Summer in Kerala... the season for Mulla poo(jasmine),Chakka (jack fruit)and Kannimanga(the young mangoes)..
I'm still enjoying my holidays in my native town down here in Kerala…the hot days filled with fun, loads of love and care…
V simply loves LOVES "Vadu manga oorugai".Me never an expert when it comes to making pickles, always “dread” to the utmost :).. decided to try making the same with the help of amma, blog, as I was sure it would be a great traditional keeper for you girls as well as for me and take my words it was so simple and never ever “dreadful “ as I felt until now…
So here’s the pickle packed with loads of love and care…
Sour variety Tender mangoes, as bunches-1 kg
Water-Boiled well and cooled to room temp- 4 cups more or less(or the quantity to just immerse the mangoes)
Red chilly powder-4 heaped table spoons
Asafoetida powder/Perungaya podi-to flavour
Vinegar-optional(in case the magoes are less sour)-2 tbsp
Mustard seed oil- 2 tbsp
Wash the mangoes as bunches. Amma never let me separate them at this stage as she badly wanted to preserve the Chona (the milky sap)which started oozing out when I did it ;)
Now she came into the scene, washed them well, shook off excess water, placed them on a clean white dry cloth,wrapped up and patted dry. Now we together snipped the mangoes one by one and saw to it that every mango had at least a cm of its stalk along with. Then we stacked them into a clean and dry 2 ltr Bharani, the traditional earthen pot used for preserving pickles(see pic).
Add salt to the mangoes in the bharani. Shake well. Close with its lid and tie a white cloth around the neck.
Open the bharani on the 3rd day, 4rd ,6th and 8th days, shake to toss the mangoes or stir well with a clean, dry wooden ladle.The mangoes shrink as the water ooze out and lose the green colour to a pale yellow with aging.
Water has to boiled and cooled to room temperature. Has to be added on the 3rd or 4th day, after having a watch on the water oozed out with the addition of salt from the mangoes. The oozing out of the water stops as soon as the water is added and the mangoes wont get that "shrunk" look anymore. Adjust the quantity of water added so as to just 'immerse' the mangoes as it tends to bring down the shelf life.
On 8th day(just after a week), heat mustard seeds in a dry kadai.Take care not to roast, but heat well. Turn off flame, remove the seeds and heat the chilly powder now. Stir continuously while you do the heating part of both. Take care not to burn the chilly powder as well. Add asafoetida and mix well.Powder the mustard seeds.
Stir in the powdered mustard seeds, chilly powder and asafoetida to the mangoes. Mix well.
Vinegar, as said above can be used if the mangoes are less sour.We avoided this as the mangoes were of good quality and secondly I feared V would complain about a “chemical flavour” in the pickle :)
Do not hesitate to stir in Mustard seed oil (heated and cooled to room temp) which imparts the real traditional taste and thickness to the Kanni manga Achar :)!!