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Mango Pickles

What’s Cooking? by P.S. Lakshmi Rao

May and June is the season for pickles, because we get good mangoes for pickling. I get very nostalgic about my childhood days in India, where we get so many different kinds of mangoes. I am sure you all remember many varieties of pickles and chutneys our mothers and grandmas used to make. Well, I am trying to bring you these recipes after making them myself for several years on trial and error basis. No matter what brand pickle you buy in the store they don’t taste as good as home made ones. If you spend a couple of days preparing these pickles at home successfully, you and your family, especially your mother (when you tell her about the pickle) will be very proud of your adventure.

Pulihora Aavakayi

½ cup water boiled and cooled

½ cup red  mustard powder

2 green mangos

2 tablespoons salt or to taste

½ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)

½ cup red ground pepper

1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil

Mix water and mustard powder in a plate and let it dry for 5 hours at room temperature or in a warm place.

Cut mangoes with skin into small pieces ( half inch). Some people peel the skin. Discard the seeds.

Mix mustard paste, salt, turmeric, red pepper and oil with mango pieces. Keep this in a glass bowl for two days. On the third day spread the pickle on a plate and let it dry in the sun or in the oven with pilot light on for four hours. Mix  the spread twice. Keep the door open slightly for air to circulate. The next day, make popu or tadka . Add it to the pickle and mix. Put the pulihora aavakayi in a glass bottle after two hours.

Popu Or Tadka

½ cup sesame oil or vegetable oil

½ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek)

½ teaspoon red mustard seeds

1-teaspoon chana dal

1-teaspoon urad dal

2 stems washed and dried fresh curry leaves

2 pinches of hing (asafetida) (optional)

Heat oil in a small pan. Add methi seeds, mustard seeds, chana dal, and urad dal until the spices become light brown. Add curry leaves and hing (if using), fry for half a minute and add the spices to mango pickle and mix.

 Note: Mango pieces stay fresh and tastes better if kept in the refrigerator.

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