Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lentil with raw mango...

lentil with raw mango

Living in a tropical country we dread the season of summer. The unbearable heat with uncomfortable humidity makes it pretty difficult to carry on everyday work, specially cooking. Standing in the kitchen preparing elaborate recipes, cooking for long stretch of time is not only challenging but can make one feel sick. Moreover we all prefer to eat simple, easy to digest, comfort food during summer. Regional cuisines of India are full of such wonderful recipes that help to cool down the body as well as help to beat the heat. The recipes mostly recommend the use of seasonal fruits and vegetables that provide year long supply of minerals and nutrition and good to fight the negative effects of heat.
Aam diye dal or tok dal is such a recipe from Bengali cuisine, where lentil is cooked along with raw mango. Mango is the most cherished fruit of summer. Not only the ripe sweet juicy mangoes, the unripe raw mangoes are also eaten in various ways. I remember as a kid we used to enjoy raw mangoes with salt and red chili powder. Then there are hundreds of different recipes of pickles to preserve the seasonal mangoes. Other than pickles raw mangoes are used in everyday food, with lentils, fish curries or just as simple everyday chutneys. Raw mangoes help our body to fight the adverse effects of excessive heat, also a great source of vitamin C.

It is a very simple easy traditional recipe where lentils are cooked along with raw mango and tempered with usual spices. Different kind of lentils can be used for this recipe, I used arhar or toor or split pigeon pea. Though the traditional Bengali recipe does not call for addition of curry leaves I added some, as my homegrown curry leaves are overflowing with fresh green leaves.

arhar dal

Things needed to make lentil with raw mango:

(Serve: 4-5)
  • Split pigeon pea (arhar dal): 1 cup
  • Raw mango: 1
  • Curry leaves: 12-14
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chilies: 2-3
  • Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 tbsp + to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp

Steps of making lentil with raw mango:

1. Peel and cut the mango into long strips. Add a tablespoon of salt to the mango pieces and let rest for half an hour. The mangoes will release water, discard the water.

2. Wash the lentil and pressure cook the lentils for 3 whistles. Release the pressure, keep aside.

3. In a kadhai heat a tablespoon of oil, when hot add curry leaves, mustard seeds, dry red chilies, mangoes, turmeric powder and mix well. Add the cooked lentil, salt and sugar. Add water, depending on the consistency needed. It can be made thin or a bit thick as per choice. Let it boil, reduce the heat cover and cook till the mangoes are fork tender. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with rice.

Note: *The mangoes are marinated in salt to reduce the sourness, or else the lentil may turn too sour.
**Other than arhar dal, masoor (red lentil) or motor dal (yellow split pea) can also be used.

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