The Diary of a Displaced Housewife is now Life In Fuchsia…

'The Diary of the Displaced Housewife' is now 'Life in Fuschia'

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fiesty Mango Salad and Spicy Chana Dal

Being Indian there’s nothing I love more than mangoes and like most Indians, when I get my hand on a mango, I use it in so many ways to ‘maximize’ my mango experience – jams, curries, dals, desserts, mojitos (yes, it’s a food group by itself) and even salads to name a few. I can even have a mango for breakfast (hellooo… the golden gorgeousness of a ripe mango on my oatmeal in the morning… ahh sweet heaven!)

Anyway I digress… today I bring you a gorgeous mango salad that’s not only easy to make but is very easy on the eye too. The contrast of the green coriander leaves against the golden mango is so so very pretty. It’s light, refreshing and perfect for summer.

Mango salad

What you need:
½ a semi ripe Mango
½ Cucumber
½ of a Small Onion
¼ bunch Coriander
Green Chilies to taste (you can even use red jalapeños to add color)
Roasted Peanuts as needed
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice to taste
A pinch of Sugar

Getting down to business:
Dice the mango and cucumber into small even sized cubes. Finely chop the onion, chili and coriander.  Combine all the ingredients except the lemon juice, salt and roasted peanuts. Add these three ingredients at the end just before serving.

I prefer using a semi raw mango as opposed to one that is completely raw or completely ripe. I think the in between stage helps balance out flavors as something too raw would be too strong for some palettes while a ripe mango may end up breaking down too much.
I actually did not add any salt in my salad as I used salted roasted peanuts to begin with.
The reason I specify not to add in the salt before serving is that it can make the onions and cucumber ‘sweat’ which means it’ll extract all the water in your veggies and make your salad soggy!
You can add and delete vegetables from this salad as you wish – throw in some striking orange carrot or some shredded cabbage even.

Clockwise: Mango Salad, Chana Dal and Rotis

This is not a dal you mess with… its fiery but satisfying. For me, in addition to being tasty and comforting, it’s also oh so good for you – what more can you ask for? You can easily tone down the heat of the dal by omitting either of the chilies or even both or eliminate the red chili powder.

Masala Chana Dal

What you need:
1 cup Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas)
1 teaspoon Cumin/ Jeera
2 Red Chilies
½ big Onion or 1 small one
2 Green Chilies (leave them whole)
1 Tomato – puréed or crushed in a blender
A few Mint Leaves
11/2teaspoons Ginger Garlic Paste
3/4th teaspoon Chana Dal Masala or ½ teaspoon Garam Masala– optional
3/4th teaspoon Dhania/ Coriander Powder
½ teaspoon Jeera/ Cumin Powder
Chili Powder to taste
Dried Fenugreek Leaves/ Kasoori Methi
¼ teaspoon Turmeric
Salt to taste
A pinch of Sugar
A Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Minced Coriander Leaves to Garnish

Getting Down to Business:

Soak the chana dal for at least an hour before cooking (especially if your not going to pressure-cook the lentils as this will cut down your cooking time. I would the recommend you soak the lentils longer.). Drain and keep aside.
Finely mince the onion and chop the mint leaves. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker if you have one or in a heavy bottomed pan. Add in the cumin and red chilies. Follow this with the onions.
Sauté till the onions start browning. Add in the tomato and the ginger garlic paste with the green chilies. Sauté for a minute or two. Then add in the turmeric, chili powder, chana dal masala or garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder. Add in the mint leaves.

Let it simmer till the whole mixture is shiny and seems as if the oil is separating from it.  Add in the dal. Mix well. Add in water to immerse the lentils and stand an inch above the mixture for a pressure cooker or if using a pan, add in water to cover the lentils. Add in a pinch of kasoori methi. Stir to combine.

Let it pressure cook for 3 whistles and then simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame. If using a pan, bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat down to let the whole thing simmer and cover. Let it cook till the lentils are cooked through.

Once you’ve cooked the dal, add in the salt, coriander and sugar. Check seasoning and adjust if needed.  If needed add more water to loosen the dal or if you need to thicken it a bit, simmer till you get the desired consistency.

Just before serving, add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve hot with rotis or rice.


  1. I love mango! Mango smoothies are my favourite breakfast. This salad looks amazing.

  2. That mango salad looks delicious! I love mango and fruit in salads so this is a perfect recipe for me! Thanks :)

  3. hru doing dearie..ahhhhhhh..this is a wonderful fav...wht a gorgeous platter...refreshing salad,wholemeal rotis and spicy nutritious chana dal...pass me tht power packed platter...looks healthy n inviting...yummmmmmm

  4. Thats such a lovely meal! Yumm!!!!

  5. The mango salad looks wonderful! Mangos are very popular in our household this summer. Will have to try it out! Thanks.

  6. Mango Salad looks so tasty and delicious. Loved the chana dal a well. Simple yet mouthwatering.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  7. Love the sweet and spicy combo. That mango salad is so colorful and sounds really delicious. How can you go wrong with anything mango? ;)

  8. Both sound SOOO GOOD! I have chana dal in the cabinet, just begging to be used!

  9. gorgeous salad! Mangoes are the fruits of Gods, and you are surely pleasing them with this dish!

  10. wow what acolorful n flavorful salad ...very new n delicious combo ...n chana masala is my all time favorite ..yummy ..first time to ur blog n i got a such a beautiful visual treat ...glad to find u

    if u get time do visit my blog


  11. Your rotis are so perfect looking! I have zero roti making skills but I really like eating them. I imagine I'd like them even better with your channa daal :)

  12. Everything on this page looks so good! And I've already eaten! Have to try mango on my oatmeal but you know. Fortunately, you don't have to be Indian to appreciate the magnificence that is a mango :)))

  13. first time at your blog !!love the dishes !! lovely mango salad!! am following ur blog now

  14. mango salad is very appetizing....