Sweet mangai pachidi - A side dish that is sweet and made with raw mangoes cooked in a jaggery syrup. Mainly made during the Tamil new year. It can also be had as a dessert. Wonderful mouth puckering flavours - sweet and sour at the same time!
Tamil puthandu or varsha pirapu marks the beginning of Tamil New year. It usually falls on the mid April of every year depending on the solar calendar. Asides the ritual and prayers, a feast is prepared. Mangai pachidi is a part of this tamil puthandu spread.
Mangai pachidi represents arusuvai (portmanteau of words aru plus suvai meaning six tastes), a philosophy that is deemed important by the Tamil culture. An ideal meal must have all these six tastes. Aru suvai is sweet, bitter, sour, salty, astringent and pungent. It symbolically says that our lives should be well balanced with everything. As per Ayurveda, these six tastes points to six energies in the body that is necessary for internal balance.
In this recipe, we have chillies for pungency, salt, jaggery for sweetness, raw mango for sourness and turmeric - astringent.
Wonder what gives bitterness in this dish ? Neem flowers. Yes, we sprinkle a tad bit of neem flowers at the end.
Mangai Pachidi Recipe
There is no exact recipe for this dish. The ratio of the ingredients depend on the sourness of the raw mangoes and how much sweetness you prefer. Taste and decide accordingly. The dish will be sour, sweet and spicy at the same time. 🙂
The final dish is a sticky sauce consistency due to jaggery. It thickens as it cools.
Mangai sweet pachidi - Tamil new years special sweet
- 2 cups thinly sliced raw mangoes refer notes
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 to 1 cup powdered jaggery refer notes
- A pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 to 3 dry red chillies, break each into half
- In a saucepan add the sliced mangoes and water enough to immerse them. Cover and cook until they become tender for about 5 minutes. Keep adding water if it gets dried. Add water only if needed.
Meanwhile, melt the jaggery in 2 tablespoons of warm water. Filter it and strain, if needed. Keep it aside.
Once the mangoes are cooked, add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and the melted jaggery. Keep stirring for another 5-8 minutes, until it starts thickening and comes to a sauce consistency.
Heat ghee in a pan, temper it with mustard seeds, red chillies and urad dal. Add it to the pachadi and serve at room temperature. It is usually served as a part of of a feast meal.
The amount mentioned for the ingredients depends on how sour your raw mango is. So adjust it accordingly. Taste testing while cooking is highly recommended.
You can substitute jaggery with brown sugar. The texture will be slightly different.
Adding neem leaves is a traditional practice. Omit if it is not available.