Healthy Lettuce Salad| Lettuce Vegetable Salad

The Lettuce Vegetable Salad I am going to share with you today is not just delicious but super easy to prepare as well. It’s quite healthy too.

I rarely use lettuce at home, buying it only occasionally to put in a sandwich or burger. However, some time ago, when Riya of My Beauty Dreamz told me of the Healthy Lettuce Salad she often prepares, I loved the sound of it and knew I had to try it out too. As if they had read my mind, Spudnik Farms sent me a bunch of gorgeously fresh iceberg lettuce in my veggie subscription box recently. It was just the perfect foil for me to try out Riya’s salad. I did, with some variations of my own to her recipe, and it turned out beautifully. I added in a whole lot of things to make it more filling, and it was just right for a light lunch. It became an instant hit with everyone at home, and I have made it several times over already. 🙂

Let me share with you all the way I made this delightful, loaded Lettuce Vegetable Salad.

Delicious Lettuce Vegetable Salad

What goes into my Lettuce Vegetable Salad

Apart from the lettuce, the main ingredient of this salad, I also added in other veggies like sweet corn kernels, onion, capsicum and cucumber. I also put in some almonds for extra nutrition and for the crunch factor, and some coriander for freshness.

There’s a mild spiciness to the salad, from freshly cracked black pepper and ginger. The dressing is simple – just lemon juice and honey.

All of the above combine to create a wonderfully crisp, flavourful and refreshing salad.


Lettuce Vegetable Salad Recipe

Here is how I went about it.

Ingredients (serves 1-2):

1. A big handful of lettuce

2. 1/4 cup sweet corn kernels

3. About 10 almonds

4. 1/2 of a medium-sized cucumber

5. 1/2 of a medium-sized capsicum

6. 1/2 of a medium-sized onion

7. A 1-inch piece of ginger

8. Salt to taste

9. Freshly crushed black pepper to taste

10. 3/4 tablespoon honey or to taste

11. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

12. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Below top left: Step 3, Bottom left and right: Step 4

1. Dry roast the almonds in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till they get crisp. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. When done, transfer the roasted almonds to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

2. Steam the sweet corn kernels till cooked through. Let them cool down completely too.

3. Chop the lettuce finely. Place in a large mixing bowl.

4. Chop the capsicum, onion and cucumber finely. Add these to the mixing bowl.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Below top right: Step 7, Bottom right and left: Steps 8 and 9

5. Peel the ginger and chop very finely. Add to the mixing bowl, along with salt and crushed black pepper to taste.

6. Add the steamed and cooled sweet corn kernels to the mixing bowl too.

7. Add in the lemon juice and honey.

8. Chop the almonds into slivers. Add to the mixing bowl.

9. Add in finely chopped coriander too.

10. Mix up everything together, well. Your Lettuce Salad is ready. Serve immediately.

The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

I’m sharing this recipe in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.

The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge is run by a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every month. The group members are divided into pairs, and each pair exchanges two ingredients secretly, unknown to the rest of the group. These ingredients are then used by each pair to create a dish that fits into the group’s theme of the month. The other members then try to guess the two secret ingredients each pair has used.

This month, the theme over at Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge is ‘Healthy Recipes’. I was paired with Poonam of Annapurna for this month’s challenge, and she gave me the ingredients ‘lemon juice’ and ‘lettuce’. They fit right into this Healthy Lettuce Salad that I wanted to make!

Likewise, I gave Poonam the ingredients ‘ragi‘ and ‘black pepper’, and she used them to make this delectable Ragi Vegetable Soup. Check it out!

Tips & Tricks

1. You can use any variety of lettuce you prefer. Just make sure that it is very fresh and not wilted.

2. Freshly crushed black pepper does wonders for this salad. However, if you don’t have it, you can use black pepper powder instead. You may also add in some finely chopped green chillies for extra heat – I prefer the salad without green chillies, though.

3. Adjust the amount of salt, honey, black pepper and lemon juice as per personal taste preferences.

4. Make sure you roast the almonds well and that they crisp nicely. However, they should not get burnt.

5. Use very fresh ginger, without too much fibre, for best results.

6. I have used frozen sweet corn here, and have steamed the kernels in a vegetable steamer. You can cook them in boiling water or in a pressure cooker too.

