Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Palakura Pullakura (Spinach~Mango Dal)

I mentioned few times here on Mahanandi that I do not know much about the cuisine of Telangana, one of the three regional cuisines of Andhra. One reader picked up on that and mailed me her family recipes from Telangana region. It is surprising and very encouraging to see such passionate sharing of family heirlooms. Thanks Vijaya! Among her recipes, Palakura Pullakura with spinach and unripe mango caught my attention. This recipe is different from the preparations to which I am accustomed. No toor dal, but moong dal and chana dal used together. I have never heard of this combination before. I wanted to try this for JFI-WBB: Greens and made it for lunch.

To my delight, it came out exceptionally well. The combination of moong dal and chana dal worked. Who knew? The pleasant, mild taste of spinach balances and complements the sour and strong taste of raw mango. I can certainly give an A+ to this recipe. Long live Telangana cuisine, may it be part of Andhra Pradesh forever!

Spinach and Unripe Green Mango
Spinach and Unripe Green Mango


Half cup each – moong dal and chana dal
One or about 1 cup – unripe mango pieces
One bunch spinach – washed and chopped
10 to 12 green chillies (small Indian variety) – finely chopped
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt

For popu or tadka:
1 tablespoon oil
¼ tsp each – chopped garlic, dried red chilli pieces, curry leaves, hing, cumin and mustard seeds

I roasted the moong dal first to light brown color, because I prefer the roasted taste to plain. Then took them in a pressure cooker. Added chana dal and washed the dals together once.

Next, I added the unripe mango pieces, spinach, green chillies and turmeric along with about 4 cups of water to pressure cooker. Covered and cooked for one whistle. The recipe instructions say do not cook more than one whistle, maintain chana dal integrity. So to do that, I turned off the heat after one whistle and waited for the valve pressure to get released. Once the valve pressure cleared, I opened the lid and added salt. Mixed and Mashed the dal lightly.

Time for the final step – popu or tadka. Heated the oil in a pan and toasted the popu ingredients listed above one after another in the order written. When mustard seeds start to jump around, I added the mashed dal to the popu and mixed everything thoroughly.

I also fried some papadams, sundried yogurt chillies and pumpkin vadiyams (courtesy of my blog neighbor Mythili of Vindu who returned from India trip recently.) to accompany the dal and rice. Served hot with rice and little bit of ghee, and a cup of yogurt on the side, our meal today was heartwarming and fulfilling. Thanks Vijaya for this family recipe and thanks Mythili for the tasty vadiyams. Here is to the power of sharing!

Palakura Pullakura with rice and ghee with a Side Snack of Sundried yogurt Chillies and Pumpkin Fritters

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chana Dal,Mamidikaya (Green Mango),Moong Dal (Washed),Spinach (Tuesday April 3, 2007 at 11:08 pm- permalink)
Comments (39)

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39 comments for Palakura Pullakura (Spinach~Mango Dal) »

  1. hey i am first one to comment!!!
    i love this combo indira!!
    my mom used to make but i never tried, will definitely give it a go as i havespinach in the fridge!!

    Comment by padmaja — April 4, 2007 @ 4:03 am

  2. Indira I’m salivating at the thought of raw mango. The Dal combo too is a change from the regular tur that we use. I’ll make it with long sliced onions included. Yum. I visualize you liking you fingers. Did you?

    Comment by Anjali — April 4, 2007 @ 5:14 am

  3. Hi Indira,

    I have Spinach in my fridge and was thinking of making pappu adding pesarapappu. I opened Mahanandi as usual in the morning and found a different Recipe. Since I also have raw mango I will do the pappu as given by you.

    It is nice of you to learn about traditional regional recipes prepare them and share it with all of us. Keep up the excellent work.

    Wishing you all the best in all your future endeavors.


    Comment by Sarada — April 4, 2007 @ 5:55 am

  4. Hey Indira,
    Looks yummy! I love your meal. Where is the picture of the pumpkin fritters and majjiga mirapakayalu? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Its 8:30 in the morning and I am hungry already!

    Comment by Latha — April 4, 2007 @ 6:47 am

  5. dear indira, as i found out where the three regions of andhra were, i thought i could share this info with your readers as well.




