Food / Recipes

Maa Vathal Kuzhambu – Sun dried mango gravy

Certain varieties of mangoes grown in India are sun dried at the peak of the summer and stored for consumption later during the year. They are stored in air tight containers and are put to use in many recipes in the South of India. Here’s one such recipe from The Chettinad Cookbook co- authored by Mrs. Meyyammai Murugappan that is a must try!

Also, we’re organizing a vegetarian chettinad cookery workshop in Chennai by her. Should you wish to particiate, here are the event details:


  • Sun dried raw mango / Maanga vathal- 1 cup
  • Red gram dhal / Toor – 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Chopped tomatoes – 1
  • Shallots/ small onions – 8-10
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Tamarind – size of half a lemon
  • Mustard seed – 1/2 tsp
  • Black gram dhal (Urad dhal) – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Water – 2 cups + 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp


  1. Soak dried mango in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and wash under running water. Set aside
  2. Pressure cook the red gram dhal in 2 cups of water along with turmeric powder
  3. Add the dried raw mango to the cooked dhal and cook for a few minutes
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and shallots into the dhal mixture
  5. Add chilli and coriander powders and cook until the dried raw mango is tender.
  6. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water and extract juice. Add the tamarind extract to the dhal and dried raw mango gravy
  7. Add salt and allow to slow cook until gravy thickens
  8. Now for tempering, heat oil until hot and not smoky, add mustard, black gram dhal and cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add it to the gravy
  9. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from heat
  10. Serve hot with rice

Note: Similar to maa vathal, kathrikkai (eggplant) vathal/ avarakkai vathal can also be substituted using the same recipe.This pairs very well with a nice soft kal dosai and/or steaming hot idlies too 🙂

(photo courtesy: The Chettinad Cookbook)


About Author

The musings of two Chennaiites seeking to discover the world through food and travel. As they open themselves up to adventure, the accompanying puliyogare, travels well and ensures that the idea of home is never lost

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