cups of water.
3. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, green chillies and salt. Give a quick mix and let cook for a couple of whistles (pressure-cooker) or until almost done. I then add the mango pieces and again cook it further for one more whistle. I add mangoes later so they are tender enough but still hold their shape. Dal usually takes 20 mins in my pressure cooker, but in a skillet or dish it could take at-least 35 to 40 mins. Cook until the lentils/dal is really smooth and tender.
4. In another small pan or a tempering pan, heat 2 tsps of oil and add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chillies, garlic cloves and curry leaves. Roast them for a couple of mins on low heat and add the tempering to the dal.
5. Based on your preferred dal consistency, add 1/2 to 1 cup water and simmer for around 5 mins for the tempering to blend into it.
Serve hot along-side rice with some ghee and vadiyalu or chips for a comforting and satisfying meal!
– You could also add the center core of the mango to the dal while cooking it and then later discarding it before serving the dal. So, no mango flavor goes to waste!
– Make sure to add mangoes towards the end so they hold their shape and are still tender enough.