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In a pickle


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Photo by Harini Prakash.

It is said that complete food is one that has all six rasas or tastes – sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter and astringent. In a typical South Indian platter the first item served is a kheer (sweet) and the second is usually sour. This is represented by a digestive — usually a quick pickle. Pickle taken in small quantity along with food acts as an appetizer and digestive but overindulgence can lead to indigestion.

The pickle I am presenting today is known locally as ‘manga curry’. Manga curry can be prepared and consumed on the same day unlike other mango pickles that need to be sunned for a week before they can be consumed.

The best suited mango, irrespective of the variety used, should be bright green without any blemish, have smooth skin and should be hard and sour.

Dish: Manga curry (Quick mango pickle)


Raw, hard mango, chopped into small even bits – 2 cups Salt to taste (I use a mixture of pink and iodized white salt) – 1.5 tsps. Chilli powder – 2 tbsps. (more if you like it very hot) Mustard seeds – ½ tsp. Mustard powder – ½ tsp. Asafoetida powder – 1 generous pinch Sesame Oil – 2 tbsps.


Add salt and chilli powder to the mango pieces and mix well so it is evenly distributed.

Heat oil till hot. Season with mustard seeds. Put off fire. Add mustard powder and asafetida powder. Mix and pour over the mangoes. Mix well till the spices are uniformly distributed.

Serve immediately with rice and gravy, preferably a mild dish such as kadhi or dal. It is generally prepared in small quantities as it does not last very long. If using for more than two days, refrigerate.


This pickle is quite flexible as you can adjust the amount of chilli powder and salt as per taste. Addition of mustard powder is optional. I like the addition.

  *If you want specific recipes for the next blog post, feel free to suggest in the comment box below and I will try my best to accommodate your requests.

Sunshinemom aka Harini is a vegan food writer, food photographer and food stylist.  To see her work, visit her blog or Flickr album.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (13) Closed

irfan shaikh May 27, 2011 01:38pm long this dish can be stored for?
vijay, chennai, Indi May 27, 2011 04:13pm
just replace mango with lemon and also goose berries. You get the yummiest instant pickles. Do not add chilly powder when you are making lemon pickle but add a little more of turmeric powder. Please do not use aluminium/duralium vessels while making the pickles. In lemon pickle add green chillies.
Subhajit Basu May 27, 2011 04:23pm
nice reading...i will definitely try tomorrow
Javeriya May 27, 2011 04:40pm
Pickles are almost exotic for me. I'll definitely try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing. Regards, Javeriya
Ravi May 27, 2011 04:53pm
At least ten days, assuming enough salt has been added and the weather isn't damp. If each mango piece is cleanly cut and retains some portion of the hard core (gutli), the pickle could last several months.
ADEEL May 27, 2011 10:53pm
feroz zaidi May 28, 2011 02:27am
Isn't a pickle about fermentation in the sun? Which 'breaks down' or 'pre-digests' the raw unripe mango with enzymes that aid digestion and add flavor. This recipe is different. An 'instant' Kimchi!
G Men May 28, 2011 03:23pm
How about a nice recipe for sheekh Kebabs? Thanks in advance G Men
khalid May 28, 2011 10:45pm
I just tried this recipe and it was wonderful, thanks indeed.
mo May 29, 2011 04:40am
bhindi (the student style)
Harini Prakash Jun 06, 2011 10:16am
It can be stored for about 10 days without refrigeration, provided you use a clean, dry spoon each time. Do not leave the spoon inside the pickle jar or use a damp spoon as it leads to metal reaction and fungal formation.
Harini Prakash Jun 06, 2011 10:18am
Thanks for the feedback, Mr.Khalid:).
Anand Jun 08, 2011 04:00am
Errr..."Sunshinemom aka Harini is a VEGAN food writer, food photographer and food stylist." Wrong person to ask for kabab recipes, mate! :D