Kairichi Dal is a yellow split pea salad made in the spring. Kairi is raw mango and dal is the chana dal or yellow split peas used for this dish. It is traditionally served in these eco friendly leaf containers!
Hindu New Year starts with the month of Chaitra. The exact date is based on the lunar calendar but generally falls around the end of March and is marked by a number of spring festivals. One of the gatherings at this time is the women’s Chaitra Gouri haldi kunku. Girls and women of all ages get together for food, chit chat and games. In the olden days, it gave women a chance to host each other, catch up and get some exercise playing the traditional games like fugadi, kombda and zhimma, to name a few. Last year one of my friends hosted this haldi kunku and most of us found the traditional games very challenging!
The raw mangoes are plentiful and fresh at this time of the year. The traditional food served at this event is the Kairichi dal and panha, both using the raw mangoes of the season.
Raw mangoes are rich in vitamin A and C, calcium, iron and magnesium and combined with the protein rich dal, it makes Kairichi dal both nutritious and lip smacking good!
This year, with the pandemic, I was waiting for a long time to get raw mangoes from the store. When I finally was able to get some this week, I decided to make kairichi dal.
The recipe is simple and easy to make. Hope you enjoy it too.
- 5 cups chana dal/ yellow split peas
- 1 small green chili pepper, or according to taste
- 1 cup peeled and grated raw mango
- ½ teaspoon aamchur powder (optional and only if the raw mango is not sour enough)
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup grated fresh coconut (or frozen coconut, defrosted)
- A big handful of cilantro/ coriander leaves, chopped
For the tempering-
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 4 dried red chilies
- 10~12 fresh curry leaves
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida powder (hing)
To make the Kairichi Dal-
- Wash and soak the chana dal, for 4 hours in plenty of water.
- Drain the dal and discard the water. Grind it coarsely with the green chili pepper in a food processor or pound it coarsely.
- To the coarsely ground dal, add the peeled and grated raw mango, aamchur (if using), salt, sugar, coconut and cilantro leaves. Combine well.
- For the tempering, heat the oil on medium heat. Lower the heat and add the mustard seeds. When they start to sputter, add the dry red chilies, curry leaves and the asafetida/ hing powder.
- Add the tempering to the ground dal mixture. Mix well and serve!