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Manga pachidi|Mango pachidi

Manga Pachidi, is a traditional South-Indian side dish, which is sweet and sour unlike the usual Pachidis that is generally curd based, made with vegetables finely chopped/grated,  tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves. As mentioned before, this Pachidi is an exception, it’s a concoction of mangoes, jaggery and spices like turmeric, dry chilli and dry neem flowers. It is a must on tamil new year menu as it signifies Arusuvai, the six tastes that form the categories.

Manga Pachidi signifies “Arusuvai”, meaning six tastes perceived by the tongue. The sweetness comes jaggery, tangy flavor from green mangoes, bitterness from neem flowers, heat from dry chilli, astringent from turmeric and salty taste from salt. Made every new year to convey year ahead is going to be bit of everything.

Ingredients you will need:

1 large Raw mango, a tangy variety
3/4 cups Jaggery, grated
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 dried red Chilies
Salt -to taste
1/2 tbsp Neem Flowers (Optional but A must on 1st day of year, at our place)

Preparation:

Wash and peel the mangoes. (I have made this recipe peeling the mangoes as well with the skin and both the time it tasted good). Slice the mango roughly into flat pieces. Avoid cutting them into chunks or into tiny pieces.

If you know the jaggery you bought has scum: In a pan, over medium heat, add jaggery and equal amount of water. Bring it to a boil and strain it to remove any scum. Set aside.

In a pan, add oil, once hot add mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter, add dry chillies (broken into halves) and then add turmeric and cut mangoes. Stir it well and add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes.

Add salt and continue cooking (without the lid) for another 6-8 minutes or until it really soft.

Now add the grated Jaggery and 1/2 cup water or the strained jaggery water, stir and simmer further for another 10 minutes or until it comes together into a thick sauce.

If you are adding dry neem flowers: In a small pan, add a tsp of oil/ghee. Once hot, add dry neem flowers and stir till its dark brown and add to the pachidi. Attention: The neem flowers tends to burn pretty quickly!

Pressure Cooker Method: The pressure cooker method is much easier. Instead of cooking over stove top, I pressure cook it for 3 whistles. Like mentioned above, Strain the jaggery and set aside.

In the pan, over medium heat, add oil and mustard seeds and once they crackle add chillies. As the color of chillies turn light brown add jaggery water and salt. Then add the cooked mango pieces and cook until it comes together into a thick sauce.

Happy Cooking

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June 2017
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