Are you a mango maniac? I have the dish for you. It’s a dish made of soaked chana dal ground with cumin and green chillies, and served with a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. And most importantly, there is a generous inclusion of grated raw mango. This dish is a perfect dish for mango lovers, and is served as a snack to people who visit. It is also the best after-school snack during heatwaves.
It is very easy to make, with few ingredients. Perfect for Summer busy lives. The tartness of the mangoes, the sweetness from the coconut, the nuttiness from channa dal, and the spiciness from green chillies means that the flavours both contrast and compliment each other – is your mouth watering yet?
Ambe Dal is a Maharashtrian dish (also known as Amba or Ambyachi Dal). Usually made in Summer, this quick and easy salad is so cooling. Maharashtrian hospitality is legendary, and I can vouch for it as I have good friends from Pune. Maharashtrian cuisine has subtle variety and strong flavours and can be very mild to very spicy.
Green mangoes come in various levels of sourness, from tart to sweet-sour. Choose one that suits your own preferences. Serve Ambe Dal with rice, Kachumber, Kosumalli, and/or roti, perhaps on a banana or mango leaf. It goes well with Aam Panna.
Why not browse all of our Mango dishes, all Salads, our Channa Dal dishes, and all of our Maharashtrian recipes? Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our many Mid Summer dishes.
Ambe Dal | Green Mango and Chana Dal
1 cup chana dal, soaked in water for 4 hours or overnight
1 green mango, peeled and grated
1 green chilli, or to taste
0.5 – 1 tspn sugar
2 Tblspn grated coconut
2 Tblspn coriander leaves, chopped
salt to taste
1 Tblspn ghee
0.5 tspn brown mustard seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
8 – 10 curry leaves
2 Indian dried chillies
Drain the soaking dal and leave for 10 mins to dry out a little.
Mix the grated mango, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
Grind the channa dal using a mixie, processor or spice grinder, with a little green chilli. Add to the grated mango mixture and mix well.
Add the coconut and coriander leaves, and mix well again.
Make a tadka by heating the ghee in a small pan, and add the mustard seeds. As they pop, add the cumin seeds, then the turmeric, asafoetida and dried chillies. Immediately add the curry leaves, and as thy splutter, pour the spices and ghee over the mango-dal mixture. Mix well.
Allow it to sit for 10 – 20 mins for flavours to develop, serve and enjoy.
recipe notes and alternatives
Grated cucumber can be added as well.
The ground paste with mango can be sauteed a little with some ghee, before the tadka is added.
Green Mango is used in the traditional recipe. However, other vegetables can be used – tart apple, jicama, carrots, for example, or thinly shredded cabbage, or daikon. A little lemon juice or yoghurt can be added.
For a different texture, pound the chana dal in a mortar with pestle.
The final form and texture of your dish will depend on the mango variety, your dal, your grater and your food processor, so don’t dismay if your dish looks different from those made in India. Your ingredients and equipment may work different. It will still taste divine! Our chana dal is grown in Australia and is a little different to that grown in India. Sometimes I add a sprinkling of water to make it less dry.
Occasionally I make this dish by julienning the mango into larger pieces and adding the lentil paste.
Other times, I add the grated mango, coconut, coriander and salt to the food processor all together with the dal, for a quick and easy way of making the dish. It is so easy and still tastes the same.
I have to tell you that I ADORE this dish wrapped in a lettuce leaf with chopped cucumber and tomato!!! Thai style.