Recently, on a Maharashtrian food forum that I am a part of, I read the recipe for Vatli Dal. As soon as I read it, I was smiling because it was nothing but Patholi, aclassic Andhra dish made with soaked Chana Dal that has been ground to a paste. We make it often at home either in its simple form or then as Menthi Kura Patholi with fenugreek leaves. What caught my eye was a variation that used grated raw/unripe mango (Kairi in Marathi or Mammidikaya in Telugu). Given that I am a great lover of mangoes, this weekend featured Mammidikaya Patholi on the menu and it turned out to be quite a treat.
While Maharashtrians seems to savour Vatli Dal as a snack along with Panha, in Andhra Pradesh, we mix it with rice. Either way, it tastes awesome. Mammidikaya Patholi or Kairichi Vatli Dal eaten by itself is a great, protein-rich healthy snack.
How to Make Mammidikaya Patholi | Kairichi Vatli Dal
Mammidikaya Patholi - Kairichi Vatli Dal
This recipe for Mammidikaya Patholi is inspired by the Maharashtrian Kairichi Vatli Dal. It is a healthy, protein rich snack or can alternate as a dry curry.
1CupChana Dal/Husked Bengal Gram
3/4CupGrated Unripe Mango, Kairi or Mammidikaya
1/2tspRed Chilli Powder
1tspRai or Mustard Seeds
1tspUdad Dal or Husked Black Gram
2tspChana Dal or Husked Bengal Gram
2 or 3Red Chillies
1/8tspHaldi or Turmeric
2Large PinchesHing or Asafoetida
A Few Curry Leaves
Salt to Taste
Soak the Chana Dal in 2.5 cups water for at least 4 hours.
Drain the water completely from the Chana Dal.
Grind the Chana Dal to a coarse paste along with salt, turmeric, and chilli powder.
In a heavy-bottomed kadai or wok, heat the oil.
Add rai and wait till it splutters.
Add the udad dal and fry till it is light brown.
Add the split red chillies and fry for 5-7 seconds.
Add the curry leaves and hing.
Fry for 5-7 seconds.
Add the Chana Dal paste.
Cook while stirring occasionally till the Chana Dal paste is cooked and mostly dry.
Add the grated mango and mix well.
If you are a Maharashtrian, serve Kairichi Vatli Dal as a snack. If you are an Andhra, mix Mammidikaya Patholi with rice and ghee. Or you can do both. 🙂
Use as little water as possible in the dal paste. This will help it cook faster and with lesser amount of oil.
If your dal paste is watery, strain it through a cloth to get rid of as much water as possible.
Matki Chi Usal is found in almost all Maharashtrian homes and is very popular with Mumbaikars as well; you will find many a street food stall selling Usal Pav (along with the popular Misal Pav, which uses Usal as a base) at lunch.
Usal is a generic term for sprouted beans curry. You can make it with many a dried bean or a mix of several beans (moong, matki, vatana, etc.). Given that beans form the bulk of the usal, it is protein-rich and spicy to boot!
Notice how traditional food pairs different nutrition components. Protein is best digested if there is carbohydrate accompanying it. Usal (protein) is eaten with chapati/poli or pav (carb). 🙂
One of the most popular versions of Usal is made with Matki (Moth Beans). Today, I made a quick and easy version with store-bought Goda Masala.
Sprouting Time: 16 Hours
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Matki – 3/4 Cup
Onion – 1 Large
Tomato – 2 Large
Ginger – 1″ piece
Garlic – 4 Cloves
Goda Masala – 3/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Grated Jaggery – 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds or Rai – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds or Jeera – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – 6 to 8
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Method to Sprout Matki
Soak the matki in 2 cups of water for about 6 to 8 hours.
Drain the water.
Place the soaked beans in a large vessel and cover.
Place at a dry, warm place for about 8 hours to sprout.
Rinse the sprouts.
Method to Make the Matki Chi Usal
Peel and chop the onion into large pieces.
Chop the tomatoes into large pieces.
Peel the ginger and garlic.
Grind the tomato, onion, ginger and garlic into a smooth paste.
In a wok, heat the oil.
Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry till they start to change colour.
Add the curry leaves and stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add the tomato-onion paste and stir-fry till the raw smell disappears and the paste thickens.
Add the turmeric, goda masala, and red chilli powder.
Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the matki sprouts.
Add 2 cups of water and mix well.
Cook covered, while stirring occasionally, till the sprouts soften.
Add some more water, if required to form a gravy of pouring consistency.
Add grated jaggery and salt.
Serve hot with rotis or pav.
If you do not have access to Goda Masala, you could add garam masala.
If you don’t have matki, use any sprouts that you have handy.
Mumbai mid-range restaurants tend to have an extensive menu. You could easily find 15 to 20 dishes under each category, and 8 to 10 categories of food. If the restaurant serves multiple cuisines or both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, then the list is even longer.
When I am in mood for comfort food I typically order Dal Fry, Jeera Rice, and Hara Bhara Kabab. Sometimes, when mood takes hold, I order a variation of Dal Fry called Dal Palak, which is Dal Fry with Spinach.
Dal Palak literally means lentils with spinach. I made it this week because we had 4 bunches of spinach at home and I had to use all of it up in rush! Expect more spinach-laden recipes in the near future.
Time: 45 Mins
Spinach – 1 Large Bunch (Should yield 2 packed cups of chopped Spinach leaves)
Tomato – 2 Medium
Tuvar Dal or Pigeon Pea – 2/3 cup
Grated Ginger – 1/2 tsp
Garlic – 3 pods
Red Chillies – 2
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Salt to Taste
Soak the dal in 1.5 cups water for 15 minutes.
Pressure cook the dal till it is completely mashable.
Retain the water in the dal and mash it completely.
Wash and chop the spinach leaves into small pieces.
Chop the tomato to fine pieces.
Heat the ghee.
Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
Add the garlic pods and stir-fry till the garlic turns light brown.
Break the red chillies in half and add to the ghee.
Stir-fry for a minute.
Add the tomato pieces and stir-fry till the tomato is completely stewed.
Mumbai Street Food or Bombay Street Food in unique in so many ways. It is not junk food but economical nourishing sustenance. Think about it; Vada-Pav is loaded with carbs but wa originally meant for people involved in hard labour. They needed it. And so cheap. Fill your stomach for INR 8-10. Misal-Pav combines proteins and carbs, and keeps you from feeling hungry for a significant part of the day. I could go on and on and on… 🙂
In the same vein, another favourite food of Mumbaikars is Egg Bhurji or Anda Bhurji; scrambled eggs, Mumbai-ishtyle. And Mumbai being all-embracing has a veggie equivalent of this dish in the form of Paneer Bhurji aka Crumbled Cottage Cheese.
Paneer Bhurji gets done in a jiffy and is protein-laden. Typically served with Pao or Pav (or local Indian bread), Paneer Bhurji is now available on menus of most local eateries. I like mine simple and teekha (spicy), but you can impart absolutely any flavour to it.