I love pickles. I mean I really do love them. Any forms of pickles are great, but my true love will always lie with Indian pickles. Sour, savoury, hot – I will pretty much take any Indian pickle and love it very very much. I usually eat pickles alongside curd rice (rice mixed with plain yoghurt). The first time I ate this, my husband looked at me like I was mental. But curd rice and pickle is truly one of my favourite comfort foods. We always had a bit of this after dinner when I was growing up – apparently it’s meant to help cool your mouth and stomach down, but considering most pickles involved were very spicy, I’m not sure how much good it did. Whenever I’m too lazy to cook, or need a bit of comfort, I will invariably end up eating curd rice and pickle.
Most people will be familiar with the range of ready jarred pickles you can pick up pretty much anywhere in most supermarkets – the mangos, limes and aubergine pickles. However, a particular favourite of mine is fresh green mango pickle. This is not a pickle with a long shelf life – it’s not really preserved, as such, but it will last around a week in the fridge. I spied some unripe green mangoes in SMBS in East Dulwich – one of those stores that stocks pretty much everything. I knew I had to make this pickle.
This is very very easy to make, as long as you can get hold of some unripe green mangoes – Indian food shops are your best bet.
Green mango pickle – I used one mango to trial this, which yielded enough pickle for a good 7 or so dishes
1 firm, green mango
150ml groundnut oil
1tsp mustard seeds
2 good pinches of asafoetida (sometimes also called hing)
1tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp fenugreek powder (basically toast some fenugreek seeds in a small pan until fragrant (a couple of minutes), leave to cool and grind to a fine powder)
3/4 tbsp salt (it seems a lot, but it is to help it keep as well as flavour)
1. Cut the mango up into very small pieces, around 1.5cm long, and discard the core. Keep the skin on. Place in a bowl.
2. Add the turmeric, chilli powder and fenugreek to the mango
3. Heat the oil in a small pan and when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the asafoetida and take off the heat. Pour this mixture over your pile of mango and spices. Add the salt and stir everything really well, until it’s all evenly combined.
4. When cool, put the pickle in an airtight container, and it should keep in the fridge for a week or so.
I love it with curd rice, but try it out as you would any Indian pickle – with poppadums, with breads. I would pretty much eat it with anything.