7. For best results, all cooked ingredients should come to room temperature before you begin assembling the salad.

8. This Lettuce Salad is best served immediately after assembling. Leaving it to sit for some time will make it watery, soggy and tasteless.

9. I have used commonly available green capsicum here. You may use coloured capsicum instead (like red, orange or yellow) for a pop of colour. Remove the seeds and core before chopping the capsicum finely.

10. The ‘seedless’ variety of cucumber (also called ‘English cucumber’ or ‘European cucumber’) goes best in this salad.

11. This is a completely vegetarian and gluten-free recipe, but not vegan because of the use of honey. If you wish to make it vegan (plant-used), you could use a vegan sweetener like maple syrup in place of the honey or skip it altogether.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Mexican Chaat| Nachos Chaat

Nachos Chaat is a fusion of Indian and Mexican cuisine, and an extremely delicious one at that.  I am a huge chaat fan, as you all probably already know, and love converting anything and everything into chaat. 😊 My latest was this one, made using nachos and assorted Indian and Mexican ingredients. It was a big hit with the extended family.

This Nachos Chaat (you could call it Mexican Chaat, too) is simple to put together. The ingredients can be prepped in advance and the chaat assembled just before serving, which makes it perfect for holiday parties and other get-togethers. Do try it out!

You might also want to check out the other Mexican recipes on my blog – Easy Cheesy Nachos| Loaded Veggie Burrito| Elotes or Mexican Street-Style Corn| Indian-Style Vegetable Quesadilla| Mexican Chilli Chocolate Ice Cream| Frijoles Charros or Mexican Bean Soup


What goes into this Mexican Chaat

Nachos forms the base of this chaat.

Cooked rajma beans, sweet corn kernels, onion, capsicum, slices of black olives and sour cream also go into this chaat – elements that are quintessentially used in many Mexican dishes.

The Indian touch is provided by chopped cucumber and coriander, fine sev (which is also called ‘nylon sev‘ or ‘zero number sev’), roasted cumin powder, black salt, as well as the sweet and spicy chutneys that are commonly used in chaats.

Check the ‘Tips and Tricks’ section of this post for details on the various ingredients used here.

How to make Mexican Chaat

Here is how I made it.

Ingredients (serves 2):

1. 150 grams nachos

2. 1/4 cup dried rajma beans

3. 1/4 cup sweet corn kernels

4. 1 small onion

5. 1/2 of a medium-sized capsicum

6. 1/2 of a medium-sized cucumber

7. 2 tablespoons pitted and sliced black olives

8. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

9. Sour cream, as needed

10. Spicy green chutney, as needed

11. Sweet-sour tamarind chutney, as needed

12. Fine sev, as needed

13. Roasted cumin powder, as needed

14. Black salt, as needed

Method:

Bottom left: Step 1, Top right: Step 2, Top left: Step 3, Bottom right: Step 4 and 5

1. Soak the dried rajma beans in enough water for 8-10 hours or overnight. When they are done soaking, drain out all the water from them.

2. Transfer the soaked and drained rajma beans to a wide vessel. Add in enough fresh water to cover the beans completely. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 5-6 whistles or till the beans are thoroughly cooked but not overly mushy. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. In the meantime, steam the sweet corn kernels till done. Transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

4. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked rajma beans out. Drain out the water from them and reserve for future use. Transfer the cooked rajma beans to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

5. Chop the cucumber, capsicum and onion finely. Assemble the rest of the ingredients and keep them ready.

6. Once the cooked ingredients have completely cooled down, we will begin assembling the Mexican Chaat. Arrange the nachos on a large platter. Spread out the cooked rajma beans, sweet corn, onion, capsicum, cucumber and sliced olives evenly over the nachos. Place dollops of the sour cream evenly over this, then drizzle the sweet-sour tamarind chutney and the spicy green chutney. Spread the fine sev evenly on top of this, then sprinkle some roasted cumin powder and black salt. Your Mexican Chaat platter is now ready to serve. Serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used store-bought nachos here, but you may make your own at home if you so prefer. I have used Tikka Masala-flavoured nachos from Cornitos, here.

