An easy and delicious summer dip that combines the quick-cooking lentils with the fragrant flavour of fresh, ripe mangoes and Indian spices.
- ¼ cup split moong dal (yellow lentils) Click here to buy
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon red chili, ground
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- ½ a green chili, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin, ground
- ½ a ripe large mango, peeled and diced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil Click here to buy
- Place water, turmeric, and ground red chili in a small saucepan and bring the water to boil.
- Rinse the lentils with water and drain. Add lentils to boiling water and allow lentils to come to a rolling boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the saucepan, leaving lid slightly ajar. Simmer until the lentils are tender and creamy, about 20 minutes.
- Add salt and continue to simmer 5 more minutes. If lentils are dry, add ¼ cup water.
- Allow lentils to cool in pan covered, about 15 minutes. This will also allow lentil to absorb water.
- Drain the lentils in a fine-mesh sieve.
- Transfer the lentils to a food processor and add garlic, fresh coriander, green chili, lime juice, cumin, and olive oil. Blend briefly until smooth.
- Add mango and pulse just until mixed. Do not over grind.
- Adjust seasonings and transfer dip to a serving bowl. Refrigerate for ½ hour and serve with chips.
Tips: If you want to prepare the dip in advance, boil the moong dal and keep refrigerated for up to two days. Combine remaining ingredients just half an hour before serving. Pureed un-cooked mango will change color and flavor over an extended period of time, so serve on the same day.
The best mango to use is one that is ripe but firm, and just ripe. If your mango is over-ripe, it will tend to be watery and very sweet. You may have to adjust the salt and lime juice to balance the acidity in the dip. If the dip is slightly watery, you can add a little more olive oil to make it more viscous.
Do not add salt when you start to boil the lentils or you will get chewy rather than creamy lentils, although they will boil faster. It is always better to add the salt at the tail end of cooking lentils and beans.
I prefer moong as a lentil as it is creamy and does not have a strong flavour of its own. It also cooks quickly. However, white urad dal will also work well. If you don’t have green chilies, feel free to use jalapeños. I personally like the flavour of the little bits of green chili in the dip. Most Indian households have roasted cumin. It’s easy – just roast 6-8 tablespoons on a hot skillet or pan until it is fragrant and brown. Grind it in a spice grinder or coffee grinder, and store it in a tightly shut glass bottle. If you choose to use regular ground cumin (unroasted), that is fine too. Just add it to the dal while it is boiling, because it doesn’t have great flavour or mouthfeel when added directly to the dip. And you definitely need a ripe mango! Raw mango is going to give a terrible texture!