September 13, 2013

Instant Mango Pickle - Spicy Kerala Mango Pickle Recipe

This Kerala-style instant mango pickle is super easy to prepare, spicy, and uses sour raw mangoes which give it an amazing flavour. This mango pickle or manga curry is an important condiment addition to the Onam sadya or Kerala wedding sadya along with the lime pickle or naranga curry. While different parts of Kerala and different communities prepare this simple mango pickle differently, the base recipe remains the same and you can add or subtract ingredients to your preference. While I love the sweet mango pickle that amma makes, this instant spicy mango pickle does hold a special place in my heart.

kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry

I made this mango pickle a few months ago when raw mangoes were in season in Singapore and distributed it to a few friends who loved it! I don't make pickles at home often since I have a few favourite brands of pickles I buy from the stores and amma makes some for me when I visit her. Since our consumption is so low, making pickles at home in bulk is hardly necessary.

kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry

However, after making this mango pickle with just one mango, I regretted not making more since it came out so nice and flavourful. Use the ingredient and amounts as guidelines and check the notes for some additional customizations you can make to suit your palates. Check out the Onam Sadya Menu here and also notes on how to serve an Onam Sadya.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes 2 cups
Recipe source: Amma

2 cups of raw mangoes, with skin, cut into cubes
2 tbsp of salt (you may need to adjust this)
1/4 cup of oil
2.5 tsp of black mustard seeds (kaduku)
1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds (uluva)
2 strands of curry leaves
2-3 tsp of red chilli powder
2 tsp of vinegar (optional)


1. Add salt to the cut mango pieces and set aside for 20-30 mins.
kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry

2. Combine 2 tsp mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds together...
kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry-2

... and powder it together. You can make it a finer powder or leave it a bot coarse like I did.
kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry-3

3. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, turn off the flame and add the powdered mustard+fenugreek.
kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry-5

4. Quickly follow with the chilli powder and curry leaves and stir vigorously for 5 seconds.
kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry-6

5. Tip in the salted mangoes and mix well, adding salt and vinegar (if using).
kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry-7

The entire mixture will come together in the residual heat of the pan. That's it! The mango pickle is ready.
kerala mango pickle-instant mango pickle-manga curry-8

Let it sit in the same pan until completely cooled and then transfer to a dry glass jar. Store refrigerated and use up within a week. Always use a dry spoon to serve the pickle.

  1. You can make customizations to this pickle by adding 1/2 powdered jaggery, a few garlic cloves, green chillies instead of red chilli powder (my favourite!), etc
  2. I generally add the vinegar if the mangoes are not sour enough. It also helps to preserve the pickle longer. I didn't add any for this batch
  3. Leave the skin of the mangoes on, especially if they are too sour, otherwise the pickle will become mushy and too sour
  4. Adjust chilli powder and salt to your preference. Don't be stingy on the salt though, it acts as a preservative. Also, if you like a fiery red pickle but not the heat, add Kashmiri chilli powder like I did
  5. Take care not to burn the spices, that's why we turn the heat off adter initially heating the pan well

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