2. Make sure all the cooked ingredients have cooled down to room temperature before beginning to assemble the chaat.

3. Make sure the rajma beans are well cooked. They should not be overly mushy. Different types of rajma beans take different times to cook through. Here, I have used Kashmiri rajma.

4. I have used sour cream from Amul here. The fine sev is store-bought, from a brand called Garden.

5. The Tikka Masala nachos I used were salty, so I did not use any salt in the toppings. If required, add some salt to the chaat toppings you are using.

6. I have used a vegetable steamer to steam the sweet corn kernels. You can even cook them in boiling water or in a pressure cooker.

7. Do not discard the water used in cooking the rajma beans as it is filled with nutrients. It can be used in gravy-based curries, soups, etc.

8. I have used home-made sweet-sour tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney.

9. Serve this Mexican Chaat immediately after assembling it. Not doing so might make the nachos soggy.

10. Adjust the quantity of sev, sweet chutney, sour cream, spicy green chutney, roasted cumin powder and black salt as per personal taste preferences.

11. If you are preparing the Mexican Chaat for a party or get-together, you can prep the ingredients in advance and keep them ready, then assemble the dish just before serving.

12. To make the roasted cumin powder – dry roast a couple of tablespoons of cumin in a pan, on medium flame, till it becomes nice and fragrant. Take care to ensure that it does not burn. Allow the roasted cumin to cool down completely, then grind to a coarse powder. I make small quantities of this powder, store in a dry and air-tight bottle, and use as needed.

13. Black salt aka kala namak gives a unique flavour and fragrance to chaats, and I highly recommend not skipping it.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites

Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites are just the perfect thing to munch on, any time of the day. These delectable little bites are good for holiday parties and other gatherings, and they make for a wonderful edible gift as well. And, what’s more, they are super easy to make!

Let me take you through the process of preparing these Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites.

Super easy, delicious Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites

What goes into these Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites?

Chocolate is the main ingredient here, of course, and you can use any variety you prefer. I have used 55% dark couverture vegan chocolate from a Bangalore-based brand called Sihi. This chocolate is made without refined sugar (they use organic Khandsari) and sans emulsifiers, preservatives or any kind of artificial additives.

I have used a mix of dried fruits and nuts to make these bites – almonds, cashewnuts, cranberries and raisins. The cranberries are from Del Monte, and do contain added sugar.

If eaten in moderation, these Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites are almost a healthy snacking option. I mean, they are definitely better than commercially available versions. By making them at home, you can control what goes into these bites – choose a good-quality, zero-additive chocolate and use only sugar-free nuts and fruits, if you prefer! You could also add in exotic ingredients like kaffir lime zest, orange peel, dried rose petals or toasted coconut, to make the chocolate bites more interesting. You could even get innovative like my blog friend Mayuri ji, who has used namkeen Bombay mixture in her chocolate bark!

How I made these Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites

Here is how I went about it.

Ingredients (makes 10-12 pieces):

1. About 200 grams of chocolate

2. 12-15 cashewnuts

3. 12-15 almonds

4. 1 heaped tablespoon dried cranberries

5. 1 heaped tablespoon raisins

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom right and left: Steps 3 and 4

1. Measure out the dried fruit and nuts, and keep them ready.

2. Dry roast the cashewnuts and almonds in a pan on medium flame. They should get crisp and get some brown spots, but not get burnt. At this stage, transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

3. In the meantime, use a sharp knife to cut the chocolate into small pieces. Transfer the chocolate pieces into a bowl. Keep ready.

4. When completely cooled down, chop the roasted cashewnuts and almonds roughly. Chop the dried cranberries and raisins roughly too. Keep ready.

