Archive for March 10, 2007

Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables ~ G is for Green Mango

G is for Great Guesses! Greens, gourds, smashed gobi!! Thanks everyone, for playing… I still love a good guessing game 🙂

upo mango
upo mango ~ green mango in brine ~ straight from India via Indus Valley

I had several thoughts in mind for “G” week, the next installment in
lovely Nupur’s “A to Z of Indian Vegetables”. Ginger, garlic, greens?

Arjuna made a beautiful rice dish
I could experiment with gooseberries…

Gobi, green moong? Or…

I recently discovered a small enclave of Indian stores about a half hour’s drive from me. They had a huge selection of fresh produce the one time I passed by — perhaps there, I might finally find gongura. Yes, lots of choices for “G”.

Then I remembered the upo mango — green mango in brine that I happened upon at Indus Valley west of Boston. It was carefully stashed away in the fridge. I have seen many recipes for green mango dal, but I don’t have much chance of finding a real green mango here. Nevermind…green mango in brine would do.

For this dish, I mostly followed Indira’s recipe — reducing the amount of chili powder, as the mangoes are packed with loads of tiny hot chiles.
I did not use a pressure cooker, so I had to watch the pot carefully, but the dal came out perfect — a little dry which was my intent — thick and delicious; spicy and extra-tangy from the brine with chili peppers.

My quest for a real green mango continues this spring.

ingredients for a memorable dal!
washed toor dal, chopped upo mango (green mango in brine) and red onion

Green Mango (in brine) Dal
heavily based on Indira’s Maamidikaya Pappu (green mango dal)

for the dal:

3/4 c toor dal
1/4 -1/3 c green mango in brine (upo mango), chopped fine
1/2 cup red onions, chopped fine
1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
2 c water plus additional as necessary
salt to taste

for the tempering/tadka:

1 TB ghee
1 TB fresh garlic, minced
1 dried red chili, keep or discard seeds as preferred
few curry leaves
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds


If pressure cooking, cook the dal with mango and onions, chili powder, and a little salt in 1 1/2c water, following Indira’s recipe.

If using a pot on the stove, take all the dal ingredients and 2c water to begin. Invert a lid over the pot and weight it with a can of soup or beans — this creates a pressure-cooker simulator. Be sure to use a potholder and long-handled spoon when moving the inverted lid. You will need to add more water, up to 2 additional cups, to get a good thick consistency without burning.

When the dal is nearly done, heat the ghee in a small pan. Add the garlic, dried chilis, and curry leaves. Saute a few minutes, then add the urad dal, cumin, and mustard. When the cumin sizzles and the mustard pops, add this tempering to the dal and mix well.

Serve hot with a dollop of softened ghee and enjoy all alone, or with rice on the side.

Click here for another special way to serve this dal 🙂

green mango (in brine) dal
rich and hearty ~ green mango (in brine) dal

Thank you again, Nupur, for inviting us along on your “A-Z” journey! I can’t wait to see what everyone else has cooked up for “G”!


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