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

Green Mango Pickle, Andhra-style

In on the side, Pickles, south Indian, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on July 25, 2014 at 10:34 pm

mango pickle

I grew up at IITD and and the campus Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) was my high school.  KVIIT was also the campus-school for the two other neighbouring educational campuses – the NCERT and JNU.   That was a time when the middle class still sent their children to public schools.  My mother was a teacher in the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan but by the time she managed a transfer to KVIIT, I had already graduated.  Mr Bhujangarao, from Andhra Pradesh, was our Principal in my last two years at school.  He and his family lived on-campus, close to our house, and over the years our families became close friends.  As with all good neighbours, there was much exchange of food and recipes.  We would visit each other often for dinners; Mrs Bhujanga Rao feeding our need for dosai, idly, and upma, and my mom trying to satisfy her two boys with chhole and rajma.  I still remember how I loved the spicy upma, with lots of tomatoes, that she brought for me when I was recovering from some minor illness.  Nothing like Guntur chillies to awaken taste buds flatened by sickness.

green mangoes 2

Our visits continued even after Mr B was promoted and moved a little further in South Delhi, then to Chennai, and even after he retired and moved to Hyderabad.  His older son, also a friend, moved to Delhi a few years ago and we call on him when his parents come visiting.  Krishna auntie still insists we leave after a meal, lunch or dinner – as the case may be, and it is very hard for me to turn down her cooking.  When she was getting ready to leave Delhi many decades back, I  requested her mango pickle recipe.  We knew we would miss her gentle ways and her cooking, but, at least, we didn’t have to live the rest of our lives without her mango pickle!

Another mango pickle that we loved in our childhood was Bedekar’s Maharashtrian style amba lonche, fine-diced green mangoes with an intense flavour of hing.  After I got married imagine my happiness at having giant jars of this mango pickle sitting in the house!  It wasn’t entirely homemade as my mother-in-law used to make it with the K-Pra brand packaged masala, but it hit the spot truly.  The spice-mix for pickles from Southern India, including those from Maharashtra and Gujarat are similar; the proportions vary only a little.  Maharashtrians, and perhaps, even the Gujaratis, prefer to use mustard dal (dehusked, split mustard seeds), which makes for a lighter coloured khaar. What varies more is how the mango is prepared.  For the Andhra-style 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 Maharashrian style pickle are chopped even smaller, about 1-1.5 centimeter dice, and clear of the stone.  All but a few green mango pickles retain the skin of the fruit.  The Konkani kochla nonche (love, love this recipe too!) uses shredded green mangoes and comes closest to Bedekar’s amba lonche of my childhood!

ambalondcheMaharashtrain-style pickle snd salt-preserved green mango slices

mango PickleShilpa’s Konkani-style kochla nonche

From making 3kgs of this pickle every year, I am now down to making just 1kg.  Not entirely because we are eating less than we used to but more because I now make too many kinds of pickles!  We, the son and I, love the hint of garlic in this pickle and the intense heat of the red chillies.  I used to pack it with besan paranthas for his school lunch sometimes.  The association stuck so much that he will eat it only with besan-paranthas now!  He will be visiting us next month and I hope to serve this for breakfast one morning.

pickle ingredients

mangoesIngredients for Andhra-style mango pickle

pickle

I use the Ramkela variety to make this pickle – use any firm, sour green mangoes.  When I was transferring the recipe from wherever I had noted it initially (many years ago) I seem to have omitted the measure for the spices but since the ‘katori’ is the traditional measure in the Indian kitchen, I used that and the recipe has worked fine for me year after year.  I prefer to use sesame oil for this pickle though you may also use refined peanut oil.  Over the years I have also reduced the oil a little bit.  Adjust the spices to your liking but don’t reduce the salt; that is an important preservative.

mango pickle2Mrs Krishna Bhujanga Rao’s
Andhra-style
Green Mango Pickle

3kg firm, green mangoes
200gms garlic (peeled, or not)
1 katori rai (mustard) seeds, ground
1 katori red chilli powder
50gms methi (fenugreek) seeds, ground
1 1/4 katori salt
1 t hing (optional)
1 liter sesame oil

Immerse the mangoes in pot filled with tap water. Scrub, rinse, and pat dry. Slice off the stalk-end and cut into 3/4″-1″ dice. Spread on a towel and allow to dry for a few hours. Heat oil so that a seed of mustard thrown in splutters immediately. Cool. Mix all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl and transfer to a sterilized glass or earthenware jar. Mix the pickle every couple of days for the first week.

