mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Pachranga-style Mango Pickle

In on the side, Pickles, Punjabi, Vegetarian on July 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Pachranga-style mango pickle

I know you have had enough with green mangoes. But, it is mango time here in Delhi: all kinds of ripe mangoes to eat – Chausa and Lungda varieties have arrived, and green ones to pickle and make into chutney. This season I have made a sweet-sour mango chutney and three kinds of mango pickle: Maharashtrian-style amba lonche, Andhra-style fiery pickle with garlic, and also a batch of Punjabi-style mango pickle. I have attempted the Punjabi pickle after a gap of many years since the husband’s loyalties had shifted to the famous Pachranga brand. There was no point competing with this well-known brand and if he preferred it to the home-made recipe, that much less pickle making for me.

The Punjabi-style mango pickle though, is the pickle I grew up on.  As kids we would rinse out the pieces and eat just the pickled mango, sucking on the stone-skin for a long-long time till there was no saltiness left. That was the only mango pickle we had known until one day, mom bought home a bottle of Bedekar’s amba lonche (a lot like this one, except that the mangoes are chopped fine instead of being shredded).  It was nothing like our mango pickle!  And because it was so different, it became a favourite immediately.

Pachranga-style mango pickle

North-Indian pickles have a flavour profile completely different from those from central and southern regions of the country.  The spices used are different, generally used whole, and the oil of choice is mustard oil.  Kashmiri pickles are even more basic – the pickling vegetables combined with whole rai (smaller mustard) and coriander seeds, powdered red chilli, and salt.  The most loved of Kashmiri pickles is the one made with kohl rabi and its greens.  Cauliflower, and onions are also pickled in a similar fashion.  The vegetables to be pickled are prepared (large chunks as usual) and sun dried for a day.  These are mixed with the spices, salt and oil and packed into jars that are then put out into the sun till they are done.  Since the oil used it raw, it takes a few weeks to cook in the sun, by which time the vegetables have cured and absorbed the flavours and the pickle is ready to eat.

Those of you who do not have access to green mangoes need not lose heart; the recipe makes an excellent mixed vegetable pickle as well!

Before you go, I wanted to ask you what might you like to cook for the annual tea party next month.  We missed it last year but I think it would be well worth our whiles to have a get-together – a virtual tea party!  The first one was prompted by a debate on what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet.  We all concluded a bit of deep frying every now and then is for the good of all concerned.  Another time we highlighted the plague that is plagiarism.

What are the food-related issues you  feel strongly about?  We could use this occasion to bust some food myths too while we have ourselves a good party!

Pachranga-style mango pickle

Aam ka achaar
(Punjabi-style green mango pickle)

750gms green mangoes*
250 gms (about 2C) karonde (natal plum)
1″ piece ginger, julienne
4T saunf (fennel seeds)
2T methi dana (fenugreek seeds)
1T kalonji (nigella seeds)
1t turmeric
2t red chilli powder
2 C mustard oil
1/3C salt

* you may use limes or lemons, or a mix of vegetables such as lotus roots, turnips, limes, jackfruit, amla etc.

Rinse and wipe mangoes dry.  Top off at the stem end and then cut into 3/4″ size pieces retaining the hard inner shell.  Discard the stones.  Spread the prepared fruits on cotton fabric and leave in the sun for a day.  Alternately, leave them in a dry place indoors, preferably with a fan on,  to get rid of some of the moisture.  In a non-reactive bowl combine all the ingredients with half the oil and mix well.  transfer to a clear, dry jar.  Keep in the sun for a day and top with the remaining oil.   Mix the contents of the jar with a dry spoon every day for the next few days.  Keep in the sun (or a sunny window sill) for a couple of weeks till the oil has mellowed.  Best served as an accompaniment to North Indian meals.

Pachranga-style mango pickle

  1. I’ve been buying Punjabi pickle at Indian stores here in the US (don’t remember the brand though) and it looks just like this! So good.
    Hmm- what food issue do I feel strongly about? I believe that humans are omnivores and can survive and thrive on all sorts of different diets. Any insistence that a particular diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb, raw, you name it) is the only one that is healthy and all others are toxic makes me sad and angry. Just find the foods that make you feel good and eat them. End of story.

