Condiments like mango pickle or chutney play an important role in Indian cuisine, at least in Britain. It is ill-advised to spend time slaving over the stove in pursuit of a delicious curry only to forget one of the aforementioned accompaniments – the only possible outcome is disappointment. Unfortunately, good quality pickle and chutney is often rather expensive and you’re far more likely to end up spending your hard-earned money on a jar of overly sweet mango “jam” than you are an intricate and well-balanced chutney. The situation is similarly dire in the case of pickle, which can be hard to find at the best of times. Instead, it is better to find a recipe – such as the one below – and produce your own condiments. It takes a little time, patience and commitment, but the exercise is worth it in every respect.
I am of the opinion that the key to a fantastic pickle or chutney is the use of whole spices. Of course, ground turmeric and fennel provide a wonderful base of flavour, but whole mustard and kalonji seeds provide much needed bursts of intense flavour that really serve to elevate a pickle or chutney above its competitors. Remember, these small additions to a meal aren’t intended to be slathered across every mouthful, they should be powerful and pungent – special not constant.
Above all, time is the most important ingredient in a mango pickle. The mango needs time to dry and the spices time to mature, develop and mellow. Rush this recipe and you’ll simply be left with a soggy pile of putrid fruit, not fit to grace the most mass produced of jarred curries. However, get it right and that curry night you have once a week will never be the same again. Or at least until you realise you’ve devoured the first three jars of pickle and more is needed.
Makes 3 jars
3 medium-large mangoes
2 tbsp salt (heaped)
1 tbsp turmeric
1.5 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds, roughly bashed
1 tbsp kalonji seeds
1.5 tbsp chilli flakes
vegetable or mustard oil*, as required
*mustard oil is best used if you want a very pungent pickle.
Wash and roughly chop your mangoes, keep the skin on unless it is particularly thick and tough. Coarsely grind the fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Place the mango in a large bowl and cover with the spices and salt – mix thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with a thin muslin and leave the mangoes in the sun for 3-6 days – until dry. If finding enough sunlight proves tricky, try spreading the pickle on a baking sheet in a slightly warmed oven overnight.
Once dry, transfer the mangoes and spices to three sterilised jars. Pour in the mustard or vegetable oil until it just covers the mangoes. Seal the jars and shake.
Shake the sealed pickle every day until ready (3-4 days). Enjoy with a curry, or simply with chapati or paratha.
Cost: The price of mangoes is hugely divergent depending on where you are and the time of year. At the moment my grocer is selling them at 3 for £1, which is almost unbelieveable. As such, this batch of pickle set me back a mere £2 and will last for months. However, it may be a little more expensive, depending on the price of mangoes where you are.
Connect with me, share my recipes:
- Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on StumbleUpon (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
Reader Rating: 0 Votes