01 June, 2017

Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal Recipe | Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal

Learn how to make Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal or Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal ~ Sweet and sour, creamy raw mango and bottle gourd lentil soup tempered with spices and curry leaves

What is summer without mangoes? Nothing, there is nothing in this world that screams summer to me like looking at the king of fruits. Be it emerald shaded raw mangoes and the rich golden hued mangoes, their sour and sweet flavour is unbeatable. It is and it will always be mangoes that rule my world and my childhood memories. Forget all exotic fruits; pineapple, peach, kiwi, plum, berries; nothing can ever come quite close to magnificent Mangifera Indica in flavour, taste or aroma. It’s a same story every year. Just one look at them and I start reminiscing about the Mango Season, the season of the king of fruits, back home in India.

Come summer and it meant only one thing for me and my siblings, long vacation at paternal and maternal granny’s home. The memories of those sunny, glorious summer days of endless fun, pranks and digging our teeth into succulent mangoes warm my heart even today. Granny’s house was just like many other beautiful tiled-terraced houses (or more like mansion) in my native village in southern India. Surrounded by acres of greenery, the white house with red tiles stood tall and proud with wide porches running around the house. Polished to perfection red oxide floors would gleam with intricately carved thick rosewood pillars supporting the roofs. The trees around the big house served as the compound walls and the beautiful water stream flowing right next to the house was its gate. Magnificent tall jackfruit, tamarind, coconut trees competed against each other for the title in the backyard.

Amidst them was this garden from heaven, a mango orchard. I have no idea as since how long it’s been there. It was just like my great great grandfather knew that his great grandchildren, like hungry flocks of birds, would come and attack the mangoes while they were still green, tender and sour. Just one look at that luscious gold and emerald coloured fruits hanging from green leafy trees was enough to get us all excited. Every summer it was the same story as if we were looking at the mangoes for the first time.

There’s always something special about mangoes. It is like seeing the gold rush, precious to every kid and even grown up. Always trying to suppress the innate urge to monkey around but failing miserably, all we kids were seen hanging from the mango trees while the grownups snored through the hot summer afternoons. While older kids climbed the higher branches, we younger ones would be seen hanging from the lower branches of the trees. And the ones who feared height were seen standing on the ground holding a big bath towel spread wide to collect the mangoes picked and thrown by the ones on the trees. Biting deep into raw sour mangoes and dipping those pieces into the spiced ground mixture of salt and red chillies wrapped in an old newspaper sheet was pure heaven.

If that was not enough, each and every meal served during mango season had one or more mango dish to tingle our taste buds. Tender Mangoes ground with Sweet Coconut Chutney, Tender Mango Pickle, Mango Dal, Mango Burfee, Aam Papad, Mango Palya, No-Oil Mango Pickle, Mango Saaru, Mango Mosaru Gojju, Mango Rasayana, Mango Kodhel, Mango Rice, Mango Relish, Mango Lassi, Mango Chitranna are few of them which were served with dollop of love everyday. While listening to stories of Devas (God) and Asuras (Demons) from Ajji, the intoxicating perfumes of the mango flowers wafting from backyard would sooth our senses and lulled us into deep sleep. Blissful childhood days and glorious mangoes!!!

Bliss! Sweet and bitter memories… One that will always bring a sweet smile with few sad tears…

To celebrate the mango season, I made this simple and yet delicious Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal or Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal. Making dal or Indian lentil soup with raw mangoes is no new concept as it is one of the most loved and celebrated dals during summers when mother nature blesses us with her bounty. Since I had Lauki or bottle gourd, and also the fact that I love using them in dal, I added them along with raw mango and the result is creamy, summery Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal or Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal. The recipe is simple, ingredients not too many and the flavours are amazing. Perfect dish to make this summer and serve it with a bowl of steaming rice topped with some pure desi ghee or just with some puffed rotis smeared with ghee or butter. Oh, a spoonful of pickle or papad takes this dish to another level. I, personally, love to eat it on its own as a bowl of hearty soup.

Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal/ Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal (Sweet and sour, creamy raw mango and bottle gourd lentil soup tempered with spices and curry leaves)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Serves: 6-7 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for 2-3 days
Serving Suggestion: With rice, ghee and pickle/papad or with roti

1 heaped cup Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Peas
1 medium or approx. 4 cups Bottle Gourd, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium Raw Mango, peeled and cut into 1 inch long by 1 cm thick pieces
1 medium Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2-4 Green Chilli, roughly chopped
1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
½-1 tbsp Jaggery (Adjust as per taste)
¼ cup Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Spices Used:
1 tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder (Optional. Adjust as per taste)

For Tadka:
1 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1-2 Dry Red Chilli, cut into 2-3 pieces
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
1-2 sprigs Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Ghee or Oil

  1. Dry roast the toor dal for 3-4 minutes on medium to low flame until it turns golden. Let it cool down slightly. Although this is an optional step, I do recommend it for nuttier and delicious tasting fragrant dal.
  2. Wash the toor dal 3-5 times until the water turns clear. Transfer the washed dal into a pressure cooker or thick bottomed pan. Add about 3½-4 cups of water and close the lid. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or up to 20-30 mins in a pan until the dal is cooked through and is mushy. Let the pressure release completely before carefully opening the lid.
  3. While the dal is cooking, prepare the vegetables for the dal. Peel and thinly slice the onion and keep it aside.
  4. Peel and dice the bottle gourd into 1 inch pieces. Place them in a bowl of water until required to stop them discolouring. Don’t throw the peels. Use them in making delicious Bottle Gourd Peel-Coconut Chutney.
  5. Peel and slice the mangoes into 1 cm thick by 1 inch long pieces. You can keep the peel on if you prefer it that way or else peel the mangoes and use the peels to make mint-coriander chutney for extra zing.
  6. Peel and roughly chop the fresh ginger. Remove the stalk and roughly chop the green chillies. Crush the chopped ginger and green chilli in a pestle and mortar or grinder to rough paste with a generous pinch of salt.

Proceed to cook:
  1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan and when it’s hot, add fenugreek seeds. When they turn golden brown, add mustard seeds and let it pop and splutter. Next add the cumin seeds, dried red chillies, hing and curry leaves and fry them for 15-20 seconds. Take care as the spices in a hot oil will pop and splutter.
  2. Add thinly sliced onions and sauté on medium heat until they turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Add ginger-green chilli paste, turmeric and red chilli powder and stir fry them for a minute.
  3. Next add diced bottle gourd and raw mango pieces and mix them all well. Pour in around 2-3 cups of water and cover the pan with lid and let it cook undisturbed for about 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
  4. Open the lid and mix in jaggery and salt to taste and cover and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the bottle gourd and mango pieces are tender.
  5. Mash the cooked dal and add it to the pan. Mix them all well. Add some water if you find the dal too thick or to get required consistency. Adjust the seasonings and let it simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and mix in finely chopped coriander leaves. Let the delicious and creamy Sweet and Sour Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal rest for 15 minutes for all the flavours to blend and deepen.
  7. Serve this delicious Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal with rice and a dollop of ghee or serve it on its own as a hearty and comforting bowl of soup. Enjoy!

Sia’s Notes:
  • You can use any other gourds like zucchini, ash gourd or even pumpkin in place of bottle gourd.
  • You can also use fresh greens like fenugreek leaves, kale, spinach or spring greens in place of gourd.
  • Choose sour mangoes for this dal. If the mangoes are not sour enough, add some lemon/lime juice along with fresh coriander leaves towards the end.
  • You can use split moong dal in place of toor dal for light dal.
  • Don’t discard the bottle gourd peels. Use them to make this delicious bottle gourd peel and coconut chutney.
  • The mango peels can be used to make spicy mint-coriander chutney.


  1. The colours of this are beautiful. Lots of different flavours going on and a great way to eat more vegetables too.

    1. Thank you, Dannii! It's a power house of nutrition :)

  2. This look so good and I bet smells amazing!! Love all the spices in there :) I'd want extra rice to have with that sauce!

    1. Thank you!It's a comfort in a bowl and I always have extra helping of rice to enjoy it.

  3. Such vibrant colors, I love colorful food :) Aside from the recipe, those bowls are so pretty!!

  4. This looks amazing! I would want extra rice to soak up all that delicious sauce !

  5. This sounds absolutely delicious. And so bright and colorful. Love the pictures.

  6. I love mangoes and this soup recipe looks wonderful.

    Those summers at the grandparents sound like heaven. :)

    1. Thank you, Christine! The best part of childhood was spent in my grandparent's home and it indeed was heaven :)


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