This homestyle Raw Green Mango Dal has a great balance of sweet, spice and sourness making it full of flavour and ridiculously delicious.
Comfort food isn’t the most luxurious, complicated or hard to come by of foods. For most people, it is usually a dish that is frugal, uses ingredients that are readily available and yet somehow with a little care and love can cure whatever ails you. A generous dose of nostalgia also adds to that feeling of deep satisfaction when you tuck into it. Thats what makes this raw green mango dal special to me. It is right up there among the greatest!
How To Cook Dal/Lentils
A correctly made dal will inherently be creamy without the addition of any dairy or coconut milk. You must start off with washing your lentils thoroughly until the water runs clear and soaking them for 30 minutes to an hour. The soaking time allows your dal to soften and swell up which helps reduce cooking time as well as aids in digestion. NEVER cook dal on a high flame so you can ensure your lentils cook without disintegrating completely and losing shape. You want to bring it to a boil, skim impurities and then cook on a low heat. When nearly ready, use the back of your spoon to gently mash a few grains for a creamy result.
What you are really trying to achieve with this dal is a lip smacking balance of tartness from the raw mango, mellow sweetness from the jaggery and a mild heat from the chilli. So remember to taste your mango – if they are quite sour, reduce the quantity. When tempering (tadka), do it on a low flame – you want to essentially flavour the oil and bloom the spices, not scorch them. I always add the tomatoes towards the end – you want to taste their freshness. The residual heat is plenty to soften them.
If you’re looking to make this dal vegan, just swap out the ghee used for tempering with a neutral oil with a high smoking point. With a bowl of fluffy steamed basmati rice, a crunchy cucumber, a side of greens, a dollop of yogurt and you have a feast. But just the dal with some rice – that’s complete too!
Raw Green Mango Dal
- 1 cup Toor/Arhar Dal (split pigeon pea)
- 1/4 cup Raw green mango (peeled and chopped bite sized)
- 1/2 Small Tomato (chopped)
- 1.5 tsp Jaggery (grated or powdered)
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
- 1 tbsp Ghee (use neutral oil if vegan)
- 1/4 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Whole Red Dry Chillies
- 8-10 Curry Leaves
- 1/4 tsp Asafoteida (heeng)
- Coriander leaves (garnish)
- Water (to cook dal)
- Salt to taste
- Wash the toor dal in a colander (split pigeon pea) until the water runs clear. Soak them covered in water for atleast 30 mins (upto 1 hour is good) in the same pot you'll cook them in.
- Once soaked, add salt and turmeric powder to the lentils and water. Bring the pot of to a boil on a medium flame. If you see any foamy impurities, skim them out. Once the lentils have come to a boil, add the chopped green mango. Lower the flame to a simmer and let it cook until the lentils and mango are tender.
- Add the chilli powder, tomatoes and the jaggery. Taste and balance the flavours. You want to taste a lingering tangy sweetness. The residual heat in the dal is enough to soften the tomatoes without making them mushy.
- In a small fry pan, heat the ghee (use a neutral oil if you'd like to make this vegan). Add the mustard, cumin seeds and whole red chillies and let them bloom and splutter in the oil on a low flame. Add the heeng (asafoetida) and the curry leaves and quickly pour this tempering/tadka to the dal and mix through nicely and take it off the heat. Let it rest for about 15-20minutes before you serve.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with some steamed basmati rice and side of greens/vegetables or a simple salad. A dollop of thick greek yogurt works wonders!
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