Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kairichi Daal

I follow many rituals not so much because I believe in them.. but mostly because these rituals bring back fond memories of my childhood.. these rituals magically take me back to my hometown - Pune!

It is summer here and I was talking to a friend about what all we can make from a raw mango aka kairi in Indian summers. As we started talking I remembered Haladi-Kunku festivities that usually happen in early summer (chaitra). The concept of Haladi-Kunku seems similar to a girls' night out to me. It means having a good time with your girlfriends, chit chat, gossip and of course yummy food.. A typical menu is Kairichi Daal and Panha! Raw mango/Kairi is the main ingredient in both..

My aaji (grandma) tells me that in her days Haldi-Kunku was a rare and special occasion to dress up, to relax with friends etc. etc.. When I was growing up most of my Mom's friends were working women and it was tough for them to find time on weekday evenings for Haldi-Kunku. But while managing their jobs, families and other commitments they still attended and enjoyed these festivities. Now in my generation we have a girls' night out and don't bother to cook at all - we eat out... Panha is replaced by cosmo or margaritas and Kairichi daal with finger food.

No matter what generation though somethings have not changed - The tangy spicy taste of kairichi daal, the unique cooling effect of panha.. and most of all the compulsive need for girlfriends to get together to relax, gossip and have a good time!

Source: Aai (Mom)

Time: 30 mins + few hours to soak the chana daal


  • 2 cups Chana daal
  • little over 1/2 cup of shredded raw mango/kairi
  • 1 small green chili
  • 1/2 tsp shredded ginger
  • salt and sugar to taste
  • lemon juice to compensate for a not-so-sour kairi
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chili
  • pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves


Soak chana daal for a 4-6 hours in water. Remove water from soaked chana daal and grind it really coarsely. You should see broken pieces of daal to get the perfect texture. Mix in finely chopped green chili and ginger. Add shredded kairi, salt and a bit of sugar to taste. If the kairi is not sour enough add lemon juice to adjust taste. This mixture itself tastes yumm..

Now heat the oil in a small pan for tadka. Add mustard seeds and hing to the heated oil. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter add dry red chili, curry leaves and turmeric powder. Mix well and pour this tadka over the chana daal mixture. Mix well.

Garnish with fresh coconut and coriander leaves and must must enjoy with a chilled glass of Panha!! - Panha recipe will be out by tomorrow.

Chana Dal on Foodista


  1. OK, so this recipe is very similar to what gujjus know as "Sev khamani". Few differences - that has lots of garlic, sev, dadam and no mango.
    One day we are going to do a Gujarati/Maharashtrian potluck with very very similar recipes and figure out who copied whom :D or.... not and just enjoy the food!!
    Also, the equivalent of panha in gujarati - baaflo.

  2. Hi, I'm not really familiar with this dish and the cuisine, but I definitely get that nostalgic feeling as well, when it comes to food ..especially those we used to eat a lot or served to us when we were still young. :) The memories.. :) Anyway, it looks pretty much doable, I'll just need to get hold of some other ingredients i dont have in my kitchen.. Thanks for sharing hun! Id love to share this to my friends in Foodista , I hope you don't mind. Just add the foodista widget for chana dal at the end of this post, and that should do it! Thanks and please keep on sharing :) Love learning about new food and new recipes,

    Cheers from Australia
    Amy @ Foodista

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  4. I think that old rituals will soon disappear from life of most humankind because of total globalization. Most of people follow traditions without any reason just because they used to. That’s why more and more rituals become forgotten these days. We need to be more conscious about it and be aware of losing our culture in that way. However, don’t want to be so blue, great recipe I will definitely try out and make it up for my girlfriend next weekend he really like this type of food. In addition, if you will ever need papers you should definitely read testimonials on Samedayessay. It would help you a lot with deciding what service you should use.