The Washington Post

Mango Dal

Mango Dal 4.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Apr 1, 2020

This silky dal, a typical dish from India made with legumes, is brightened by the addition of mango. Served with rice or bread — we favor naan — it can serve as a main course, but it also works well as a side.

If you prefer to leave the mango in pieces, add them to the pot along with the garlic, chiles and curry leaves.

This recipes doubles easily.

Make Ahead: The split pigeon peas must be soaked for 1 hour. The cooked peas can be refrigerated for a few days until you're ready to use them, and the finished dish can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 4 cups

  • 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, unsalted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 small dried red chile peppers, torn in half
  • 4 or 5 curry leaves, torn in half (optional)
  • 1/2 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • Flesh of 2 large ripe mangoes, pureed with a blender, immersion blender or food processor (1 cup; may substitute canned or frozen mango pulp)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste


Rinse the peas in a strainer or colander under cool running water, swirling constantly. Transfer the peas to a medium bowl and cover with water to soak for 1 hour at room temperature. Drain and transfer to a medium pot, and add the 4 cups of water. Cook until the peas are very soft and the water is almost completely absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the cooked peas to a bowl, and then rinse and dry the pot.

Return the pot to the stove and, over medium heat, melt the ghee. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to crackle, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, chiles and curry leaves, if using, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add the onion to the pot, and cook, stirring frequently until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the cooked peas to the pot, and add the mango puree. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, letting the dal simmer until the flavors are combined, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of salt, then taste and more as necessary before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Washington culinary instructor and cookbook author Rupen Rao.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using ghee): 315

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 9g 14%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 404mg 17%

Total Carbohydrates: 49g 16%

Dietary Fiber: 9g 36%

Sugar: 25g

Protein: 10g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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