We are down to the last few ripe mangoes of this season. I scout street-side carts and vegetable shops in search of good ones. In doing so, I attempt to hold on to the remnants of summer, whatever remains of this favourite summer fruit of mine. I rustled up some Mambazha Pulissery
recently for probably the last time this summer, using the few good Neelam mangoes I managed to get my hands on.
If you are wondering what Mambazha Pulissery is, let me tell you that refers to ripe mangoes cooked in a yogurt gravy. This dish hails from Kerala, and is redolent of coconut and green chillies, the way several dishes from ‘God’s Own Country’ are. It is a delicious, delicious thing, the sweetness of ripe mangoes, the heat from the chillies and the sourness of yogurt complementing each other perfectly. I learnt how to make Mambazha Pulissery years ago from my mother-in-law, who hails from Palakkad. It’s an eternal favourite at our place, and I absolutely had to make it as we stand on the cusp of bidding goodbye to summer.
There are several different versions of the Mambazha Pulissery, as far as I understand. Different families bring in their own little variations to the recipe, while the major ingredients remain more or less the same. Some use little ripe mangoes whole in the pulissery, to suck on and discard the seed at the serving table. We prefer using chunks of mango in it, instead. We also don’t cook the pulissery after the yogurt has been added to it, which is what is practiced in quite a few homes.
This recipe for Mambazha Pulissery does not use any onion or garlic, but does include a knob of ginger for a punch of flavour. It can easily be made gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida used here in the tempering.
So, here goes our family recipe for Mambazha Pulissery. Do try it out and let me know how you liked it?
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
For grinding to a paste:
- 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
- 1 green chilly, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
For the tempering:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- A pinch of fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 3-4 dried red chillies
- 1 cup ripe mango, peeled and chopped into medium-sized cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons jaggery powder, or to taste
- 1 cup curd
1. Grind together all the ingredients listed under ‘To Grind’. Use a small mixer jar, adding a little water. Keep aside.
2. Take the chopped mango in a pan with about 1/4 cup water. Place on high flame. Cook till the mango is slightly soft – don’t overcook it.
3. Add the ground paste to the pan, along with salt, turmeric powder and jaggery powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the paste goes away, about 2 minutes.
4. Switch off gas. Allow the cooked ingredients to cool down fully.
5. Whisk the curd well to make it lump-free. Add this to the pan when the mixture has completely cooled down.
6. Now, we will prepare a tempering for the Mambazha Pulissery. Heat the coconut oil in a small pan. Turn down the flame to medium and add in the mustard. Allow it to sputter. Add in the fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that they do not burn. Add this tempering to the pan. Mix well. Your Mambazha Pulissery is ready to serve, with some steamed rice.
1. Use mangoes that are ripe but firm, without any blemishes. Do not use mangoes that are too fibrous. I have used 2 small Neelam mangoes here, which gave me roughly 1 cup of flesh when chopped.
2. Adjust the quantity of green chillies and coconut you use, as per personal taste preferences.
3. For best results, use curd that is sour, but not overly so. I have used home-made curd here, which was well-set but not overly thick. If the curd you are using is too thick, whisk it with a little water before adding it to the pulissery.
4. If the mangoes you are using are too sweet, you may skip using the jaggery powder in the pulissery.
5. Make sure the cooked ingredients have fully cooled down, before adding the curd to the pan. Otherwise, there are chances of the curd splitting. Do not cook the pulissery after adding the curd or heat it before serving. This Mambazha Pulissery is typically served at room temperature.
6. Add the tempering at the end, so as to retain the fragrance of the coconut oil in the pulissery. And, yes, coconut oil is a must here. Use any other oil, and the pulissery just doesn’t feel the same.
7. Do not overcook the mango. Cook it till it softens a little, then add the ground paste to it.
Did you like this recipe? Do let me know, in your comments!
I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #285.