    I agree with you that we can live on many kinds of food and being fanatic about any one type may not even be a balanced diet or view point! It is one of my pet peevs too! It would be great if we can incorporate that into this years party theme! Any ideas how?

    • I agree- any kind of extreme ideology/fanaticism bothers me (be it with regard to food or politics..:))..now- how can that be reflected in the tea-party theme?..hmm- maybe with a theme like ‘different kinds of healthy’? Each person picks two dishes that are healthy and describes why they think the dishes are healthy..and provides recipes ofcourse. (this could go either way though- and might defeat the purpose if not thought through- and I’m too tired to think it through..lol). If the dishes are diverse enough- there would be a database of a whole range of healthy dishes that bypass the various ‘diet boundaries’..

      “Healthy” is very tricky, Lavanya! We busted the oil/fat myth with poori, and followed it up with batata vadas the following year. It is a real challenge to better that, yet, we must!

  2. Being a south Indian I have always made pickles the south Indian way. This one looks mouth watering.

    I love South Indian pickles! This is very different from any of those so you are sure to love the novelty!

  3. I m missing home😦 ummm for tea party ,..poori sabzi🙂

    That’s what we cooked for the first party!

  4. Anita, I am surprised that you still get green mangoes in Delhi. Our mango season comes to an end with the monsoons in June. A couple of varieties remain but they are not preferred for pickles since they are thought to ‘spoil’ easily.
    Here in the east coast, the green mangoes still come in from South America; there is a lull in the ripe mangoes.

    In Delhi, the preferred pickling variety is the Ramkela which doesn’t arrive until after the first rain!
    The limes that we get at this time never make a good pickle though. But could it be my salt proportion rather than the limes?

  5. I like Pachranga’s too! Also, Ahmed’s pickle is excellent. I made this pickle a few years back, but as you know, we generally don’t find decent pickling mangoes here, so I had to greatly-enhance the flavour with amchoor and lime juice in the khaar to make the pickle taste like mangoes.🙂

    Lovely recipe for one of my favorite pickles- envious of those karonde!

    I am going to attempt the mixed-vege pickle too, I think!
    You have raspberries and we have our karonde!
    You know what, you could try using pineapple in the previous recipe (aam ki chutney)! In fact, the one served with my Bengali meal was a pineapple chutney!

    • True true true… however, pineapple- lovely a fruit as it is- is just not the same! I think it would be easier if you simply shipped me a crate of both fruits. I have chickpeas.😀

      I good substitute to try while waiting for to the shipment to reach!

  6. good one ; the food issue I strongly feel for is wastage – cooking judiciously is an art. using left over food wisely rather than dumping it is must

    Reducing waste, especially in professional cooking is a big concern. Home cooks, on the other hand, hardly waste anything, especially if they are Indian ones. I am amazed at the kind of side dishes that Indian cooks have created even with vegetable peels!

  7. Heyyyyyyy, the achaar looks so tempting…. Wanted to check how do you add chickpea in these pickles, I remember having mango-chickpea pickle back home, but never bothered to go into the nitty-grittys of the making process…. Are chickpeas boiled or just washed and dried before adding them…… Thanks in advance…

    This time i didn’t add chickpeas since I was using karondas. Dry chickpeas are added to the mix of ingredients; they soak up the juices and swell up!

  8. Those tight, curled karondas look so cute. We make the typical Andhra pickle at home, with garlic and kala channa. Someone told me the right kind of oil to use is the one extracted from black sesame – I’ve never made it myself and don’t know what goes into my stash of pickle. It’s mustardy – but from mustard powder, and even derives its name from mustard – aavakaya.

    I love the mustardy Andhra mango pickle! I use regular sesame oil though. Have yet to have the one with kala chana in it!

