May 12, 2008
Dressed in my grungiest outfit, I made it to a plant nursery with hubby in tow.
I wasn’t fooling anyone. Three cries of “look honey, basil/coriander/jasmine” later, a kindly salesperson walked over with a thinly-veiled smiled and asked how he could help.
We wanted a creeper. Preferably something that grew bushy and tall. Without regular watering, sunlight or attention.
Or soil for that matter. We were talking about a three square feet, moss-ridden balcony here.
Finally we settled for a medium hedge. I brought it back and shoved it into a planter aided by a cheese slicer, kitchen scissors and amused neighbours.
Greenfingers Day, thankfully, is an annual event in my home. But I hope summer is here to stay.
With the first warm days, raw mangoes have made it to my Indian grocer cum spice shop. I made a light, sweet and sour dal made with them called Tauk Dal. The dal-making technique here involves boiling the lentils in lots of water in one go to get a watery, light texture.
Enjoy this with Basmati rice and a cool glass of Rose Blush. Preferably while gazing out of the kitchen at your new, bushy hedge.
75 gm Masoor dal (red lentils)
1 raw green mango
Half tsp Nigella/black onion seeds
2 green finger chillies, slit
Half tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp sunflower oil
Half tsp white sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Wash the masoor dal thoroughly in a medium pot under a cold tap, until the water runs clear. Add cold water three-quarters up the side of the pot, mix in the turmeric and bring to boil on a high flame.
In the meantime, slice the mangoes lengthwise, quarter and peel off the skin with a sharp knife.
Make sure you watch the dal so it doesn’t boil over. If it starts bubbling up, take off the flame for a few seconds. Gently skim off and discard any foam that builds up.
The lentils will go soft and squidy in 20 minutes. The water will still be seperate from them. Now, make the tadka.
Heat the oil and when it starts sizzling, add the nigella seeds, the green chillies and the raw mangoes. Fry for a few seconds until the mango is sealed and pale brown on its side.
Mix this and the sugar into the dal for about five minutes, add salt to taste, and serve. The consistency will be light and wonderfully easy on the tummy.
I’ll be trying this delicious, South Indian version of mango dal next.
For a creeper, Jasmine was a neat idea, but what works amazingly well as well, is “lub lub”. Oh I wish I rememebred its other name. In Tamil it’s called “avarakkai”. Let me know if you want to know more. Lavender flowers edible avarakkai produced as well. Tell me where you live, and I’ll tell you if it’ll grow there. We live in zone 8 (Austin TX), and have about 100 days of summer with > 100 deg F. After this summer ends, this thing starts really taking off, flowers all fall and freezes in winter, re-seeds and returns next fall. Very reliabl. –Deepa (Austin, TX)
I make it with masoor dal but use a phoron of shorshey and curry pata with one burnt red chilli – heaven !
[…] you all have access to reasonably good unripe sour mangoes. Sour mangoes are loved all over Asia, cooked with dal, with vegetables (it is the perfect foil for bittergourd), or enjoyed as a relish such as […]
Mango dal…..looks yummy.
Sandeepa – I think I saw that recipe of yours. Must try it too.
Wendy – Green mango is actually a very small, raw mango. Mine was beginning to ripen and go mostly green but… so it is also perfectly acceptable to use these too. Just pick a very hard one when you go shopping.
This sounds divine. Excuse my stupidity but a “green” mango is different from the mostly-green-but-a-bit-red-too mangos that are commonly found in the UK?
Beautiful dish! I made Mango dal adding green mango in dal, nobody liked it because it was very sour, got to try your way!:))
oh heck! u just reminded me of our over grown backyard. got to visit few nursery soon.
mango dal is my fav summer treat too. i usually cook mangoes with dal. never tried adding it to tadka. thanks girl
I have been in LOVE with this dal, ever since I made it off Sandeepa’s blog.Will try your version with the nigella seeds tadka next. Thanks:)
Having been inspired by the Jugalbandi blog, I am trying my hand at growing my own rosemary, tomatoes and parsley. We will soon find out whether I inherited my mother’s green thumb or regular pink ones Good luck with yours!
I love the idea of plants and playing in the dirt more than actually doing it. However, I try my best to plant herbs every year and have a little garden. When I retire….;)
Mango dal perfect for summer. Though I love Masoor, I have a tak er dal with Split-Pigeon peas(matar dal) which gives a very different earthy flavor to the sour dal.
If you ever have split-pigeon peas in your pantry try a dal with it