Traditionally, this dish is made using fresh grated coconut ground to a paste along with some cumin seeds. I make it that way, but many times I take the easier route and use coconut milk powder - quite readily available in most shops - and do most of the cooking in the microwave. It's a bit faster, but more importantly it's a lot less work.
- about 3/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 green chili - slit lengthwise (I forgot to add them while taking the photo)
- 1/2 cup yogurt
After the mango pieces are cooked through, they need to be mashed a bit. Not mashed to a pulp, but just a bit so they lose their shape. Then, add
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp (heaped) of coconut milk powder
- About 1 cup yogurt to make a creamy sauce.
The mixture should be allowed to cook only until comes to a boil and immediately take out of the microwave (or off the stove/heat if that's how you are cooking). If cooked any longer, the yogurt can start to split up and the sauce looses it's creamy appearance. Check for salt and add if necessary.
Tempering: The flavour in this dish comes mainly from the tempering that is mixed in after the cooking is done. Traditional Kerala cuisine uses coconut oil, and that is what I use for this purpose, but it can be substituted with cooking oil such sunflower/canola/safflower. NOT ghee/butter/olive oil. Heat about 2 tsp of oil, and once it gets hot enough, you would need to add the following in the same order as listed.
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 dry red chili broken into half
- About 7-8 curry leaves
- About 10-12 methi/fenugreek seeds. I know it sounds ridiculous to count methi/fenugreek seeds, but adding any more would make the dish bitter, and I don't know how much of a teaspoon this would be :D
- Immediately following the fenugreek seeds, add a pinch of asafoetida/hing.
Right after putting in the hing/asafoetida, take off the heat and pour this into the prepared curry and mix it in. Cover and keep aside for about 5-10 minutes to allow the flavour to mix in. Serve hot with rice.
Two things to remember while making this dish:
- The mango used for the dish should not be too sweet. I have read recipes where it is advised to add a bit of sugar to make the dish a bit sweet, but I personally do not like sweet-tasting curries, and I prefer making it without added sugar or with sweeter mangoes.
- Use only plain, unflavored yogurt to make this dish. The yogurt has to be tangy for the real flavour of the dish to come through. This is a little difficult to achieve with regular store-bought yogurt, so it is best to use homemade yogurt.
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