I've been making mango pickles this month and this is something I've got into a habit of doing almost every summer for the past few years. Here are two of the them and they are not difficult to make.
Mangakari (Easy Mango Pickle)
This is probably the easiest Indian mango pickle to be made. The most difficult part is chopping the mangoes! This is a pickle one would find all over south India during summer when mangoes are plentiful. Most versions in Kerala also have vinegar but this version is as it is made in Palakkad Iyer homes. A non-spicy version of this pickle is “Uppu Mangai” (where Uppu means salt and Manga means mango. The mangoes are chopped finely and just before serving, salted to taste. This is to be made in small quantities at a time, enough to serve at one meal, as the salt draws out the moisture in the mango and loses its freshness in a couple of hours.
3 medium sized mangoes (finely chopped and measures about 3 cups) 3 heaped teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder (adjust to preferred levels of spiciness) 2 -3 tsp sesame seed (til) oil ¼ tsp asafetida salt to taste 1 tsp mustard seeds 1 sprig curry leaves
Method: Add the salt and chilli powder to the chopped mangoes, mix well and keep aside. Now heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the asafetida and curry leaves, stir once and take off the flame. Pour this mixture into the chopped mango mixture and mix well. I usually add the mangoes to the pan with the tempering and mix everything in it. The residual heat of the pan softens the mangoes a wee bit. Cool, bottle and refrigerate. Serve with curd rice (yogurt and rice) or according to preference. This pickle will last about 5 days as it has very little oil.
Manga Thokku (Sliced Mango Pickle)
This is another easy pickle to make and found in our homes during the summer and even later during the monsoon. This pickle lasts a little longer as it contains more oil, which acts as a preservative.
5 medium sized mangoes 1 tsp turmeric powder salt to taste (adjust according to sourness of mangoes) 2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder (adjust to preferred levels of spiciness) ¾ cup (til) sesame seed oil 1 ½ tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp fenugreek powder (roast seeds and powder) ½ tsp asafetida 2 tbsp powdered jaggery (or as required) 1 sprig curry leaves
Peel the mangoes and, with a sharp knife, slice slightly thick pieces (see picture) off the mango into a bowl. I just thought I should mention that the mango slices in my picture are not ripe. They are raw but that colour.
Heat the oil in a wok/ pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the asafetida, sliced mango, salt and curry leaves. Cook, on low heat, till the mango is soft. Add the chilli powder and stir till the oil floats on the side of the wok/ pan. Now add the fenugreek powder and jaggery powder. The jaggery powder is added only to offset the sourness of the mangoes. This is a spicy pickle and the jaggery should not impart any sweetness to it. Stir well till everything is well mixed. Take off the heat. Cool and bottle. Though this pickle has a lot of oil, it would be a good idea to refrigerate it.