    Comment by bee — April 4, 2007 @ 6:52 am

  6. Hi Indira , This combination is very intersting.Thanks for sharing.I made your Tomato Dal and it was great.Thanks.

    Comment by Durga — April 4, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  7. Hey Indira, We make this dal only with toor dal and my mom not only makes it with spinach but amaranth and gangavayilu kura too. We used to get to eat so much of this kind of dal in summers . It makes me nostalgic. I think the best combination would be gangavayilu and mamidikaya.

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — April 4, 2007 @ 10:34 am

  8. That bunch of fresh spinach sure looks good…I have made something similar using just chana daal, garlic and spinach. it came out very nice. Goes well with Parathas..
    10-12 chilies, Indira, wow… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comment by Trupti — April 4, 2007 @ 11:30 am

  9. Hi Indira,
    I have tried this and it was YUMMY. My husband and me liked it a lot.
    Thank you,

    Comment by Suhasini — April 4, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

  10. Interesting recipe! Beautiful picture Indira.

    Comment by Kanchana — April 4, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  11. hi Indira,
    My mum makes this with toordhal only, its tastes great. She adds green mango with the skin and so does my father in law…..but my MIL disagrees so i want to stir things up again …and make this dhal this weekend what is your opinion on raw mango skin?

    Comment by freshma — April 4, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

  12. Oh, now this looks fabulous! How lovely indeed, to have such generous friends!
    I think I will try this with the mango in brine – that’s packed with so many chiles I could skip them ๐Ÿ˜‰ As usual, the photo is beautiful.

    Comment by Linda — April 4, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

  13. wow never tried mango with spinach, picture looks very nice. interesting recipe!

    Comment by Roopa — April 4, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

  14. Hmmm, Maintain channa dal integrity? ๐Ÿ™‚ I liked that.

    I”ve just recently stopped using pressure cooker to cook dal, except for beans like garbanzo and rajma and occasionally for tur dal. I, too, roast mung dal and masoor dal (broken one, not whole) before cooking them. I think that brings out the flavors better.

    I’ve never tried to cook mango with dal. Just read Trupti’s comments and went back to read the recipe. 10-12 chillies? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


    Comment by Kay — April 4, 2007 @ 6:33 pm

  15. I liked the idea of mango and spinach together in a dal. That would be great. Thanks

    Comment by Sandeepa — April 4, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

  16. Very nice…spinach and mango together …now i am curious about the taste!thanks Indira and Vijaya

    Comment by madhuli — April 4, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

  17. Indira-
    That looks wonderful, the gravy is even coloured a nice green; it looks like the moong dhal falls apart while the channa stays intact- interesting, and I like the subtle use of cumin and garlic. You do indeed have a treasure of recipes from Vijaya!
    Bee- Thanks for posting those maps; that helped me a great deal as I did not know this state very well…does “Kosta” mean “coast/coastal”?

    Comment by pelicano — April 4, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

  18. Hi Indira,
    I wonder if you still remember me (after the long hiatus that I’ve been taking, I wouldn’t be surprised if my own mom forgot me!) ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that your recipe for upma with tomatoes is mind-boggingly creative…and simple to boot. I’m so trying it out next week on guests…heh heh unsuspecting guinea pigs ๐Ÿ˜›
    Thank you for blogging day in and day out….I find that the best way to relax after a hectic day is with some good food and good blogs ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Nabeela — April 5, 2007 @ 1:55 am

  19. Spinach and dal with mango…does sound mouth watering!

    Comment by Jyothsna — April 5, 2007 @ 4:51 am

  20. Indira,
    This recipe looks delicious. One question: does the raw mango have to be peeled, or did you cook it with the skin on?

    Comment by Kamini — April 5, 2007 @ 8:11 am

  21. Hi INdira
    I love the palakoora combination with mango.
    Maggiga mirapakayalu is my hubby’s favorites!!

    Comment by swapna — April 5, 2007 @ 11:54 am

  22. thats an interesting combo Indira garu
    i went through every recipe of urs
    keep posting

    Comment by anusharaji — April 5, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

  23. indira, the recipe looks delicious. i love using raw mango in dishes. i will try this. do blog more on telangana cuisine.

