What I Learned About Punjabi Mango Pickle (with recipe)

{UPDATE: If you don’t have strong sun to dry your mango and spice mix under, you can bung it on an oven tray, spread out in a thin layer and bake it (with the door propped open for moisture to escape – you do NOT want cooked, soggy mango chutney!!) for a long time at a low temperature (100°c or so). The time will depend on the dryness of the mango, it’ll vary from oven to oven too. So just keep an eye out.}

Hello all! As you know by now I love food. I try things from every place, I am an anti food snob, i.e. I do not turn my nose up at unfamiliar food (well, most unfamiliar food) before trying it. I know that Punjabi mango pickle might not seem exotic because I’m Indian but if you thought that, then you know nothing about India. The food here changes even within states; you will not get the same kind of biryani in the north and south of the same state, let alone the east and west. And there are 29 states and counting here.. Yeah, do the math!

So, this is my first time making Punjabi mango pickle. The thing is, I only like North Indian pickle, not the ones of my home state. I won’t apologise, I’m different and that’s it. First the recipe. I adapted mine from this one so if you can’t be bothered to read mine, go there. They’ve got pictures too. But then make sure to read the notes at the end of this post or you’re going to be in trouble. You don’t want that do you? Uh uh.

3-4 small or medium sized raw mangoes, cubed
• 1-1.5 tbsp fennel seeds (coarsely ground)
• 1-1.5 tbsp split mustard seeds
• 1 tbsp nigella seeds
• 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds (coarsely ground)
• 1-1.5 tbsp chilli powder
• 1-1.5 tbsp turmeric powder
• Salt to taste
• Mustard oil as required

— Wash mangoes well. You can peel them if the skin is too thick as well. Dry them thoroughly*.
— In a dry* bowl, add in the cubed mangoes and all the spices and salt.
— Mix this around well with a dry* spoon.
— Place the whole heap on a tray or flat plate and spread around, only singles, no coupling allowed. Excuse you. Not that coupling.
— Put this tray in the sun, covered with a muslin, for 3 to 4 days. At night take it indoors and keep in a cool and dry place.
— Once sun dried, put in a sterilised and dry jar (use a bharni for cuteness factor). Even an airtight cookie jar will do.
— Cover the mangoes with raw mustard oil up to one inch above the mangoes.
— Store, closed, in a cool, dry place for 3 to 4 days.
— Dig out pickle with a dry spoon and go to town. You might like a Punjabi parantha or two with it.

1) * Be warned, if you think the drying part isn’t important, you’re doomed. Or your pickle is, which is kind of the same thing. If you think everything’s dry, go back and dry it again, only then dare to go to the next step.
2) Be prepared for unsightly mould/fungus if you don’t spread out the mangoes to dry.
3) If you don’t like the pungent taste of raw mustard oil, you can heat it to smoking point, cool it and then use that.
4) Make sure to maintain the best hygiene to ensure your pickle doesn’t spoil before it has the chance to explore your mouth.

You know why those notes are important now huh? I made those mistakes, not drying enough, not spreading out the mangoes to dry in the sun, not a dry bowl, all of it!! And now I have to start over. Because this girl does not quit. Psst, I rescued the non-mouldy ones, bunged them in the oven for a bit and am now about to pour oil over them.

My first ever Punjabi mango pickle. 😍

Ok, I’m done now. You can go back to doing whatever it was you were doing. Have a great day everyone!


6 thoughts on “What I Learned About Punjabi Mango Pickle (with recipe)

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