A “crescendo” of mangoes takes place every year in India between the months of March and July. They roll into the markets in small numbers at the start of the season, being quite expensive. By the time the harvest peaks they are all over the place, playfully cheap and ready to be squeezed and used in kitchens all over the country.
Right now, this mango frenzy is in full swing, not only in India, but in the United Kingdom, too! We Indians have indeed become very fond of a fruit that is absent for a long time of the year. Outside the season many must console themselves with their mother’s homemade mango pickles. As soon as the mango season arrives women all over India start picking mangoes. I remember my mother was one of them. Many homes make signature pickles that have been passed on through generations of women.
This recipe of a mango pickle, is one that my mother used to make at the beginning of the mango season. A great thing about this pickle is that you can consume it as soon as it has been made. Also not much heat from the sun is required for it to be prepared here in the United Kingdom, where the sun plays hide and seek with us all the time. This pickle is ideal to be made and consumed in a short amount time. Small portions can be made on the stove and served freshly. Ideally, most type of pickles are made in the blazing sun where the fruit and vegetables required for the pickles are dried. Such pickles have a longer shelf life.
You will need:
- 1 cup raw mango (green) peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp panch phoran (optional, if you want just use 1/2 tsp each fennel seeds and nigella seeds)
- 3-4 tsp dhana jeera powder (dry coriander and cumin seeds powder)
- 11/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/3 cup jaggary (can use sugar)
- salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp oil
Boil water in a pan, add mango pieces and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water but keep it aside. Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the panch phoran or fennel and nigella seeds. As soon as they pop add boiled mango cubes and sauté them for 1-2 minutes. Add all the powder, jaggary or sugar with salt. Add 1-2 tbsp of water. Stir and simmer till the jeggary or sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool completely.
You can store the pickle at room temperature for up to 2-3 days and in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.
Ideally, serve with puri, paratha or sandwiches.
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