I always thought that pickle making was a science beyond me, very complicated, time-consuming and one had to have some special skills, but really it is not so! It is incredibly simple and fuss-free as you will see in the below pictorial, hope this inspires you to make a jar of your own, to enjoy with paranthas, puris, mathris or simply on it's own.This is my ma-in-law's recipe which has been followed for centuries in the family and year after year jars and jars of pickle are lovingly preserved and probably even gifted to some special family members.This pickle keeps almost indefinitely and has that special flavor of the punjabi household.. Try and use the special "Ramkela" variety of mango, if possible, refer to the below pictures for what the mango looks like. For this pickle you require-
- Raw Mangoes (ambis)-2 kgs (you can easily double it if you wish)
- Fenugreek seeds(methi seeds, methre)- 250 gms
- Aniseed (saunf)-250 gms
- Onion seeds(kalonji)-50 gms
- Turmeric powder(haldi)-1/2 cup
- Salt -about 400 gms
- Mustard oil-1 kg
- Red chilli powder- acc. to taste.
- 1 piece of coal (for smoking and sterilizing the jar)
- Asafoetida(for smoking the jar)- a little
Cut mango into pieces as shown above. Heat Mustard oil to smoking point, switch off flame and let cool.
Combine the onion seeds, fenugreek and aniseed, note the handful of mango seeds chopped up in between, this seed pickle, my ma-in-law is wonderful for tummy aches!
Measure out salt, turmeric and chilli powder separately
Tip in all the spices
Mix everything in with clean dry hands, add only about as much oil as required to coat, keep rest aside.
Prepare the jar or the glazed pottery "barani" or "biyyam", alternatively you can use a glass jar.Wash and clean then take a small piece of smoldering coal , put a bit of astafoetida (hing) on it, invert the jar and let it smoke, this gives a special flavor and the hing-smoke and also sterilizes it in a way.
After 2-3 days pour the rest of the oil in the jar, this acts as a barrier between the pickle and atmosphere and prevents pickle from getting spoilt, always ensure that the mango pieces are submerged in the oil.Tie muslin cloth around the neck of the jar.
There- your delicious mango pickle will be ready in just a few weeks, enjoy!