One of my first tastes of India, smack in the middle of South India, was of a pickle that was hot, sour, salty, all at once. I grew addicted to that taste. While most non-Indian people love the Sweet Mango Pickle, I am a devotee of Green Mango Pickle.
This recipe is fairly easy to make if you can get your hands on hard, green mangoes – make sure that they are really green, and not a half ripe sweet mango.
Mustard seeds – whole or ground – are a feature of many Indian pickles. Not only do they taste good, adding a pungency, they are anti-microbial so certainly help in pickles and other preserves.
Green Mango Pickle | Mango Aavakaaya
green mangoes – enough to make about 4 – 5 cups of cut mangoes. It will depend on the size of the mangoes
0.5 cups red chilli powder
0.5 – 0.75 cups pickling salt (iodine free)
0.5 tspn turmeric
4 Tblspn brown mustard seeds
1.25 Tblspn fenugreek seeds
1 cup Indian sesame oil
2 pinches of asafoetida powder (hing)
To prepare the mango, use this trick. Cut the mangoes in half lengthwise, straight through the seed. Remove the seed, and dice the mango into 1 cm – 1.5 cm dice. (About removing the stone – it may come out easily, or may peel off if the mango is truly unripe. Also, if it is impossible to cut the mango right through the seed, do not injure yourself trying. Slice the mango as usual into 1 – 1.5 cm slices, and cut the slices into dice.)
Heat a heavy pan and toast the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds until aromatic and the fenugreek is golden. Powder the seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. I keep a little of the mix back and add without grinding as I like the flavour.
Now in the same pan heat the sesame oil and when hot, add the asafoetida powder. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
Mix the mustard-fenugreek powder with the mango cubes, and then pour over the oil and mix well.
Place the pickle into a clean, dry glass jar with a non-corrosive lid. Cover loosely , keep on your kitchen counter, and mix once a day for a week. Within hours the pickle will begin to change as the salt draws out moisture but the mango absorbs the flavours of the spices. Over time it matures to a hot, salty, sour pickle with the pungency of mustard and fenugreek.
The pickle can be eaten within 2 to 3 days, but will continue to mature over time. It keeps well and will keep several months on the counter top or for a year or more in the fridge.
Excellent served with dal and rice with some ghee mixed into the rice.
recipe notes and alternatives
Rather than making your own spice powder for this recipe, use the purchased Aachar Powder that I mention in this recipe. Although that recipe is a quick pickle, the powder can be used in pickles of this type too.