Taste for salt. If you notice any bubbles, add more salt. The pickle is ready to eat right away but the flavours take a few days to meld. It lasts forever but keeps getting softer as it sits. The pickle tastes best when still crunchy so refrigerate if you are planning to store it for a long time to slow down the maturing process.

mango pickles

  1. One of my favourites!

    It’s a classic!

  2. Serve with hot rice and ghee and be transported to heaven instantly😉 One of my favorite guilty pleasures!

    A variant for us: we don’t use garlic, and one of my grandmothers used to add kabuli channa to it instead. (the other merely omitted the garlic) – I believe Kabuli channa is to be added dry, as is.

    Miss the days when giant jars of Avakayi were made at home! Maybe I need to start making for myself – right now, I shamelessly mooch off Telugu friends!

    Kabuli chana is used in Punjabi mango pickle too! It absorbs some of the water released by the mango and makes for better preservation. Love pickle khaar with ghee and rice, and also with dahi and rice!

  3. Love that artistic touch of a drop of oil in the bowl-of-pickle photo. An uncle of mine tells me the original sesame oil to be used in this pickle is oil extracted from black sesame seed – helps preserve the pickle and keep the mango firm, he says, grumbling that no one knows this anymore. I didn’t, either, nor would I know how to identify it or ask for it outside AP.

    :-) A little inspiration from the drips all over my counter!

    I didn’t know about the oil from black sesame seeds! Another thing to put on the foodie ingredients list!

  4. I’m drooling in buckets! Anita you too, Bedekar’s was family favorite in our parts too till my aunt mastered the art of pickle making. We always use Rajapuri mangoes for pickles as they are fleshy. Divine connection you will agree, Bedekar’s and marrying a Marathi. I find it so adorable when you mention typical Maharashtrian words like khaar and not masala🙂

    Are Rajapuri available at this time? I could ask the son to bring some…Ramkela is the local variety prized for pickles.
    Not just the love of pickle, I even learned a Marathi song in school – our Kashmiri music teacher taught us a few songs in other languages – “jhuk jhuk jhuk jhuk ageena gadi…!”🙂

  5. Let’s go swimming! Swimming! Swimming!

    And no wonder! Especially if you keep styling your shots with precious, flavored, spilled oil.

    As Anjali mentioned, we use Rajapuri for pickles. I use anything I can get, of course. I like the idea of whole garlic.

    My mouth is watering only.

    Ab mango pickle mein to tel dalna padega na!
    Next time, visit during mango season and you can carry some pickle back with you!

  6. Oh goodness! That leaves me drooling. making pickles ( mango) was a must in my home. For many years we used Bedekar Masala, then K-Pra hit the market and then there was no going back to anything else.
    I usually get disappointing ‘kairi’ here and so prefer to make a small batch and make Manisha’s Lemon pickle ( the no oil one)
    Pickle with Varan-bhaat or dahi-bhaat, passport to comfort.

    Totally agree with you on pickle, rice, and dahi or dal. I love these pickles with their khaar with a soft slice of bread too!

  7. Anita, Brought back so many memories of school and Mr.Bhujanga Rao. Quite a visionary.

    He was! I remember his response to the inspection team when they complained about the school being noisy, “It is a school filled with lively children, not a graveyard!”

  8. Canadian reply what is katori salt and hing and as well I am assuming one does not peel the mango THink I will give this a try Seem to be lots of Mango available here in Canada just now and I do love mango in most every shape and form

    Diane, a katori is the small metal bowl in which are served curries (vegetables in gravies, or dal, or yoghurt) in a thali or platter to accompany rice or roti. If you have eaten a thali ‘meal’ at any Indian restaurant, you are sure to have been served in these!

  9. My aunt married to a AP ‘ite snd learnt how to make spicy mango pickle from her MIL and makes this every year. She would then distribute the batches to her siblings that would last a year long. Brought back memories Anita….

    The pickle is great for sharing with family and friends! Now you can make some yourself!

  10. oooooh! Gonna make meself some this summer even though we get sorry type looking raw mangoes here in the bay area. I’m a huge pickle lover and intact went thru a phase in childhood when pickle used to be the entree on my plate. Every other dish was subordinate to it and no amount of scolding by my mum that it would give me ulcers(I still don’t believe they do BTW) converted me:-) And mango pickles, all kinds, the Bestest I say. I also lurv the garlic pickles I used to eat when studying in tamil nadu. Sadly I never learnt the recipe and now the store bought ones just don’t taste the same.

