Beat the heat with Mango

Sour legume with mango buds [আমের কুশি টক ডাল]

Barnali Dutta Published 03/28/2014

The mango tree is considered sacred both by the Hindus and the Buddhists. Also it is denoted as the favorite food of the God in "The Art of Cookery"

What Lord of old wou'd bid his Cook prepare,
Mangoes, Potargo, Champignons, Cavare?

Hindus use its twigs as tooth brushes and its leaves as spoons for libations. Applying ashes of the burnt dry leaves of Mango mixed with little mustard oil and salt as tooth paste makes the gums and teeth strong and shining.

Taking Mango and milk regularly decreases anaemia, constipation, indigestion, and physical and mental weakness. That indigenous knowledge may be seeped into as a ritual to bring the benefits of helping the races as a belief that the mango tree puts forth fresh green leaves at the birth of a son. The plant being considered auspicious, its leaves are also hung over the doorways of a house where marriage ceremonies are performed, perhaps in the hope that the young married couple would beget a son.

In our family it is like a ritual to take light legume soup with mango buds - "tok dal" to beat the heat of the summer. I am lucky that I got lots of mango buds [aamer kushi] with soft seeds inside in this season after a summer storm known as kalbaisakhi [কালবৈশাখী ঝড়] in Bengal. I preserved those in two ways. Some infused in mustard oil, which will repair the hair follicles and loss of hair. I adopted my family recipe of removal of sun tan, to make those I infused some seeds in coconut oil also.

I followed the recipe of Kiranlekha Roy as described in the book "Barendra Randhan"

Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings | Serving size: One tablespoon | Calories per serving: 75 calories


  • Split peas 200g, Mango buds 5 to 8 cut diagonally, mango-ginger paste one teaspoon, salt and water, one teaspoon mustard oil, black mustard seeds one teaspoon and one whole red chili for tempering [turmeric is not needed].


  1. Boil the legumes with enough water until tender. Add mango buds and bring a boil. Add 2 cups warm water to make it soupy, boil it for another 4 to 5 minutes on a low flame. Add salt and mango-ginger paste.
  2. In a pan on high heat put mustard oil for tempering, add red chili and mustard seeds. Add the tempering to the boiled dal. Health conscious Bengalis would like to have this soupy legume particularly in the summer daytime meal and avoids eating in the evening meal.


Practically all the tribes in India observe a Mango fruit festival, before which it is taboo to eat the fruit. The flowers of Mango are dedicated to the moon to whom they are offered on the second day of Magh (February-March), and also to Madan, the god of love.

Mango, considered the real "King of fruits" and the proverb runs:

"Phaler modhye amro phal - ফলের মধ্যে আম্র ফল
Jaler modhye gangajal - জলের মধ্যে গঙ্গা জল "

Meaning is Mango among fruits is what the Ganges is among rivers.

Usually a pitcher of water is placed on white paddy; a branch of mango is placed in the pitcher and a coconut adorned with sandal paste, vermilion and flowers is placed on that branch. This is called the full pitcher Purnakumbha [mangalghat] which is symbolically invoked as gods and goddesses for the successful end to any mission undertaken.


Raw mango as an Antidote
Take cumin seeds over boiled raw mango juice or ground roasted jeera with rock salt over char-grilled raw mango juice.