Yoghurt is an essential part of meals in Tamil Nadu, and Pachadi recipes are a way to deliver the health benefits of yoghurt while adding another vegetable (or fruit) to the meal. Win-win! This pachadi uses dried mango; it’s common in households as Summer is spent sun-drying vegetables, mixed vegetable purees and lentil pastes.
Meenakshi Ammal has this recipe in her Cook and See volumes (Volume 1). Perhaps using dried mango for pachadi is not as common as it was, but it is a delicious addition to the table, and easily made from readily available ingredients.
You might expect it to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the mangoes retain. I used mangoes that I dehydrated last year in the midst of mango season.
One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through Meenakshi Ammal’s books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
Dried Mango Pachadi
7 – 8 pieces dried mango, 30 – 50g, soaked in hot water until soft (use either dried green or sweet mango – the taste of the pachadi will vary depending on which one you have chosen)
1 green chilli
1 cup Desi (Indian) or Greek Natural Yoghurt (thin with water if necessary)
1 tspn ghee
0.5 tspn mustard seeds
1 – 2 green chillies, or to taste, chopped
Drain the mango, discard the water, and grind the mango pieces with the green chilli. Mix with the yoghurt and a little salt.
Make a tadka by heating the ghee in a tadka pan or other small pan and popping the mustard seeds. Add the chopped green chilli and after 15 – 30 seconds, pour the ghee and spices onto the yoghurt mixture.
Mix well and serve, garnished with coriander leaves.
recipe notes and alternatives
Garnish with coriander leaves if desired.
If using dried green mango, you can add a cup of the thick cooking water from cooking rice (ie the kanji), strained well. This will prevent the pachadi from getting too sour.
Mango Pickles Pachadi
Take some tender mango pickles, perhaps ones that have turned too soft. Use 4 or 5 of the mangoes, wash them in water, and proceed with the recipe above. Reduce the amount of salt and chillies slightly to allow for the pickle that contains both.