To mark the beginning of the New Year’s Day this Chaitra month( according to the lunar calender), our household decked up early in the morning…well before going out to work!! R loves all the religious aspects of Hindu festivals. I do as much is possible from my side well in terms of food 🙂 Together we are providing P our young lad all the opportunities to experience our traditions and culture far away from our homeland. This season has an abundance of raw mangoes. Hence a lot of use was made of these green, tart mangoes in cooking. This year we had a traditional meal of vatli dal, shrikhand, polya, paalkachi patal bhaji, lonche, chutney and rice with dal.
During this month, Gauri (wife of Shiva) is worshipped by all the ladies in the family. The preps in the kitchen is typically identified by vatli dal mixed with grated tart raw mangoes and panha, a sweet drink prepared with cooked mangoes again. The ladies exchanged haldi kunku and served these preparation as a symbol of love and affection. Ah! such a beautiful ambience it created…all the chuckles and giggles of ladies as they gathered in different households every evening to mark this auspicious month. To me what mattered was eating the vatli dal as I went with aai to her friend’s place or when we had the crowd to visit us!! The taste of the tart mangoes in the savoury lentils followed by the cooling drink of panha to quench our thirsts in the scorching heat then….friends I am missing home as I write this post. Don’t miss the Panah picture as you scroll down!
Here is how one could make the kairichi dal or vatli dal following Ruchira:
You will need…
1 cup of chana dal soaked for couple of hours and drained
1/4 cup of grated raw mango
oil, mustard, curry leaves, hing for phodni(tempering)
turmeric 1 tsp
couple of green chillies chopped( or as you desire)
couple of red chillies( or as you desire)
shredded fresh coconut(I used dessicated coconut)
salt and sugar as per taste(sugar is to enhance the sour taste of mango)
chopped coriander to garnish
Grind the soaked and drained chana dal roughly and keep aside. My mixer grinder is broken hence, I had a tough time grinding the dal in my puran yantra.
In a thick bottom pan, prepare a tempering with oil, mustard, hing and curry leaves. Add in a teaspoon of turmeric. To this add in the roughly ground dal. Stir and cover. Cook this dal for 4-5 mins. Add in the salt and sugar. Stir again. Cover and cook. To this add in the grated mango, shredded coconut and mix. The dal should be cooked until it’s raw taste is no longer there. Turn the gas off. Transfer the dal to a bowl, garnish with coriander and serve hot or cold.
If you wish to have panha to serve along with this, it is coming up next. Keep watching the next post!!
I am sending this recipe to my lovely friends Aishwarya Kokatey at Marathi Culture and festivals and Archana at India New Bulletin.