5. Spread out a large-ish piece of parchment paper or butter paper on the kitchen platform.

Top left and right: Steps 6 and 7, Bottom right and left: Steps 8 and 9

6. Use the double boiler method to melt the chocolate on the stovetop. Take about 2 cups of water in a large pan, place on high flame, and allow to come to a boil. At this stage, place the bowl with the chocolate pieces inside the pan, in such a way that it floats in the water. Reduce heat to medium.

7. Let the water boil at medium flame till the chocolate in the bowl melts completely and becomes smooth. Mix the chocolate intermittently using a spoon. Switch off gas when the chocolate has fully melted.

8. Immediately add the chopped cashewnuts, almonds, raisins and cranberries to it. Mix quickly.

10. Now, acting fast, drop spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture on the parchment/butter paper. Do not overcrowd the paper, but keep some gap between two spoonfuls. If needed, gently nudge the chocolate mixture with the spoon to spread it out.

11. Leave the mixture at room temperature for a few hours, for the chocolate mixture to set and harden. You could even place the parchment/butter paper in the refrigerator, which will speed up the process of setting. Once set, the Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites are ready to consume.

Tips & Tricks

1. You can use any type of chocolate you prefer – milk, white, dark or semi-dark. You could use a mix of two types of chocolate too, or even chocolate chips. For best results, make sure the chocolate you use is of very good quality. I have used 55% dark couverture vegan chocolate from a Bangalore-based brand called Sihi. The brand sent me a sample of the chocolate to try out, and I really loved it.

2. Like I was saying earlier, you can use any nuts, seeds or dried fruit of your preference in these chocolate bites. Adjust the quantities as per personal preferences.

3. Chocolate should always be melted on the stovetop using the double boiler method, as stated above. The bowl containing the chocolate pieces should not come directly in contact with a heat source. Also, make sure the water does not come into contact with the chocolate mixture. Alternatively, you could use a microwave oven to melt the chocolate – I have no personal experience with this, though.

4. You need to act fast, once the chocolate has fully melted – the mixing of the dried fruits and nuts and the dropping of spoonfuls of the mixture on the paper has to happen fast, while the chocolate is still hot. Make sure you keep the parchment/butter paper ready to receive the hot chocolate mixture. Here, I have used the food wrapping paper from Oddy Uniwraps.

5. Here, I have mixed the nut and fruit pieces into the melted chocolate. You could place them on top of the chocolate bites too, after you have spooned them out, while the mixture is still hot. This takes a bit more time than the above-mentioned method, but gives prettier-looking chocolate bites.

6. You may spoon out the chocolate mixture as thick or thin as you prefer. I prefer keeping them moderately thick.

7. Once completely set, the Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites can be stored in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. At room temperature, they stay well for weeks.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Pasi Paruppu Sambar|Tiffin Sambar With Moong Dal

Pasi Paruppu Sambar is a variation of the sambar that is regularly made in Tamilian households. While the regular sambar is usually made with toor dal, this version is made using moong dal (‘pasi paruppu‘ in Tamil). It tastes absolutely delicious, and makes for a great accompaniment with ‘tiffin’ dishes like idlis, dosas, vada and pongal. It can also be served with plain rice, but we especially love it with our tiffin.

In today’s post, I am sharing with you all the way we make Pasi Paruppu Sambar at home.

Pasi Paruppu Sambar or Tiffin Sambar With Moong Dal

A closer look at Pasi Paruppu Sambar

As stated above, moong dal is the major component of this sambar. All the other ingredients used in a regular sambar go in as well – vegetables, tamarind extract, sambar powder, curry leaves, coriander and the likes. You can use any vegetables of your preference.

Along with home-made sambar powder, we also use some jaggery in this sambar, which makes it all the more delicious.

This Pasi Paruppu Sambar is an easier and faster version of the regular sambar. Moong dal cooks faster than the toor dal used in regular sambar, due to which making this Pasi Paruppu Sambar is quicker. Speaking of sambar, I am loving my fellow food blogger Priya Vijaykrishnan’s recipe for Potato & Capsicum Sambarsounds so delicious I can’t wait to try it out!

