Friday, June 5, 2009

Menthikaya pachadi (Sweet and Spicy Mango Pickle)

Surfing the Internet you accidentally land on a page that tells you that you can fly to India for under 1000$ - what's the first thought that pops up in your mind? Parents, Home-Sweet-Home, Family, Weddings, so on & so forth.. An avid Mango lover that I am, the first motivation to grab the ticket and fly home was M.A.N.G.O!!! Oh my!! God only knows how much I miss them here in US. Gone are the days I used to snack on two juicy mangoes everyday, all I can do now is lick the packaged mango pulp from the can. If fruity mangoes are my first love (in May), mango pickles are the second. Avakaya is the famous mango pickle made in the state of Andhra Pradesh. There are several variants of this pickle and each one has its own charm. There's this dialogue from some Telugu movie: "Amma, Avakaya eppudu bore kottaru" which precisely means "You can never get bored of your Mom and also Avakaya".

This year, I'm really lucky to get some freshly prepared Avakaya pickle from India. Last year when I missed the taste of mango pickle in Summer, I asked my mom for the recipe so that I could try it here. "Menthikaya" is a sweeter version of Avakaya which is easier to prepare and also it doesn't require the mango to be too sour. Its a blend of several different tastes just like the Ugadi pachadi (Sour/Mango, Sweet/jaggery, Bitter/Fenugreek powder, Spice and salty) Can be made in less than half an hour and goes well with steamed rice as well as tiffins.

Ingredients:
  1. Raw mango (should be sour, okay even if it's moderately sour) - 1
  2. Sesame/Gingelly oil - 1/2 cup
  3. Jaggery powder- 2 tbsp
  4. Chilli powder - atleast 2 tbsp
  5. Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tbsp
  6. Salt, Turmeric, Mustard seeds and Heeng
Method:
  1. Peel the mango. Make sure its completely dry (no water/moisture).
  2. Cut the mango into small pieces (see pic below). Trash the seed portion.
  3. Add sufficient salt and a pinch of turmeric powder to the pieces and mix them all. Allow the mango pieces to marinate for about 20 min.
  4. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and powder them in a mixer.
  5. Take about 1/3 cup oil and heat it in a kadai. Add the powdered jaggery powder and stir continously. Leave it on the flame till the jaggery starts to melt. Leaving it for too long causes the molten jaggery to become hard.
  6. Now add the heated jaggery along with the oil to the mango pieces. While its hot, add chilli powder.
  7. Fenugreek powder - add little by little, because adding in excess would result in a bitter tasting pickle. To start with just add a pinch.
  8. Using the remaining oil, do the tadka with mustard seeds (about a tbsp) and lots of heeng (unlike regular curry tadka).
  9. Time-to-taste: Mix all the ingredients really well and taste the syrup. It should be a little bitter, mostly sweet and spicy. Adjust fenugreek/chilli powder/jaggery/salt. I'm sorry about the measurements. Next time, I'll take a note of how much of each ingredient went into the making of the pickle.
Cover the pickle and leave it undisturbed for about half day so that the sourness of the mango pieces seeps into the syrup.

Few clicks:

Ingredients-



After marinating-




End result :)







5 comments:

Ramya Vijaykumar

Oh slurrp slurrp!!! I love these pickle wish I could have them some now!!!

Kitchen Flavours

Oh love nice to meet another mango lover....that pachadi looks spicy and yum...perfect to suit a spicy tastebuds.....

Manjusha

@ Ramya & Kitchen Flavours,

Thank you for leaving a note. Why don't you make this pachadi as per the recipe and give me your feedback?

kaburulu

I am missing it...No one eats it at home...No enthu to prepare for myself alone :(((

Manjusha

@ Swati (kaburulu),

Same here. But I don't mind preparing it for myself alone, considering its amazing taste.

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