    Comment by Reena — April 5, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

  24. Wondered if you had the receipe for chinta chiguru pappu?


    Comment by Shanti — April 6, 2007 @ 4:39 am

  25. Hi Indira,
    Looks yummy, Inira if you have recipe for totakura pulusukura ? Please send us.

    Comment by swathi — April 6, 2007 @ 6:55 am

  26. Hi Indira,
    Such a neat idea to combine green mango with spinach. i am sure it must tate heavenly. ๐Ÿ™‚
    thanks for sharing.
    btw, trying to send you mail on –, but it doesnt go through , can you please check it and let me know.

    Comment by Pooja — April 7, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  27. spinach with mangose? never had this combination before. looks so delish. ur blog is a true tressure of andhra cusine..happy easter indira.

    Comment by Maneka Nirmal — April 7, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  28. A very interesting aspect of regional cooking is emerging from the comments to this post, Indira.

    We include the unripe mango as a souring agent in our dals and amtis, as an alternative to tamarind and kokum. There are times when we have both tamarind and unripe mango. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Comment by Manisha — April 7, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

  29. hi,
    Simple and nice recipe. Beautiful picture.

    Comment by Sukanya — April 7, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

  30. Padmaja, glad to hear that your mom makes this recipe.

    Onion addition sounds good, Anjali. about finger licking, I was little bit apprehensive about this recipe being first time and all, so I used a fork. Finger licking is for old favorites only. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mango pesarapappu – that’s one more good recipe with unripe mangoes.
    Thanks Sarada.

    Latha: The red/brownish things in the middle of dal and rice are fritters and dahi mirchi. Courtesy of blog friend Mythili.

    Hi Bee: Thanks very much for posting the links to 3 regions. Very useful and informative. Thanks!

    Hi Durga: Glad to hear that you tried and liked the tomato dal recipe.

    Deepika: Congratulations on your new food blog, my friend.:)
    Dal means nostalgia, isn’t it? I wish we could get all these vegetables here also. lately I am seeing fresh amaranth leaves here in some grocery shops. I have yet to buy. Perhaps next week.

    Trupti: 10-12 chillies, too much huh? ๐Ÿ™‚ But, but … chana dal and mango, they need little bit spicyness, otherwise the dal will taste flat.

    Glad to hear that, Suhasini.

    Thanks Kanchana.

    Freshma: I am also a member of “no peeling the mango skin dal” club.:)

    Both Vijaya and Mythili are really generous to share family heirlooms like this.
    Mango brine dal sounds great, Linda.

    Roopa: Interesting plus tasty as well, this recipe is.

    I am hearing lot of talk about no pressure cookers recently. I don’t understand. Why is that, Kay?
    I use pressure cooker to cook dal and to pressure cook beans like chickpeas etc. and rice. That’s about it. I don’t use it to cook vegetables usually.
    This recipe needs this many chillies for this Andhra vaasi.:) I am going to stick with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hi Sandeepa and Madhuli: It is little bit different but tasted great.

    Hi Pelicano: are you sure you are not from India? ๐Ÿ™‚ You guessed it right. Kosta (Telugu) means coastal in English. Bay of Bengal forms a border Kosta region.

    Missed you Nabeela! Glad to see you back.:) Hope you had wonderful visit to India.
    Guess what I did in your absence? I started Dining Hall. Now I go there to get my daily bashing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks Jyotshna, Swapna and Anusharaji.

    Hi Kamini, I added the mango with skin. It adds little bit extra taste to the dal and I like cooking that way.

    I will definitely, Reena. Thanks.

    Hi Shanti: We do not get chinta chiguru here. I remember seeing chinta chiguru recipe at Sailaja of Sailu’s Food. Check it out.

    Swathi: I totally forgot that recipe, thanks for asking. I will try it out for Greens event.

    Pooja: I emailed you, check it out.

    HI Maneka: Thanks for the wishes and Happy Easter!

    Manisha: Guess what? I have real kokum now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Veena Kindly sent it to me recently.

    Thanks Sukanya.

    Comment by Indira — April 7, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

  31. Hi Indira,

    This combo seems to be very delicious and would like try to do soon.

    Anyhow, you have mentioned pumpkin vadiyams!! Since am going to Chennai during vacation, I too wish to buy the same. Can you tell whether it is yellow pumpkin or white one(ash gourd)??

    Thanks and waiting for yr reply.

    Hi Rama,
    I think they are made from white pumpkin. Pumpkin cooked, grinded with chillies, salt etc, sesame seeds are added and then sun-dried. They are homemade and brought from India, a gift from my blog neighbour and friend – Mythili of Vindu food blog. She can give you more details if you are interested, Rama.

    Comment by Rama — April 8, 2007 @ 4:27 am

  32. Indira,
    I am glad you liked the fritter and the sun-dried chillies. I will post entire pumpkin-fritter making process soon!

    ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Indira replies:
    They were very tasty, thanks Mythili! You are a sweetheart. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I can’t wait to read about the making process at your blog.

    Comment by Mythili — April 8, 2007 @ 10:51 pm

  33. Thanks a lot, Indira..will check that blog and meanwhile, will buy it when go to Chennai.

    Appreciate yr timely favor.


    Comment by Rama — April 9, 2007 @ 2:43 am

  34. Spinach, mango dhal wow! Thanks Indira, another dal to add to my repertoire. I am going on a dal binge this summer, trying out these dals. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Cynthia — April 9, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

  35. Ok. How about a hot-hot review? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just tried this recipe, It turned out great.. Thanks Indira and Vijaya! A wonderful twist to the same old dal-chawal rut. Ofcourse, I lessened the green chillies (had to!). I’d forgotten to add the g.chillies while pressure cooking, so added 3 while seasoning.

    About pressure cooker – well, I love pressure cookers. I think they are God’s gift ๐Ÿ˜‰ to cook rajma and garbanzo beans and many other beans like black eyed beans, whole mung, whole masoor, etc and also hard meat like mutton etc. I also cook, rice and dal in it on most occasions.

    Except for dals like yellow mung dal and broken masoor dal whose ‘integrity’ is lost when pressure cooked. It’s better with tur dal, but still not as good as slow-cooked. This is just my personal preference.. I think, it becomes a bit more mushy, instead of the creaminess that comes when dal is cooked on a thick bottomed pan on stovetop at simmered/medium heat. The pressure cooked dal doesn’t taste bad. It’s good! But the slow-cooked dal tastes better than its pressure cooked counterpart. This I figured out after comparing the taste of mom’s uppu paruppu (just tur dal with salt and eaten with ghee, as first course in most Tamilian feasts) with mine.

    I also prefer not cook greens like spinach or methi in the pressure cooker as I ‘think’ the nutrients are lost and the real taste of the greens has been buried somewhere. I usually, allow the spinach to wilt in the same pan that I use for seasoning (along with the seasoning) and add it to the pressure cooked/slow cooked dal.

    That’s not to say I’ll never cook masoor or mung dal/greens in pressure cooker. It all depends on the time, mood and energy left, at the end of the day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Indira replies:
    Thanks for the ‘hot’ review, Kay. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Glad to hear that you tried and liked this recipe.
    I am relieved to hear about pressure-cooker thing. I received quite a few comments about it, so I was thinking what’s that all about.
    I follow almost the same principles that you mentioned here when I use pressure-cooker.
    Cooking with consciousness is a tough job. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Kay — April 9, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

  36. Tried this recipe today indira.Came out really good and we loved it.I didn’t have spinach at hand, so used green swiss chard instead.This is the first recipe that i tried mixing mango and dal.Glad i found this recipe and thanks for sharing it.BTW, i fried some sundried chillies also…very good combo.

    Indira replies:
    Swiss chard version sounds good, Maheswari. Glad to hear that you tried and liked this recipe. Thanks for letting me know. Yes, definitely tastes much better with some fried sundried chillies and papadams.:)

    Comment by maheswarisubbu — April 11, 2007 @ 10:03 am

  37. Today i tried this recipe indira,it really came out well.After a long time different taste in dals,me and my husband loved it,i use only pressure cooker to cook dals.

    Comment by Parvathi — April 18, 2007 @ 11:44 am

  38. Again, lovely recipe Indira – one of my favourites. Adding the raw mango simply enhances the taste. I made it – it was simply tasty. The pics are absolute winners. The pic on top – the suva – looks so green and fresh. keep it going Indira.

    Indira replies:
    Your kind words mean a lot to me Pritya. Thanks very much!
    I am glad to hear that you tried and liked this recipe. Thanks for taking time and letting me know. I greatly appreciate your input.

    Comment by pritya — April 18, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

  39. […] Serve with warm rice, dal and ghee.รƒฦ’รขโ‚ฌลกรƒโ€šร‚ย  Check out how Indira did it here. […]

    Pingback by Vindu » Ash gourd Fritters — June 22, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

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