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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yellow Lentil and Raw Mango Salad/ Kairi Chi Dal

Its summer and that translates to mango season. The hot and bright sun reminds me of long gone summer vacation days and other events. One that stands out most is a ladies together that my grandmother used to have every summer (also called haldi-kunku in Maharashtra). All the ladies used to be dressed in their finery, my grandmom used to put on her best sari with her best jewelry and the atmosphere used to be very festive. I would run to her house after school dressed in my best clothes and help her setup the place. The food used to be delicious, the gossip engrossing and it was the only time when she made certain delicacies. The two I remember the most are mango panha which is raw mango juice and delicious “kairi chi dal” which can be best described as raw mango and yellow lentil salad. I was thinking about those “get togethers” a lot for the past couple of weeks and decided to try my grandmother’s recipe for the lentil salad. Quick consultation with mom and I realized that it was a simple recipe. Next was a visit to the store to pick up a few green raw mangoes and I was on my way. Unfortunately the raw mangoes I bought were not very sour, so I had to add some lemon juice but my first bite transported me back to those carefree days of childhood and the special time spent with my grandmom. This will surely be a treasured recipe.

1 raw mango – cubed (deseeded)
1 cup split yellow lentil/chana dal (soaked overnight)
¼ cup fresh coconut pieces
2-3 green chillies (to taste)
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
4 red chillies
8-10 curry leaves
1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
1-2 tbsp water (optional for grinding)

Grind together the mango, chillies, chana dal, salt and sugar to a coarse consistency. It shouldn’t be too fine. Add a little water 1 tsp at a time if needed to assist the grinding process. Heat the oil, and add the curry leaves and red chillies to it. Pour this over the ground mixture. Mix well and top with chopped cilantro. Serve cold.

This tastes great with Panha/Mango juice which I will try out soon. If you have frozen grated coconut, do not add to blender. Mix this in after the dal and mango has been ground together. You can substitute the fresh coconut with desiccated coconut as well. The dal must be soaked for 4-5 hours at the least. To soak the dal, cover it with enough water so that all the dal is submerged and there is about ½ to 1 inch depth of water above the dal.

Sending this to Suma's Side Dishes event


  1. That's a new recipe..looks like a distant cousin of our mango chutney..Thanks for sharing

  2. this sounds delicious..and yes its new too.

  3. Very novel recipe to me and thanks for sending such an innovative recipe.