It is essential that you buy the right kind of mango. It has to be raw and green, and I've noticed that baby ones taste better in the US.
Here's what you'll need:
1. 1 green mango, diced finely
2. Chilli powder - I use mom's homemade chilli powder. The store-bought powder is coarse in texture and simply not the same in flavour.
3. Mustard seeds, Hing, Curry Leaves, Salt
4. Optional - Channa Dal, Split Urad Dal - I use this to add on some crunch.
Here's how you spice it up:
1. Chop the mango and sprinkle some salt in it. Mix well
2. In a small pan, heat some oil. You can be generous with it - about 2 full table spoons. That's why it's called 'Ennai Manga'(Raw mango seasoned in oil and spices) Bring the mustard seeds to splutter, then add the curry leaves and dals.
3. When the dals turn crispy and aromatic, add one spoon of chilli powder and hing. Do not fry this a long time. Chilli powder will turn bitter if you over-fry it directly. Just give it a rough stir and pour it on to the salted chopped mango.
4. Allow this to marinade a while before serving.
I don't know why, but this is a favourite in most Iyer/Iyengar households. It brings back memories of school too in a weird way, when we used to crowd around the street food vendor who would sell sliced pineapples and raw mango dipped in chilli powder. Very similar to this popular side dish!