Mambazha Kalan, or Mambazha Pulissery is a sweet and sour curry simmered in a yogurt and coconut sauce. It originates from Kerala, where mango curries are a real treat. It has the sweetness of the mango contrasted against the sourness of the yoghurt.
Mambazha Pulissery really is a signature Kerala dish, where ripe mangoes are plentiful and are cooked with tangy curd (yogurt) and coconut gravy. This sweet and slightly sour curry is also called Pazhamanga Pulissery in places in Kerala.
You might like to read How to Cook with Yoghurt.
Traditionally this recipe made using local mangoes. But I made it with the mangos that are available here in Australia. I have also made it with half sweet and half green mangoes and it is also very tasty with this variation. The green mango adds an additional tang – here many of our yoghurts are sweetened, so the sourness of the green mango helps.
Because our local yoghurts tend to be sweetened, try to use an Indian yoghurt, easily available from your Indian grocery for a more authentic taste, or if that is not possible, use a Greek yoghurt.
This dish can also form part of the Onam Sadya.
Manga Kalan | Mambazha Pulissery | A Kerala Sweet and Sour Mango Curry
A traditional dish
Cuisine: South Indian from Kerala
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4 – 8, depending how you use it
3 medium ripe mangoes
1 tspn turmeric
1 tspn Indian Chilli Powder
salt to taste
200g freshly grated coconut – I use frozen
3 green chillies, or to taste
0.75 tspn cumin seeds
300ml natural, plain yoghurt
1 Tblspn ghee or coconut oil
0.5 tspn black mustard seeds
3 – 4 dried red chillies
0.25 tspn fenugreek seeds
12 fresh curry leaves
First prepare the mangoes. Peel them, slice the flesh from them and cut into 1cm cubes.
Place the mangoes and the mango seed in a kadhai or pan with 1 cup of water and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Scrape as much flesh as you can from the mango seed, and remove it.
Add the turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt, and stir well to mix in.
Meanwhile, take the green chilli, cumin seeds and coconut and blend to a paste with just enough water for it to blend well.
Mash the mangoes to a pulp, and add the coconut paste. Mix in well, cover the pan and simmer over a low heat until it is thick – about 10 – 15 minutes.
Take the yoghurt and beat it a little. This stabilises it and it is less likely to split. Add to the mangoes and stir it through. Cook on the lowest heat possible until warmed through. Do not bring it to the boil, lest the yoghurt splits. If it does split, don’t worry, it will still taste the same.
Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
Make the tadka.
Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds when it is hot. Allow them to pop, then add the broken chillies, fenugreek seeds, then after a moment, the curry leaves. The curry leaves will splutter so take care.
Pour the spices, oil and all, onto the mango curry. Stir to mix.
Because this curry has a sweetness about it, it can take a lot of heat – a lot of chilli. Don’t skimp on them, the heat with the sweetness and the slight tang of the yoghurt makes this curry.
This is not a sweet and sour curry in the SE Asian sense – there is not a “knock your socks off” sourness to it. Just the gentle tang of the yoghurt.
I have made this very successfully using a green mango in place of one of the ripe mangoes, because that is what I had in my cupboard. It made a delightful variation.
Do all things with love.