Friday, July 15, 2011
Punjabi Special Mango pickle for Indian Cooking Challenge
This month's Indian Cooking Challenge brings you a very easy to make, tongue tickling mango pickle from Punjab. Simran had asked her mother for the recipe and shared it with Srivalli. Thus, the members were challenged to try this.
This was one of the few recipes those were not very challenging. People who are fond of pickles will love this one.
My husband never eats pickles and I am not also very fond of them, save a few exceptions. So I reduced the ingredients far too low to show a decent picture to post here. Srivalli gave the ingredients with 5 kilo mangoes and proportioned the same to 500 grams. I reduced that even further and made so much that will last me only a few servings. And now I am wondering what to do about the bottle of mustard oil and the packet of nigella seeds, new additions in the pantry!
Here, in Nigeria, we get mangoes almost all year around. They are big in size and cannot categorise them as either sour or sweet. Those are called salad mangoes and can be added to salads for the crunch and the sweet - sour taste. The other variety is a rich fibrous fruit, very small in size. In all varieties the skin is very thick.
I have tried the manga thokku, South Indian style mango pickle and now this with the salad mangoes.
The pickle might have been very nice if the mangoes were sour. Also never having tried mustard oil, to get used to that was a challenge for me!
500 grams mangoes
50 milli litres mustard oil
Spices to be added:
70 grams salt (this was slightly more for me. Possibly if you are keeping the pickle for many days, the salt acts as preservative)
10 grams fenugreek seeds
5 grams nigella seeds
10 grams fennel Seeds
5 grams whole black pepper corns
10 grams turmeric powder
Wash the mangoes and wipe them dry. Cut the mangoes in slightly large cubes. Spread them on a flat big dish and dry in the sun for 2 - 3 hours. If you cannot sun dry the same, dry them under an electric fan.
Use a ceramic jar or a glass jar to store the pickle. Metals and plastics can be reactive.
Clean the jar and wipe very dry. You can put the jar also in the sunlight for a few hours.
In a large pot mix all the spices and oil.
Toss the mango pieces well to coat them with the oil and spice mix.
More oil may be added if the mangoes are not well immersed in the oil. The oil preserves them. Hence, keep the level of oil slightly above the mango pieces.
Transfer the whole to the pickle jar. Leave the jar in sunlight for one day.
Then for the first fortnight, shake the jar with the contents in to toss them all over.
The pickle will be ready by the end of the fortnight.
Though there is no mandatory curing period, and you can pop pieces in your mouth even on the first day, the flavours will blend well over the period of these 15 days.
If handled carefully, the pickle stays well over a year too.
Adding some sodium benzoate (NaC6H5CO2 / E 211 preservative) to the spice mix will ensure longer shelf life.
The fenugreek and nigella seeds are absolutely critical for the unique flavour.
You may also note that the spices are added whole and raw. There is no chilli powder or any such heat. The heat comes from the whole black pepper, when you bite in to it.
I made the pickle soon after I saw Srivalli's mail, not because the mango season might fade, but we were in for heavy monsoon showers and would rarely see the sun out. Now I have exhausted the pickle and am glad to have tried this.