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In a pickle

May 27, 2011

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.