How to make Mangai/Raw Mango Pachadi
Chithirai thiru naal/Tamizh Puthaandu or commonly known as Tamil new year's day comes every April. The feast on this day, will invariably include neem flowers, in at least one of the dishes; either veppam poo(neem flower) pachadi, veppam poo rasam or at the very least hidden in the mango pachadi. Adding a small amount of neem flowers to the mango pachadi is the best way to mask its bitterness in the sweet,sour & spicy mango pachadi.
If you have never tasted or are reluctant to try neem flowers - let me guarantee that using a smaller quantity & frying them in ghee does help a lot with the bitterness. You can also skip those miniature bitter flowers and enjoy your mango (sour & spicy, with a hint of sweetness) pachadi this new years day.
இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!
1 raw/green mango(about 3 cups) - chopped or shaved without skin
1/4 tbsp, jaggery
1/4 tsp, turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp, dried neem flower (cleaned for impurities) - can add more or skip completely
1 tbsp, ghee
Grind to a fine paste:
2 tbsp, grated coconut
2 green chillies
(sprinkle some water for grinding)
1 tbsp, oil
a pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp, mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
1 broken, dry red chilli
Steps to clean the neem flower -
- Hand pick any large impurities from the neem flowers.
- Soak the neem flowers in a bowl of water for about 2 minutes, to let the impurities settle down.
- Remove the neem flowers from the water, leaving behind the dirt on the bottom of the bowl.
- Remove excess water from the neem flowers using a kitchen towel or a paper towel. Spread on another dry paper towel, until ready to fry.
Stove top method:
- Cover & cook the mango with 1/2 a cup of water, salt & turmeric powder, just until soft.
- Add the ground coconut+green chilli paste & jaggery & cook for a few more minutes, until the raw smell of the chillies disappear.
- Heat a small kadai/pan with ghee, add the cleaned (dry) neem flowers to it & fry on medium low heat, until the flowers turn dark brown & crisp. Now add the fried neem flowers to the cooked mango.
- Heat the kadai again with oil, start with mustard seeds & add all the ingredients listed under tempering. Turn off the heat when the tempering ingredients are crisp & transfer to the cooked mango mixture.
- Serve delicious mango pachadi with a meal platter & enjoy.
- If you prefer, you can make the pachadi with more water.
- If your mango is not sour enough, you can add some tamarind water/paste to it while cooking.
This mouth watering recipe of Amma's was duly noted down by me, long long ago, so long ago as it has been my forever favorite item to feast on, on Tamil new years day. Sharing it with Sri Valli's CCC# 31: April -- Week 2.