This instant Kerala style mango pickle has many names to it, depending on where in Kerala you are talking about it– Kadumanga Achar (shortened for Kadugu Manga Achar), Mangai Curry or simply Manga Achar. It is one the easiest of the pickles you can make and can rarely go wrong with it. It is also a very integral part of the Kerala banquet feast called the Sadya.
Pickle recipes are always the best kept family secrets in India. They are passed on from generation to generation to continue the tradition of making these spicy condiments at home. They are most always made in bulk and are stored in ceramic jars called bharani with their lids sealed. These jars are opened in batches throughout the year till the next pickling season comes in. Pickles are also very generously given away to friends, families and neighbors and even though most families make pickles, there is always someone you know who is the best at making pickle of one kind.
An aunt of mine makes the best Avakkai (a type of mango) Manga pickle and a friends mom makes a sweet mango pickle like I have never tasted before. My dad’s mom used to make some killer gooseberry pickles, where as my mom and her mom make some mean mango and lime pickles. I am so happy at this moment that I have my little stash of mango pickle that I made, as my mouth is watering just writing the names of these pickles and thinking very fondly of how they taste!
Even though everyone makes a mango pickle, each version of the mango pickle has some slight twist to it that makes it very unique. Come summer, the season of mangoes, this quick and almost instant mango pickle is a very common occurrence. Amma always makes it in small batches as she feels that this pickle is best when it is fresh unlike most other pickles that are preserved. I think that is true.
This is also a very common pickle that is made for a sadya – a banquet fest in the state of Kerala that is served for weddings and special occasions. You need really sour raw mangoes for this and so far I have not been really successful in getting them here in this country. They are most always a little ripe and sweet, even the so called raw ones you get to buy at the stores. A few years ago, I stumbled upon cut up raw mango pieces in the frozen section at the local Indian store and tried it to see how it tasted. So far those are the best raw and sour mangoes that I have bought here. So, from then on those have been my go to mangoes for making pickles and anything else that I need raw mangoes for.
This Instant Kerala Mango Pickle recipe is a combination of my mom and mom-in-laws recipe for mango pickle. I love the way both of them make their pickles and once I made it a combined version without realizing I was doing that and ever since I have made it my version of making these mouth wateringly sour and spicy pickles.
Instant Kerala Mango Pickle ~ Kadumanga Achar / Mangai Curry – The Recipe
- 2 tbsp Gingelly Oil / Sesame Oil (pickles are most always made with this oil)
- 1 cup diced raw mangoes
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp asafetida
- 2 tbsp red chili powder / cayenne powder
- salt, to taste (about 4 tsp)
- 1 tsp vinegar
Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and powder them coarsely with a mortar and pestle.
Heat the oil in a wide bottomed pan, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Reduce heat and add the asafetida, raw mangoes, red chilli powder and salt. Toss in the powdered fenugreek and mix well. Add the vinegar and give it another toss.
Let it cool down completely and transfer to an airtight ceramic or glass jar.
Notes: Make sure the jar is completely dry and always use only a dry spoon to take the pickle out.
Kerala Mango Pickle ~ Kadumanga Achar
- Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and powder them coarsely with a mortar and pestle.
- Heat the oil in a wide bottomed pan, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Reduce heat and add the asafetida, raw mangoes, red chilli powder and salt. Toss in the powdered fenugreek and mix well. Add the vinegar and give it another toss.
- Let it cool down completely and transfer to an airtight ceramic or glass jar.
Make sure the jar is completely dry and always use only a dry spoon to take the pickle out.