How to make Pasi Paruppu Sambar

Here is how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

1. 3/4 cup moong dal

2. A lemon-sized ball of tamarind

3. 1 medium-sized onion

4. 1 medium-sized carrot

5. 10-12 beans

6. 2 medium-sized tomatoes

7. 3/4 tablespoon oil

8. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

9. 2 pinches of asafoetida

10. 1 sprig curry leaves

11. 2 pinches of fenugreek seeds

13. Salt to taste

14. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

15. About 3 tablespoons sambar powder or to taste

16. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)

17. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder (optional)

18. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander

Method:

Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 4, 5 and 6

1. Wash the moong dal thoroughly under running water. Drain out all the water from it, then transfer to a wide vessel. Add in enough fresh water to cover the moong dal completely.

2. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 4-5 whistles or till the dal is well cooked and soft. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for 15-20 minutes, for it to soften. Let it cool down completely.

4. Peel the onion and chop finely. Peel the carrot and chop into large pieces. Remove strings from the beans and chop into large pieces. Keep ready.

5. Chop the tomatoes finely. Keep ready.

6. When the tamarind has cooled down completely, extract all the juice from it. Use some more water to help with the process of extraction, if needed. Keep ready.

Top left: Step 7, Top right and centre left: Step 8, Centre right: Step 9, Bottom left and right: Steps 10 and 11

7. Take the chopped carrot and beans in a wide vessel and add in about 2 tablespoons of water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Allow 2 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

8. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked moong dal out. Mash it well and keep it ready. Similarly, get the cooked vegetables out and keep them ready – do not discard the water they were cooked in, if any remains.

9. Now, we will start making the Pasi Paruppu Sambar. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Then, add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Allow them to stay in for a few seconds.

10. Add the chopped onion to the pan. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for 2-3 minutes or till the onions start browning.

11. Now, add the chopped tomato to the pan, along with a little salt and water. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the tomatoes turn mushy.

Top left: The tomatoes have turned mushy (Step 11), Bottom left and topmost right: Step 12, Right centre and right bottom: Steps 13 and 14

12. At this stage, add in the turmeric powder and the tamarind extract. Mix well, then cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.

13. Add the cooked vegetables to the pan, along with the water they were cooked in. Cook for 2 minutes on medium flame or till the raw smell of the tamarind has gone completely.

14. Now, add the cooked and mashed moong dal to the pan. Also add in 1 cup of water or as needed to adjust consistency.

Top left and right: Step 15, Bottom left: Step 16, Bottom right: Step 17

15. Add in sambar powder, salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using) and jaggery powder (if using). Mix well.

16. Let the mixture cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till everything is well integrated together. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened but is still quite runny. It will thicken up further with time.

17. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Pasi Paruppu Sambar is ready. Serve it hot with idlis, dosas or rice.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of water depending upon the consistency of the sambar you require. We prefer it thicker than the regular sambar, not too runny but not overly thick either.

2. Remember to switch off the gas when the sambar is still on the runnier side. It thickens up further with time.

3. You can use any veggies of your choice. Here, I have used the vegetables I had at home. You can steam the vegetables in a steamer instead of pressure-cooking them the way I have.

4. Adding the jaggery powder is purely optional. I prefer using it as my family prefers it that way.

5. The home-made sambar powder we use is moderately spicy. So, I usually add a dash of red chilli powder to my sambar too. If the sambar powder you are using is spicy, you can skip the red chilli powder completely.

6. Make sure all seeds and impurities are removed from the tamarind extract, before adding it to the pan.

7. This is a completely vegetarian recipe, one that is vegan as well. It is perfectly suited to those following a plant-based diet.

8. To make this sambar gluten-free, skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you could definitely use it.

9. This Pasi Paruppu Sambar tastes best with a generous amount of tomatoes. So, do not reduce the quantity of tomatoes used here.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Mamidikaya Pappu| Andhra Raw Mango Dal

Mamidikaya Pappu refers to the Andhra style of cooking lentils with raw mango, a lip-smackingly delicious confection that is usually served with piping hot rice. It makes for a hugely comforting meal, especially when drizzled with ghee, one that everyone at my place thoroughly enjoys. In today’s post, I am going to share with you all the way we make Mamidikaya Pappu.