  9. Confusing diet regiments anger me really. My parents ,dad80+ and mum 70+ both touch wood are doing well. They have never dieted, eat rice everyday,cook in coconut oil, all their curries are coconut based (no prizes for guessing where they are from!). Mum does not go power walking or jog or go to the gym! Anyway no BP, no diabetes,no nothing. Here talk is among my friends don’t eat coconut, rice is bad, grains are bad. Low carb,low gi,high fibre,high protein,low cholestrol …. At dinner parties they heap their plates with veggies and nibble on it. Me I am going to look for expensive mangoes ( it’s winter here) to make that delicious looking pickle of yours Anitha. Thanks for the lovely recipes you put up.

    My father-in-law and parents are just the same as yours!

    We have started looking at our diets through microscopes instead of looking at it as nourishment. We are constantly fighting with what we eat because science seems to say most of what we eat is bad for us! But take everything with a pinch of salt! It was a rebellion against this attitude that got us deep-frying poori for the first party!

    Hope you found the green mangoes to make this pickle.

  10. This used to be my absolute go to with paranthas.. especially the chanas in it.. my mouth is watering at the pic!! wish i was in Delhi to just come over and steal a bottle.

    It’s good pickle alright! My mom sent me a bottle of hers and yes, she put chana in hers!
    Good to see you here!

  11. Hey!Anita, Lovely looking pickle!!! great post as usual….

    I was wondering if you could feature some tasty, healthy and easy snacks that kids could carry to school…I am fast running out of ideas and I still have the whole school year ahead and a year of packing tiffins (Snack + Lunch) for my 6 year old son who wants his food to look good and taste yummy and I just want it to be healthy and doable at 6.30 am!!! HELP!!

    Maybe school tiffin box could be this year’s party theme and I can fall back on all the great ideas!Hee!Hee! What say??

    If we get the party going you should have a ton of snacks! But, ‘healthy’ has different definitions and that is where it gets sticky!

  12. I swear I thought I had left a comment here. Turns out it was over on FB. Oh well.

    So. I’m planning to make this with cauliflower florets, carrots and green chiles. *drool*

    We need to fire you up to rant passionately about something. That usually turns into a great idea for a party. You know how I feel about food TV. It’s more about drama than food. It’s more about pretty food than healthy food. Unfortunately, food blogs feel the need to ape these TV shows. Food for the sake of nourishment and health seems to have taken a backseat.😦

    You are getting it all mixed up these days.
    Did ya make the mixed pickle then? Didn’t hear about it here or over at FB. . .

    I really think Nupur’s is a good topic but am drawing a blank as to how to make it into a cooking theme. Any bright ideas?

  13. That was the only mango pickle we had known until one day, mom bought home a bottle of Bedekar’s amba lonche (a lot like this one, except that the mangoes are chopped fine instead of being shredded).

    Now I know why you married whom you did!😉

    I agree with Nupur… I meet loads of people who sneer at other people’s food habits and insist that their way is the best. Let me think about how we can incorporate this into a theme🙂

    [Shhh…don’t say it out loud!]
    MIL used to make the pickle with 5kg mangoes! We ate so much of this that she hardly needed any other pickles: mango chunda, and two kinds of lime pickles, in addition to the regular one.

    Quick, get back to me with a the theme!

  14. I think our original idea of chatpata snacks is still good… why chatpata snacks are good for you🙂

    Tea with chatpata snacks, as chatpata as you like but inspired by Alice and her adventures!

  15. […] Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with aloo ki subzi, and Punjabi Pachranga-style mango or mixed vegetable pickle. Some other versions of the popular poori-bhaji: Mallugirl’s puri-bhaji (Malabar Spices) […]

  16. There are countless versions of mango pickle in India with each region having its own host of recipes. This one is from the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh and is often eaten with stuffed parathas (Indian bread) and yoghurt.

  17. […] pickle, mangoes are chopped keeping the hard inner endocarp attached, as is also done for the Punjabi-style mango pickle.  The pieces cut for Andhra-style pickle are smaller than for the Punjabi one.  Mangoes for the […]

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