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Mango Dal

Mar 20th, 2024 | By | Category: All Recipes, Dal Recipes, Kids Recipes, Lunch Box Recipes, Veg - Recipes

By now I’m sure whoever is reading this post must be thinking I’ve abandoned this blog and that no new posts are coming your way. Guess what? I’m back and if you are still curious to know what happened that it took 8 long years to put a pen down again and make a comeback, there is no one simple answer 🙂

Did I tell you that we have a new addition to our family since my last post, another beautiful daughter (she is 7 now) who makes my day shine through with her kindness and love that she showers upon me. Aren’t daughters a blessing?

Warning: Motherhood changes you in ways that you never would have imagined.

Before I had kids, I would scour through all the food network magazines, sitting in the doctor’s office and dream of all the most delicious meals I would put on the plate for my kids to devour and praise mommy for all of it. Little did I realize that kids come with their own personalities and tastes that necessarily do not have to do with the amount of time I spend in the kitchen but more to do with their “mood” at that moment. After all, don’t we all go through the same every day? At least I do. So why can’t our children?

Did I just say they can have opinions? Yes, but don’t parents have their opinions too? Now we are in trouble, aren’t we lol? I know I know and that’s where the fun starts with parenting. Butting heads with our kids, Yelling at them then having all the mom guilt kick in when they go to bed with their innocent faces, us swearing we will do better tomorrow morning and yet history repeats. The fact that no-one tells you about being a mom is that none of us have it all figured out. You are not the only parent who frantically googles “Does my child have ADHD” or if “Is it normal for an 8-year-old to be picky with foods?”. Believe me, I still walk into our school parking lot or a coffee shop looking at all the moms or worse yet looking at an Insta reel thinking they are “super moms” who appear like they have it all sorted out. I mean how do these moms look super cool? Do they never lose it? How do they get past saying “No” to a kid and dealing with the after math? Do they never feel like they are “failing”? How do they go by a day without the spiraling thoughts that come flushing down and question if you are doing a good job as a mother. Please note that I am not judging them but merely saying that it’s okay to feel the way you feel. Mom’s out there please give yourself some grace because being a Mother is just “Not Easy” and you are not alone in this journey. Above all every one is different too and their story is not yours 🙂

Now that you’ve listened to a piece of my mind (I warned you that motherhood changed me lol) let’s get into the business of cooking. Shall we?

It’s spring time here in Stamford and fresh mangoes are making their way back into grocery stores. Mangoes bring me back fond memories of the home I was fortunate enough to grew up with a huge Mango tree in the backyard. The lazy summers spent taunting my favorite cousin to climb up and pick only the Mango that I specifically pointed at, then torturing him to make his way into Amma’s kitchen to get me salt and chili powder to go with it, then sitting on the terrace and devouring it under the shade of the very same mango tree. Now that I live in a zone where mango trees do not grow outside, I settle down to just buying them off the shelf.

I made myself a humble yet comforting meal that reminds me of my Maa. The quickest and simplest dish “Mango Dal” aka mamidikaya pappu with a side of crunchy papad/vadiyams. There are several versions of this dal that I make but this one is a simple yet delicious one. Here’s how I make it:

Ingredients :

Raw Mango – Peel, and cut into bite size pieces (I used about 3/4 mango since mine was sour enough)

1/2 cup diced onion

5 green chillies (Adjust to your spice levels)

Toor Dal/ Kandipappu -1 cup (Wash, drain and set aside)

Turmeric – 1/2 tea spoon

Salt to taste

Tempering/Tadka :

3 garlic cloves (crushed in a mortar and pestle)

1 tea spoon cumin seeds/jeera

1/2 tea spoon mustard seeds/avalu

2 dried red chillies

fistful of curry leaves

1/4 tea spoon asofetida/hing (optional)

3 tablespoons cooking oil

chopped cilantro for garnish

How To:

  1. In a pressure cooker or Instant pot, add toor dal, 2 cups water (for every 1 cup of dal add 2 cups of water)
  2. Take a separate bowl that would fit inside the pressure cooker. Add the mango pieces, chopped onions, slit green chillies, turmeric with 1/4 cup water. cover with a plate then gently place on top of the toor dal.
  3. Close the lid of the pressure cooker with the whistle on the top and cook on medium flame till the toor dal turns soft. I like my dal on the softer side so I generally cook for 5 to 6 whistles. If using an instant pot, use manual setting for 12 mts and release the pressure naturally.
  4. In the meantime, heat a pan, add oil. On medium flame, start by adding crushed garlic. Saute till golden brown.
  5. Switch to low flame then add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dried red chillies. Saute for a minute. Switch off the stove then add curry leaves and let the flavors come out
  6. When the pressure goes off the instant pot/pressure cooker, remove the lid, take the bowl of mangoes out. Using the back of a spoon mash the dal to a soft consistency adding water as required. Now add salt, cooked mango, onion and green chillies to the dal, add the tadka and blend well.
  7. Return the pressure cooker back to the stove and let it cook on low flame for about 5 mts till the flavor of the seasoning and the sourness from the mangoes seep in to the dal. Adjust salt as needed. If using an instant pot press the saute button and let it boil for about 3 to 4 minutes and then transfer into a serving bowl.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot rice and a spoonful of ghee.
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