This Kerala-style instant mango pickle is super easy to prepare. It is spicy and uses sour raw mangoes which give it an amazing flavour.
Instant mango pickle has a special place in my childhood memories. Amma would make some just before a train journey and us kids would taste some while it’s cooling in the pan, spicy and tangy. Yum! While at home, mango pickle is usually eaten with curd rice, all those pairing rules go out the window when on a trip and we are packing food. We eat this pickle alongside chapati, curd rice, lemon rice, and even podi idli. It adds a zing to any food and makes it instantly more palatable.
Making instant mango pickle is a quick and flavorful way to enjoy the tangy goodness of mangoes. Here are some tips to help you make delicious instant mango pickle:
Ingredients for Instant Mango Pickle:
- Raw Mangoes: Choose firm and slightly sour raw mangoes for the best flavour. If the mangoes are slightly ripe, it will add a sweet tinge to the pickle which some like but for the true authentic flavour, choose raw mangoes
- Spices: We use a combination of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, red chili powder, oil and salt. Most of these ingredients act as natural preserving agents for the mango pickle
- Oil: We use neutral oil for mango pickle so you can use any cooking oil of your choice
- Seasoning: I always add curry leaves because I love the flavour. A fat pinch of jaggery powder is something I usually add too, but totally optional
Tips to Make a Good Instant Mango Pickle:
- Choose the Right Mangoes:
- Select raw mangoes that are firm, slightly sour, and fresh
- Cutting the Mangoes:
- Cut the mangoes into small, square pieces. Do not peel the mangoes as this will cause the flesh to turn mushy when cooking. We need the mango pieces to cook soft but retain their shape
- Dry Roast the Spices:
- Dry roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds separately before grinding them. This enhances their flavors. Take care not to burn any of the spices, this will make the pickle bitter
- Grind Spices Coarsely:
- Grind the roasted mustard and fenugreek seeds coarsely. This adds texture to the pickle and adds to overall flavour too.
- Use Fresh Spices:
- Ensure your spices, especially red chili powder, are fresh for a vibrant flavour. You can use a mix of regular chilli powder and Kashmiri chilli powder for added colour
- Temper the oil with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves for an extra layer of flavor.
- Balancing Flavors:
- Adjust the quantity of salt, red chili powder, and jaggery (if using) to balance the flavours according to your preference. Do not skimp on oil or salt and chilli since those are the core ingredients for any pickle
- Cool completely and store the pickle in a clean, airtight container. Allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to let the flavours mingle. Since the instant mango pickle has only natural ingredients, it’s best to refrigerate it
- Serving Suggestion:
- This instant mango pickle goes well with rice, chapati, and as a side dish to pretty much any Indian meal. If you are making it on the day you plan to serve it, let it sit for some time before serving to allow the flavours to develop.
Remember that instant mango pickle is quite versatile, and you can customise it based on your taste preferences.
This mango pickle or manga curry is an important 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.
If you are not vegetarian, you must try my Kerala fish pickle recipe.
Instant Mango Pickle Recipe Kerala-Style
- 2 cups raw mango cut into small cubes, skin on
- 2 tbsp salt adjust to taste
- 1/4 cup oil any cooking oil will do
- 2.5 tsp black mustard seeds plus some extra
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds uluva, methi
- A few curry leaves
- 2-3 tsp chilli powder check notes, adjust to taste
- 2 tsp white vinegar optional, see notes
- Add 2 tbsp salt to 2 cups raw mango cut into small pieces, mix well, and set aside for 30 minutes
- Powder 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds and 2.5 tsp black mustard seeds together coarsely.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil and add some mustard seeds. When they pop, add the powdered fenugreek-mustard powder and turn off the heat
- Quickly follow with 2-3 tsp chilli powder and A few curry leaves and stir vigorously for 5 seconds. This is to ensure that the spices don't burn.
- Tip in the salted mangoes and mix well. Add more salt as needed and 2 tsp white vinegar, if using.
- The entire mixture will come together in the residual heat of the pan. Ther's no need to cook it all further.
- That's it! Instant mango pickle for your Onam sadya or any meal is ready.
- Let it sit in the same pan until completely cooled and then transfer to a dry, airtight glass jar.
- Store instant mango pickle in the refrigerator and use up within 3-4 days.
- Always use a dry spoon to serve the pickle. Moisture will make it go bad pretty much immediately
- Sun-dry the pickle after 2-3 days for a lovely flavour. Also helps to extend the shelf life
- The vinegar is optional and I would only add some if your mangoes are not too sour, otherwise the mango pickle might get too tart
- The mangoes will soften in time and release more water so if the pickle seems dry immediately after preparing it, do not worry
- Don’t skimp on oil or salt. Taste and adjust as you go.
- A small amount of jaggery or sugar will enhance the taste so add some if you prefer
- The chilli powder can be adjusted to your heat tolerance. For added colour I usually add 2 teaspoons chilli powder and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
- There are some variations where the mango is almost minced to prepare this pickle. In our home, they are cut into very small squares. I have seen larger cubes too. My personal preference is to cut the mangoes into small pieces but not minced, so there’s some texture when the mangoes have softened
- You can make other customisations to this instant mango pickle by adding a few garlic cloves, or slit green chillies instead of red chilli powder for heat (my favourite!)
- Take extra care not to burn the spices, that’s why we turn the heat off after initially heating the pan well with the oil
Step by Step Images for Instant Mango Pickle Recipe
Add salt to the cut mango pieces, mix well, and set aside for 30 mins.
Powder coarsely together – fenugreek seeds and black mustard seeds
Heat oil in a pan and add more mustard seeds. When they pop, turn off the flame and add the powdered mustard + fenugreek.
Quickly follow with the chilli powder and curry leaves and stir vigorously for 5 seconds, taking care not to burn the spices.
Tip in the salted mangoes and mix well, adding more salt as needed, and vinegar, if using.
Mix together well, adding more optional ingredients like jaggery. It will all come together in the residual heat of the pan.
That’s it! The mango pickle is ready.