Some of the best days of our lives are really when we were much younger in school with no cares or worries about life and its guile! It does not really matter about the quality of life, or whether we walked to school, took the bus, had a hard time growing up…Every one`s life at that point still seems so happy and carefree! The best part of my childhood was always summer months filled with buzz and activity at Madurai amma`s home. All my cousins would visit us and the home would be filled with at least fifteen members of the family. Everyday cooking itself would be 2 hour chore with all of us helping here and there. Summers would also be time for pickles. vadams and vathals. Time to bite in to juicy ripe Banganapalli mangoes and Dilpasand from Bangalore Iyengar Bakery in T.Nagar.
Madurai amma would always make Avakkai Pickle, Manga Thokku and Mahani Kizhangu. We all would pitch in and grate about 10 mangoes on to a large newspaper and trnasfer them to large plates for her to make the pickle. By afternoon the aroma of the pickle would be wafting throughout the home and that night everyone would volunteer to sample the pickle. As I make this every summer, I recount those beautiful days of my childhood and pass on the memories to my little ones…
2 Big Mangoes or 3 Medium Mangoes.
2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.
1/8 Tsp Turmeric.
1/8 Tsp Hing.
2 Tsp Salt.
1/2 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds.
1 Tbsp Jaggery.
A pinch of tamarind.
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.
Few sprigs of curry leaves.
- Wash the mangoes and wipe them down with a clean kitchen towel. Peel out the skin and using a grater, grate all the mangoes until you reach the seed.
- In a dry kadai roast about 4 tsp of fenugreek on a low flame until it emits an aroma. Switch off and when cool, grind to a fine powder. Store in an air tight container.
- In a heavy bottomed kadai add 4-5 tbsp of oil and when its hot enough season with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- When the mustard seeds splutter, add the grated mangoes slowly in to the kadai.
- Add turmeric powder, hing and red chilli powder and give it a quick saute.
- After a couple minutes, add salt, a pinch of tamarind paste (optional if the mangoes are tart by themselves), fenugreek powder and the jaggery.
- Keep stirring the kadai now and then and make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
- In about 20 minutes you should see the oil seperating from the pickle.
- Now its time to switch off the kadai and allow to cool.
- Transfer to a glass pickle jar and store air tight in the refrigerator.
- Mango Thokku can be used as a side for rotis, idli, curd rice and dosa.