No Indian meal is complete without pickle. Whichever part of the country you come from, pickle is the most incentive part of your meal.
The most favourite fruit for pickle is the tender raw mango which is pickled as a whole called ‘maavina midi uppinakaayi’ or cut into small pieces known as ‘tundu or kette uppinakaayi’.
Now season is on for pickling, and this is the season’s first pickle at my home.
Medium Raw Mangoes: 4 (About 2½ cups)
Dried Red Chillies: 22-24
Mustard Seeds: ½ cup
Dhania/Coriander Seeds: 2 tbsp
Jeera/Cumin Seeds: 1 tbsp
Methi/Fenugreek Seeds: 1 tbsp
Hing/Asafoetida: 1 tsp
1 inch Dried Turmeric Root or 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1½ – 1¾ cups Salt, divided.
Day 1 procedure:
*Wash and dry all the mangoes.
*Cut the mangoes to bite size pieces.
*Mix salt to the cut mango pieces and keep them in a dry place by placing heavy material weighing down.
- First let’s start the pickle making by preparing the mangoes. Wash the mangoes and dry them, making sure there is no moisture left. Any little moisture will reduce the lifetime of pickle and it is important to make sure there is none. Once the mangoes are dried, cut them into bite size pieces.
- Take a steel vessel, and again make sure that they are dry without any moisture content. Place the mango pieces in the large vessel and add about 2 heaped tbsp of salt. Mix them well with a help of a clean and dry spoon. Keep it aside in a dry place for 24 hours.
Day 2 procedure:
* The juice/water is released from mangoes overnight and the cut mangoes are ready for pickling.
* Cook the mango pieces in salted water till their skin changes colour.
* Drain all the water from cooked mango pieces. Note the change in their skin colour.
* Spread them on a clean and dry cotton towel to cool them down to room temperature
* Roast individual spices separately for pickle powder.
* Prepare the salt water for pickle paste.
- Next, start to prepare the spices for pickle powder. Heat the pan, dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and hing separately one at a time on low flame till their colour deepens and their aroma spreads through the kitchen. Similarly, dry roast the mustard seeds until they pop and crackle. Keep them aside on a large plate to cool down to room temperature.
- In a same pan and add dried turmeric root if using. Fry it on low flame until it plumps up, about 1 minute and keep it aside to cool down. (Skip this, if using turmeric powder.) Roast the dry red chillies on low flame until they plump up, about 1-1½ minute. Set them aside to cool down.
- While spices are cooling, proceed to make boiled salt water which will be used in making pickle sauce by mixing with pickling spice powder. Take 3- 3½ cups of water in a pan and mix in 1 – 1¼ cups of salt to it. Bring this salted water to roaring boil on a medium flame. Once the water comes to boil, simmer and let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the gas and let it cool down to room temperature. Cover and keep it aside until needed.
- Once the spices cool down to room temperature, place the roasted spices in a mixer grinder. Grind the powders for short intervals, something like for 12-15 seconds, mix them gently with a help of a dry spoon to aerate and then grind them again for couple of seconds. No need to make very nice powder.
- Next day, mangoes have released their water and they have shrunk in size little as they dehydrate. This was done in order to help the mango pieces absorb the spices from pickling sauce when mixed together. Drain the water released from the mango pieces and keep it aside.
- Add this mango juice to 3 cups of fresh water along with 2 tbsp of salt and bring it to boil. Once the water comes to boil, mix in mango pieces and reduce the heat to low. Let the mango pieces cook until their skin changes colour from deep green to yellow-ish green in colour as shown in the photograph above. It takes around 4-5 minutes and turn off the heat immediately.
- Place the mango pieces in a strainer to remove all the water from it. Once all the water is strained, spread the mango pieces on a clean dried cotton towel or kitchen towel and let it cool down completely.
- Next prepare the pickling sauce. Add the pickle powder to a dry mixer jar and add cooled salted water and grind it. This step is important to get thick pickling sauce. Make pickling sauce of pouring consistency, that is little thicker than buttermilk consistency.
- Once the pickle sauce is ready, add cooled mango pieces and mix them well. Store the Mango Pickle in an air tight container. Before closing the lid, keep 2 leaves of cashew fruit (washed and dried) on top of pickle. This helps in avoiding the boost formation in pickle and thereby increases shelf life. You can serve it immediately with rice. But it tastes better after resting for a week when the mango pieces absorb all the flavours and flavours blend well.
Shelf Life: 4 months at room temperature and 8-10 months in fridge.
- Please make sure all the utensils, spoons and ladles, knife and cutting board and storage jars are perfectly dry because any moisture content will reduce the life of pickle.
- When it comes to roasting the spices, make sure that they are roasted on a lowest flame. till their colour deepens and their perfume spread in my kitchen and teases your senses. This roasting spice needs your constant attention. If you get distracted or take your eyes away for a moment, they will burn and turn bitter and ruin the taste.
- You can save half of the pickle paste in an air tight container and use it for making instant vegetable pickles. Similarly, store the leftover boiled and cooled salt water and use it to thin down the pickle paste. Both pickle paste and salt water can be saved up for six months.
- I have used mild flavoured Byadagi/Kashmiri Chilli since my family members don’t like too hot and spicy pickle. You can use Byadagi and spicy dry red chilli in 1:1 ratio.
- Making use of cashew fruit leaves on top of pickle. This is very useful tip that I got from my aunt which helps in avoiding boost formation on top of pickle and increases shelf life of pickle.
Don’t worry by seeing long procedure, its very easy to prepare this pickle.
I just elaborated every step so that it will help for first timers J
Enjoy the pickle with curd rice J