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Cook this: Lentil and mango salad from Chetna's Healthy Indian, Vegetarian

Our cookbook of the week is Chetna’s Healthy Indian: Vegetarian by Chetna Makan. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the author.

To try another recipe from the book, check out: Spinach and coconut dal .

Chetna Makan first tried this combination of soaked lentils and fresh mangoes at a woman named Jayashree’s house in Delhi. “ I was blown away actually, and just absolutely so grateful to her,” says Makan. “ It was new to me, and I have had a lot of Indian food. But apparently where (Jayashree) comes from in the south of India, this is very, very common.”

Part of a feast including spinach and coconut dal, podi potatoes and thoran (Makan’s take, cabbage and green bean sabji, is also in the book), “she cooked 10 different things in a couple of hours in her tiniest of kitchens.”

Summer is the season for mangoes, and for Makan, the “revelatory” dish has since become a staple. While green mangoes are preferred, you can substitute any unripe mango if you’re unable to source them.


For the salad:
100 g (3 1/2 oz) split moong dal
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 raw green or unripe mango, peeled and finely chopped

For the tadka:
1 tbsp (15 mL) rapeseed oil
1 tsp (5 mL) black mustard seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) chili flakes
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

Step 1

Soak the moong dal in a bowl of cold water for 3–4 hours, then drain thoroughly. Return to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.

Step 2

To make the tadka, heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to sizzle, remove the pan from the heat and add the chilli flakes and salt. Pour this over the salad.

Step 3

Drizzle the salad with the lemon juice, toss it all well and serve.

Step 4

This will last in the fridge for a couple of days.

Serves: 4

Excerpted from Chetna’s Healthy Indian: Vegetarian by Chetna Makan. Copyright © Chetna Makan 2020. Photography by Nassima Rothacker. Published in 2020 by Mitchell Beazley, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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