Raw mangoes are not in season at the moment but, this year, I’m surprised to see them being sold in large numbers at several vegetable stores (in November-December, in winter!). I gave in and bought one on our last veggie shopping expedition, and it went on to find its way into this Mamidikaya Pappu.

Delectable Mamidikaya Pappu or Andhra-style Raw Mango Dal

Dals Of India

India has a rich legacy of dal varieties – there are hundreds of traditional and contemporary versions from different parts of the country. I grew up with Tamilnadu-style sambar, an everyday fixture on our dining table. The Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal, Dal Dhokli, Maharashtrian Amti and Dal Fry were weekly indulgences. Our Andhra neighbours made sure we were well acquainted with dals from their home state, like the flavourful Tomato Pappu and Mamidikaya Pappu (this recipe comes from them, actually!).

Years later, after I started blogging and writing about food, I became more acutely aware of foods from different parts of India, dals included. Dal Makhani, Dal Palak, Dal Moradabadi, Hyderabadi Khatti Dal and Udupi Sambar became part of our family meals. I even went on to try out some unique dals like the Sri Lankan Dhal Curry and this Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka.

There are still many, many variations of dal I haven’t tried yet. All in due time..

How to make Mamidikaya Pappu

Mamidikaya Pappu is a simple thing to prepare and takes very little time to put together. Here’s how we make it.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1. 1 cup toor dal

2. 1 medium-sized raw mango

3. 2 green chillies or as per taste

4. 1 sprig curry leaves

5. Salt to taste

6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

7. Red chilli powder to taste

8. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste

9. 3/4 tablespoon oil

10. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

11. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

12. 2 pinches of asafoetida

13. 2 dry red chillies

14. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left: Step 3, Above bottom right and bottom right: Step 4

1. Wash the toor dal thoroughly under running water. Drain out all the water. Transfer the washed and drained toor dal to a wide vessel.

2. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker, and place on high flame. Pressure cook on high flame for 7-8 whistles or till the dal is soft. Allow the pressure to release naturally.

3. In the meantime, peel the raw mango. Chop the flesh into large cubes. Discard the seed. Keep the curry leaves ready. Slit the green chillies length-wise.

4. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked toor dal out. Mash the lentils thoroughly. Keep aside.

Top left and centre: Step 5, Top right: Step 6, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 7, 8 and 9

5. Take the raw mango cubes in a heavy-bottomed pan, and place on high flame. Add in a little water and salt, along with the turmeric powder, slit green chillies and curry leaves. When the pan heats up, turn the flame down to medium. Cook covered on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the raw mango pieces are soft.

6. At this stage, add the cooked toor dal to the pan. Continue to keep the flame at medium.

7. Still keeping the flame at medium, add in salt to taste, red chilli powder and jaggery powder. Mix well. Continue to cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till the mixture thickens. If the mixture is too thick, add in some water to adjust the consistency. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened up, but is still on the runnier side. Remember that it will thicken up further with time.

8. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the dish. Heat the oil in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida and dry red chillies. Let these ingredients stay in for a few seconds, taking care to ensure that they do not burn. Add this tempering to the mango dal we prepared. Mix well.

9. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. The Mamidikaya Pappu is ready. Serve with hot rice.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use a raw mango that is moderately sour like a Totapuri.

2. If the raw mango is not sour enough, a souring agent like lemon juice or tamarind extract can be used.

3. Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder depending upon personal taste preferences. I would not recommend skipping the jaggery – it rounds off the sourness of the raw mango beautifully.

4. Make sure the toor dal is well cooked and soft before adding it to the pan.

5. I prefer keeping the tempering for this dal simple. If you so prefer, you could use garlic in the tempering too.

6. Adjust the quantity of water you use depending upon the consistency of the dal you require.

7. The above recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a gluten-free diet. It is a no-onion no-garlic recipe too.

8. I have used oil for the tempering, here. You could use ghee instead, too.

9. If you want to make this dish gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely go ahead and use it.

10. Some families pressure cook the raw mango along with the toor dal, but I don’t prefer it that way.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!