Amba dal is made from mashed channa dal mixed with raw, grated mango and fresh coconut tempered with mustard and green chillies. Amba dal is also known as Ambe dal or Ambyachi dal in Marathi. This is a very popular dal especially made with raw mangoes which has an amazing sour taste that complements well with the dal.
Amba dal is traditionally prepared during the ‘Chaitra Mahina’ and served accompanied with a delicious sweet and sour Indian beverage namely ‘Panha’ made with raw mangoes and sweetened with sugar. This tangy dal is specially made during the hot summer days when green Mangoes or Kairee are abundant. Making the Amba dal and Panha is super quick and easy as it requires just few easily available ingredients.
The Amba dal is extremely luscious to eat especially for all those who are mango maniac. Made with coarsely ground soaked channa dal (split Bengal gram) and grated raw mango are mixed and flavoured with a spicy tadka or tempering of mustard seeds, green chillies, hing (asafoetida), turmeric and curry leaves. This tempering is added to the dal and mango mixture and seasoned with some fresh ground coconut and garnished with coriander leaves. This dish is a perfect blend of fresh aromatic herbs that gives incredible flavour to the dal.
Tartness of the mangoes, sweetness from the coconut, nuttiness from channa dal and spiciness from green chillies is an excellent medley of gusto to the palate. This dal tastes extremely well with rice, roti or any type of bhakri. Traditionally this cool, tangy and spicy Amba dal is served on a banana leaf along with Aam Panha. This dish is traditionally prepared during the Gudipadava festival which is the New Year or first month of Marathi calendar called as ‘Chaitra’. Maharashtrian women from all walks of life celebrate this festival with lots of fun and frolic making different types of snacks, prepare the Amba Dal or Kairichi dal and Panha (sweet and sour raw mango juice). This festival signifies the spring celebration as spring is a magical season offering hope and beauty.
Indian food has a rich gamut of green mango delicacies. There are umpteen recipes that can be made with green mango such as chutneys, murabbas (preserves), dals (lentil stews), raitas and in chaats. Another important recipe is the Mango pickle which is a very popular south Indian pickle from the cuisine of Andhra Pradesh. Some of my eminent recipes made with green mangoes are Green Mango Chutney, Mango Rice (Mamidikaya Pulihora), Mango pickle, Green Mango salad, Goan Prawn curry with Mangoes, Mango rasam, etc. Depending on the region, there are a variety of Indian recipes that have the green mango as a star ingredient. Green Mango is extensively used in the cuisine of Maharashtra.
There are many variations of making Mango Dal which includes the Amba Dal or Ambyachi Dal popular in the Maharashtrian cuisine is made with Bengal gram and mango. The dish is a rich source of protein and due to its low glycemix index is an excellent food for those on sugar restricted diet. Another variation is the Aamer dal or Mango dhal that is popular in most Bengali families which is made with green mangoes and tur dal cooked together with some herbs and spices. The green mango dal is a must have in most Bengali families during the summer time. Green mango has some very good health benefits too. The raw mango contains more Vitamin C than the half-ripe or ripe mangoes. It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 and B2. In Andhra Pradesh, Mango dal is popularly known as Mamidikaya pappu. This dal is also eaten in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Toor dal is mostly used for the dish. Mango Dal of Andhra Pradesh has a tangy and sweet taste with soup-like consistency.
For preparing this wonderful Amba Dal, firstly take Channa dal and soak in water for few hours and later grind it to a coarse paste. Heat oil in a pan and when the oil gets hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start crackling, add pinch of hing, turmeric, curry leaves and crushed green chillies. Add 1 cup coarsely ground channa dal and mix well. Add salt, pinch of sugar and mix well. Add grated raw mango and fresh coconut grated and mix all the ingredients well. As soon as you add grated mango and coconut, switch off the flame and sauté well. Sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves. A prefect side dish with roti or bhakri drizzled with ghee.
Tip: The less ripe mangoes lend a tangy flavour to the dish whereas a ripe mango imparts a sweet flavour.
Amba Dal is a very easy recipe and does not require too much time to put together. The daal is tangy and spicy and it can be changed according to one’s taste. Do try this dish as it is extremely healthy and delightful to taste. If you are really looking for some traditional and unique recipe with some very simple culinary joy, then go ahead and click on the below link to view the making of Amba Dal: