When life gives you sour mangoes - Make Mango Dal

The summer is coming to an end and not one mango post on the blog, or so I was thinking. And then life presented me a sour mango this morning...

You cut open a luscious looking mango anticipating sweet and juicy fruit, which is already making your mouth water. Sometimes, the mango lives up to your expectations (and taste buds) and sometimes it makes your screw your eyes shut because it is so sour, giving your taste buds a rude shock. Instead of fretting over sour mangoes, how about putting them to good use. This Mango Dal recipe is one of them. The sweet-sourness from the ripe mango, heat from chillies go beautifully with any cooked dal. Here, I've used masoor dal. You could well use chana dal, tur dal or a mix of all the three dals.

Mango Dal, Bhindi curry served with paratha - Lunch 

I think mango, ginger and coconut make a fantastic flavour combination. If you don't have coconut on hand or you are not especially fond of coconut, by all means leave it out.
This dal, made as per the recipe below is thick and creamy, with a great depth of flavour and yet so easy to make. Even a beginner in the kitchen can churn this out in no time. Also, masoor dal cooks even on stove top in no time, in case you are one of those grad students stuck in the US without a pressure cooker :)

I've used Banganapalli variety of mango here, but you could use any mango that is ripe but too sour to eat as it is. If you use a small Mango like Alphonso, you'll need 3-4 sour mangoes, as they don't come with much flesh, not unlike the popular size zero movie stars of Bollywood.

Does your family have a special recipe for Mango Dal, which is made when mangoes are in season? Come over and participate in this discussion on the Facebook page of Saffrontrail - https://www.facebook.com/SaffronTrail/posts/411255952252710

Recipe for Mango Dal
Serves 3-4
Time taken : Under 20 minutes

1/2 cup masoor dal
1 large mango (ripe but sour)
3 tbsp fresh scraped or frozen coconut (unsweetened)
1-2 green chillies (depending on how spicy they are)
1 tbsp ghee / oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Fat pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 stick cinnamon (1")
1 sprig curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp salt

Wash the dal and pressure cook with 1.5 cups of water (2 whistles, 5 min on sim).
Peel and cube the mango roughly, scraping off any flesh around the seed (stone). This should make a generous cup to nearly a cup and a half in quantity to get full flavour of mango in the dal.
Place the cubed and scraped mango flesh, coconut, green chillis in the small mixer jar and grind to a paste.
In a pan / kadai, heat the ghee.
Add the asafoetida, cumin seeds - letting the seeds splutter.
Add grated ginger, cinnamon stick, curry leaves, turmeric powder. Saute for 30 seconds and then pour in the mango-coconut-chilli puree.
On a medium flame, stir this for 1-2 minutes.
Add pressure cooked dal, salt and up to 1/2 cup water to get the desired consistency of dal.

Serve hot with steamed rice or rotis.

The taste of this mango dal lingers on...over my tastebuds, as I say this, DO try this out. I guarantee you'll love it.

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