Monday, April 4, 2016

Vadu Manga - Catch them young


Come summer I look forward to making pickles and sundried items that will last me through the year. There are a few staples that I make every year and then I add something new each year for variety.

This year started, as always with my favourite Baby mango pickle. In southern India and especially the communities like mine who adore yoghurt rice and can eat it anytime of the day, this pickle is an absolute must to have in the larder all year round!

There are two schools of thought about the best recipe for these baby mangoes, one is that it should only be brined and the second and my favoured recipe is to store the brined mangoes in a red chilli and mustard flavoured base. Depending on which part of Tamil Nadu your origins are from....decides which one you may favour! If you are from Tanjore (my ancestors were from this region), then your family makes the brined version and if you are from around the border of Kerala, you will probably have the red chilli and mustard kind.


500 gms raw baby mangoes, about 3-4 cups
4-6 tbsp Salt
4-6 tbsp Kashmiri Red chilly powder
2-4 tbsp spicy red chilli powder
2 tbsp Turmeric powder
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp ground Mustard seeds
1 cup Boiled and cooled water

Wash and wipe the baby mangoes ( 1-2 inch long), removing any damaged ones. Allow them to dry under the fan for an hour. In a bowl, place the dry mangoes and pour the oil and mix throughly to coat each and every mango. Take a glass jar and place a handful of mangoes and add a tsp of salt, continue layering the mangoes and salt until all the mangoes are done. 

Cover and let it rest, shaking the mangoes every now and then. In 3-5 days the mangoes would have shrivelled up and they will be floating in brine.

Remove the mangoes from the brine and let it sun dry for half a day. Save a cup of the brine.

Mix the red chilli powders, turmeric and mustard powder in the brine water and add a cup of the boiled water as well as the dry mangoes. Let the mangoes marinate for a couple of days and then it will be ready.