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.
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
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.
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!