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Another Pickle from Grandma’s Archives

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In an earlier post, we told you about one of our food writers who was thrilled to find her great grandmother’s diary containing a treasure trove of traditional Indian recipes. Here’s another exciting pickle recipe from that diary – it’s a Mango and Chickpeas Achaar… the way it has traditionally been made… for hundreds of years.

Here are the ingredients that you will require:

  1. Raw Mangoes, grated: 200 grams

  2. Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana): 100 grams

  3. Mustard Oil: 300 millilitres

  4. Mustard Seeds (Rai): 1 tablespoon

  5. Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds: 1 tablespoon

  6. Fenugreek (Methi) Powder: 1 tablespoon

  7. Fennel (Saunf) Seeds: 1 tablespoon

  8. Nigella (Kalonji) Seeds: 1 teaspoon

  9. Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon

  10. Asafoetida (Heeng): Just a pinch

  11. Red Chilli Powder: 1 tablespoon

  12. Whole Kashmiri Red Chillies, dry: 12

  13. Salt: 1 tablespoon


This recipe produces around 300 grams of pickle. Adjust the ingredients according to your requirements.

Preparation:

Wash and dry the mangoes. Make sure they are completely dry. In India, it is customary to put the mangoes out in the sun to dry. Once the mangoes are dry, grate the mangoes. Throw the seeds away. Do not wash the grated mangoes – just put them out for another round of drying. Do remember, moisture can ruin your pickles, so make sure that you start the process with totally dry grated mangoes.

In the process of grating the mangoes, some juice will come out from the mangoes; strain this juice using a clean cloth, and keep it aside.

Once the grated mango has dried, coat it in turmeric powder and salt; keep aside for around 30 minutes.

Wash the chickpeas and soak them along with the fenugreek seeds in the mango juice that you had kept aside earlier. Leave this overnight. In the meantime, put the grated mangoes coated with turmeric and salt in the refrigerator.

Wash and sterilize a glass or porcelain pickling jar and wipe it dry. Make sure it is completely dry before you use it.

Method:

In a large bowl add the fenugreek powder, mustard seeds, asafoetida, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, red chilli powder and whole Kashmiri red chillies. Mix well. Next, add the mango juice mixture containing the soaked chickpeas and fenugreek seeds. Continue mixing. Then add the grated mango coated in turmeric and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame till it reaches its smoking point. Turn the heat off and let the oil cool down to room temperature.

Pour the cooled Mustard Oil into the bowl and mix all the contents thoroughly.

Carefully pour/transfer the contents into the large pickling jar that you had sterilized and dried earlier. Cover the mouth of the jar with a clean, dry muslin cloth and tie it firmly with a cord around the neck of the jar. Put the jar out in the sun (ideally in a place like a terrace, a balcony or a window sill). Remember to bring the jar indoors at night to prevent moisture from setting in. Repeat this process for around four to five days.

Your Mango and Chickpeas Achaar is now ready. Revive a glorious culinary heritage… relish its traditional flavour… enjoy a condiment that has been tickling Indian taste-buds for centuries.

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