    Will let you know how this trial goes. I usually tend to make only one kind of mango pickles, the rajasthani or punju style because it feels like such an endeavor but time to make a change.

    Even sorry green mangoes taste alright when pickled! This is a good recipe to use for them. If you make it, you just might find a new favourite!

    Do write in with your feedback, Deepa.

  11. oh, sorry forgot to ask. Is there a special kind of chilly powder or whole chilly that you grind and use for your pickles. I tend to think that it’s the chilly powder that makes a pickle because I love the ‘khaar’ more than the pickled vegetable you see.

    I almost never grind chillies for regular use. You may use any red chilli powder which is medium hot to hot in this recipe. Sometimes I add a few teaspoons of Kashmiri chilli powder if I feel what I have is too hot. This time I have used Rajasthani chilli powder which gives medium heat and colour. If you want to be authentic, then use Guntur chillies!

  12. Hi Anita,
    I have been visiting your blog for a while now and really enjoy reading your entries.

    I recently tried your recipe for Punjabi mango pickle. It has turned out really well and am looking forward to trying the Andhra mango pickle recipe.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Ashwini

    Thanks for the visit, and for trying the recipes! Let me know how the Andhra-style pickle turns out!

  13. Hi Anita,
    Here in the US finding right mango for Indian pickles is difficult so I have used
    Granny Smith apples with similar Gujarati pickle recipe and works fine for instant pickle..not at all the same but kids enjoy it with usual roti/paratha/ rice and also with chips and bread. They ask me to pack it with chapati in lunch boxes. One time my daughters friend told her eeww it stinks and she said try it you don’t know what you are missing.Even before she finished telling me this episode I assumed she will tell me not to pack it anymore and subconsciously started preparing to take the blow but ended up feeling so proud.

    Gujju too cut mango with hard inner part attached for this particular kind of pickle, do add kaala chana and “gunda” – don’t know any other translation for this berry but is sticky from inside, seed is removed and outer skin filled with pickle masala. Same cut for Murabbo, but no hard part if Katki kairi, Gol-kairi or Chundo,of course. Recently tasted this same pickle made with mango and young green almonds..tasted very good.

    -Neha.

    Hi, Neha. Wow – apple ka achar! I assume your daughter converted her friend over to Indian food!

    I know the fruit you are talking about. It is called “lasooda” in Hindi and I have a friend who makes fabulous pickle out of it – it is similar to the Punjabi mango pickle recipe. My MIL used to make chhundo too! It is another favourite in our family.

  14. Hi Anita,

    Forgot to ask, I am looking for recipe for stuffed large whole red chili pickle. Since you make many different kinds of pickles and if happen to have this recipe on hand, my request to write a post on it too.
    Thank you,
    Neha.

    I make that pickle! Pictures were taken earlier this spring but am yet to post it. Pel wants to make it too…Soon!

  15. Hi Anita, happy to be visiting after awhile away and guess what, I actually recognize that name “Bedekar” — there is a jar of that mango pickle in my fridge right now!

    When I moved to the north woods I brought plenty of pickle knowing I can’t get this easily🙂 This is the only pickle I have truly grown to love and crave. I wonder whether it’s made the same for export. It will have to suffice as I have no chance at green mango to try my own, but I loved reading your post🙂

    Best wishes as always!

    Linda

    Hi Linda, good to see you visit!

    I guess it is too cold to grow a mango tree in your garden! I should think Bedekar’s don’t mess with their ‘family recipe.’ After all, there are expats there who are nostalgic too!. Tastes so good with plain dal-chaval or dahi-bhaat.

  16. mango pickles are quite an art to make! hats off!!
    😉 The best part is, once you have a jar, it can (potentially) last a few weeks!

  17. Oh- so beautiful! Drool drool drool! It is still not possible for me to make a decent mango pickle here, as we simply (at least in my area) are not able to get potently-sour green mangoes. So, I have my store-boughts, and my my little treasures sent by friends that I relish above all other pickles.

    We do have too many good pickle-recipes these days, don’t we? I’ve started making smaller batches as well as communally, they add up!

    So many kinds of pickles in my pickle cabinet! I, now, make a point to have some or the other pickle/chutney/podi out at the table for every meal!

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