Making a Pickle is a ritual in my parents’ house. Amma would first check for an auspicious date after spring and once the mango season starts to make a temporary pickle for us to taste the first unripe mango bought in the season before they actually start making the Avakaya.I know its a tad late to kick off this ritual at my home here, but Nevertheless I decided to give it a shot. We have been taught that for a pickle the Mangoes should be washed thoroughly and pat dry thoroughly and always make sure that your hands are dry and not a water drop in the surroundings. Dad would do the cutting and mom would do the mixing. Ah!.. those are the days I miss the most, come summer.
I decided to give it a try with just two mangoes and see the end result and it came out well.Its best to use unripe mangoes which are shorter in length and more pulp so that there is ample juice(oota as we say in telugu)to mix with the other ingredients so as to make it taste juicer and a little sour.
For the Menthi Baddalu:
1 raw mango cut into bite size pieces with the skin
2 cups of gingelly oil(peanut oil can also be used)
3/4 cup of chili powder
3/4 cup of salt
1/2 cup of fenugreek powder made by roasting fenugreek first and then grinding the seeds
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon jaggery
For the popu/tadka:
1 teaspoon of seeds
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of asafoetida
Take a large mixing bowl and add the mango pieces, slowly add half of each ingedient mentioned and keep mixing and check the taste . I stopped at 3/4 cups of salt and chili powder and 2 teaspoons less than 3/4 cups of fenugreek powder. Add the jaggery lastly . Its important to add the jaggery as fenugreek is bitter and helps in Mix well and keep aside covered in a corner where there is no moisture. I suggest you taste it again after two days and then do the popu.
For the Aava Baddalu,I cut the mango into bite size pieces the only ingredient change would be mustard powder instead of fenugreek powder and I stopped mixed after 3/4 cups of each ingredient. There is no need to add jaggery to this pickle.
Once the contents of the mixing bowls are transferred into airtight containers after 2 days the best way to clear the pickle off them is to cook rice and mix it with the remaining pickle in the mixing bowl. Add a dollop of ghee and make Indira’s amma mudda and enjoy ! My grandmother used to do that after she was done with the pickling !
Note: This pickle normally stays for 1-2 months if stored properly. I suggest that you do not store it in the fridge for the first 2-3 days after the doing the popu so that the ingredients mix well and then u can store it.