The success of any Dal is in the combination of the texture of the dal and the layers of flavours added by spices and perhaps onions, and garlic. It is not often that cooked lentils on their own, without anything else added, qualify as a great and tasty dal dish. There are exceptions, of course (eg Mung Dal with Ghee), but they are rare.
This recipe is an interesting one, as it is spiced with chilli, mustard and nigella seeds; the latter are slightly bitter in taste. Overall the dish is quite tart and refreshing, and is an excellent hot weather dish.
Mung Dal with Green Mango
125 g mung dal
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 tspn Indian chilli powder
salt to taste
1 green mango (sour)
2 Tblspn ghee, or as needed
0.5 tspn nigella seeds
0.5 tspn brown mustard seeds
2 Indian dried red chillies
1 shallot, sliced
Cook the mung dal in plenty of water until very soft and disintegrating. Add the turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder about half way through cooking.
Peel the green mango, and, using a mandoline (or a sharp knife) slice 3 or 4 slices of mango from each side of the seed. Chop any additional flesh from the seed. (Retain the seed and cook with our next pot of rice).
Heat about 1 Tblspn ghee, perhaps a little more, and quickly fry the mango slices in 2 batches, until soft but not falling apart. Sprinkle with some nigella seeds as they cook. Remove from the pan onto a plate.
Once all of the mango is cooked, stir into the cooked mung dal.
Heat a couple of teaspoons of ghee in a tadka pan, and pop the mustard seeds. Add the sliced shallot and red chillies and saute until the onions are golden and just beginning to brown. Tip the ghee, spices and onions into the dal and mix. Bring the dal just back to a simmer, remove from the heat, cover with a lid and allow to sit for 4 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Serve on a hot summer day with some rice and a vegetable curry.
recipe notes and alternatives
Tart green apple can also be used in this dal.
The pan fried Green Mango (without adding to the dal) is very very good with rice. You can see the mango in the first pic.