On many occasions – and across many posts – we have described the many, many variations of the traditional North Indian Mango Achaar that have been around for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years. In today’s post, we look at another interesting variation: a dry version of the ever-popular Mango Pickle.
The ingredients that you will require are:
Raw Mangoes: 5 kilograms
Mustard Oil: 500 millilitres
Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds: 200 grams
Fennel (Saunf) Seeds: 200 grams
Nigella (Kalonji) Seeds: 100 grams
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 200 grams
Red Chilli Powder: 150 grams
Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 200 grams
Salt: 600 grams
Across India, pickles are made in huge quantities because they are meant to be consumed by large families throughout the year. This recipe produces around 2 kilograms of pickle. Adjust the ingredients according to your requirements.
Wash and dry the mangoes. Make sure they are completely dry. Some people put the mangoes out in the sun to dry. Once the mangoes are dry, cut them into small pieces. Throw the seeds away. Do not wash the cut pieces – just wipe them dry. The reason we are being so paranoid about avoiding washing is that moisture can ruin your pickles… completely! So make sure that you start the process with totally dry mango pieces.
Coarsely grind the fennel seeds.
Wash and sterilize a glass or porcelain pickling jar and wipe it dry. Make sure it is completely dry before you use it. For the quantity mentioned in this recipe, you may require two or more jars. For this pickle, the jars should have airtight lids.
In a large container (that has an airtight lid), mix the mango pieces. Add the salt and mix well. Seal the container with the airtight lid and set it aside for three days. Each day, open the lid, mix the contents thoroughly and seal the container again.
After three days, open the container and check carefully. If the mangoes have released any moisture or juice, drain and strain this juice and keep aside at room temperature (do not put it in the fridge).
Place the mango pieces on a clean dry cloth and put them out in the sun for three days (if you are in North India; in places where the summer heat isn’t as intense, four or five days may be needed to dry the mango pieces). Use the same cloth to wrap the mango pieces and bring them indoors at night – to prevent moisture from setting in. Like we said earlier – moisture kills your pickle!
How do you figure out if the mango pieces are dry? Well, the outer skin (peel) will be all wrinkled because of dehydration; and the inside portion will feel completely dry and leave no moisture on your hands when you handle the pieces.
In a large bowl, mix the fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and ground fennel seeds. Mix thoroughly. Next, add the water/juice that you had drained from the mango pieces and set aside. Mix well.
Now add the mango pieces – and mix thoroughly; make sure each mango piece is coated with the mixture of spices.
Transfer the contents of the bowl into the pickling jars.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame till it reaches its smoking point. Shut the flame off and let the oil cool down to room temperature.
Pour the Mustard Oil into the pickling jars; make sure that the mango pieces are completely covered by the mustard oil. Put the airtight lids on the jars and store them for around 25 days. During this period of time, the mango pieces will slowly absorb the mustard oil.
What you are left with is a dry Mango Achaar that will last for as long as one year – provided your family and friends don’t gobble it all up before that!