Monday, March 12, 2012

Summer tastes - Maavidikaya pappu a.k.a Mango Dal

What does Summer mean to you? For me (even after all these years), summer is synonymous with school vacation, new hobby for the 2 months and mangoes. Yes summer is as much mangoes as winter is avarekayi for me. I love mangoes, period. Growing up in a city like Mysore, we didn't have mango trees in the back yard but come season, there would be no dearth of fresh mangoes in all shapes, sizes and colors. We used to have basketful of mangoes at home but formally restricted to eating them within limits. Me & my younger brother would fight for the juiciest, ripest raspuri mangoes (my favorite kind) and along with the ones chosen for nammamma, anna, and older siblings will put them in a bucket of cool water in the evening. We used to mark the fruit with a signature, a line drawn with nail, pencil anything to identify that it was mine come dessert time. The first one to finish dinner would run to the bucket and get the cooled, washed mangoes to distribute around. After the last morsel of curd rice vanished from the plate and the plates licked clean (yes, we did that), we would start enjoying the delicious fruit peel by peel, Hmmm..

But much before the fruits started appearing at dinner time, there would be a parade of green mango dishes such as mango chitranna (varieties of it), chutneys, tokkus, gojjus, rasam and of course the pickle. Nammamma never brought home the first mango until it was the New Year's day or Ugadi, the first mango had to be cut on that day and a delicious chitranna would be on the lunch menu, after that it was mango everyday in some form or the other. I have no such scruples (read weak will power) since I don't get raw mangoes all the time, I jump at them whenever I find them in my local  grocery store.

We are still ways away from summer where we live, I am yet to find Spring in the air :-) but imagine my happiness when I found the local grocery store carrying fresh green mangoes the other day. It is difficult to decide which dish to prepare since we love everything with mango, but finally after much serious thought, family voted on the Mango pappu - very simple recipe for a flavorful, comforting dal I learned from Amma. This is how we make the mango pappu at home.
What do you need to make Mango pappu? 
1 medium sized firm green mango - washed, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup toor dal/kandi pappu
2-3 greeen chilies, slit lengthwise
1/2 Tsp turmeric/pasupu
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
2 cups of water to cook
For popu/seasoning:
1 Tsp cooking oil
1 Tsp mustard seeds/aavaalu
1 Tsp cumin seeds/jeelakara
1/2 Tsp fenugreek seeds/menthilu
A generous pinch of asafoetida
2-3 curry leaves
2 dry red chilies - broken into half

How do you make Mango pappu? 

  • Wash the dal, add the mango pieces, slit green chilies  and  turmeric, cook it in your pressure cooker until the dal is soft.
  • Once the steam is off, open the pressure cooker, add salt and mash the dal lightly with a spoon.
  • Heat oil in a small pan - add the asafoetida, mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds along with the red chilies. Let the seeds splutter.
  • Add curry leaves just before switching off.
  • Pour the sizzling popu in to the cooked dal, give it a good mix. 
  • Serve it with hot rice and ghee and dig in. 
  • Use garlic in seasoning if you favor the garlic flavor. 
  • On our recent trip to India, BH's cousin's wife served us with a delicious mango pappu with tomatoes added in, it tasted great too. 
  • I sometimes use moong dal/pesara pappu instead of toor dal. 
  • Get fresh green mangoes that are firm and tart for best taste. 
  • Adjust amount of mangoes based on how tart you like your dal, the mangoes I had were slightly sour and I used 2 of them. 


NamsVeni Pothas said...

it is a real real mouth watering dish. the sower taste of mango and slight sweetness of dal(i preffer pesara pappu that is moongdal)and papads are the best combination with mango pappu. then no need of any curry .congrats for getting a mango there

Manjula said...

dry roasting toor dal before boiling adds flavor to mamidikayi pappu. try it out.