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Mango Ambal

Just under a year ago, during the early days of this blog, I wrote about this dish - Ambal, which is a sweet and sour pumpkin curry. The dish holds a special place in Dogri culture; it is one of the first items on the menu when there is a celebration of any kind. And if you have been following this blog, by now you will be familiar with the notion that the people of Jammu really are a fan of their sweet and sour food. It turns out that replacing pumpkins with raw mangoes and sugar works just as well.

Admittedly, it was not something that came to my mind. And I had no recollection of ever eating this growing up. But, my grandmother made this the other day and felt it would be well worth capturing here. And so here we are - talking about Mango Ambal.

Before I walk you through the ingredients and steps, here are some relevant metrics for the recipe.

  • Difficulty - Easy.

  • Prep time - none.

  • Cooking time - 30 minutes.

  • Servings - 3-4.


  1. Raw mangoes - 8 small ones

  2. Mustard oil - 3 tsp

  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

  4. Cumin - 1 tsp

  5. Fenugreek seeds - 1tsp

  6. Curd - 2 tsp

  7. Salt - 1.5 tsp

  8. Asoefetida - a pinch

  9. Red chilli powder - 3/4 tsp

  10. Turmeric - 3/4 tsp

  11. Water - 1 cup

  12. Sugar - 3 tsp

The Process

  1. First up, we soften up the raw mangoes a bit. Add them to a pressure cooker with half a cup of water. Seal the lid, and set the flame to high.

  2. After the whistle blows, turn off the heat.

  3. Once the mangoes are out of the pressure cooker, peel off their skin. Put aside the seed and pulp, as we will use them in a later step.

  4. Next up, we set a wok on high heat and add mustard oil to it. Avid readers of this blog will know by now; we need to temper mustard oil to remove its pungency. For the uninitiated, we bring mustard oil to its smoke point on high heat and once there, we set the heat to medium.

  5. When the mustard oil is tempered, we add our aromatics - mustard seeds, cumin, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida - to the oil and allow them to release their aroma.

  6. Next, we add the curd and mango - both seeds and pulp - to the wok. Give everything a good mix. If the consistency is not to your liking, add some water.

  7. Now, add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Give everything a good mix and allow it to cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

  8. Add the sugar, mix well and taste it. If you feel the balance is still off, then add some more sugar. After a couple of minutes, cut off the heat.

That is it; your mango Ambal is ready. This pairs exceptionally well with a plate of hot rice—Bon appetite. As always, I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments down below. See you in the next one.

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