I was building up this pickle, sitting in my kitchen encountering the perfume wafting through the air and for a moment my thoughts sneaked away into my Mother-in Law's old home in Kerala. Yes, this one belongs to my loving Mother in Law I am proud to say that my product turned out very much like her own.
(well, R complimented me on it!).
My MIL was a truly remarkable woman who raised nine successful children and had the utmost patience when they were young. Her confidence on top of her wonderful sense of humour, her calmness and hospitality that welcomed everyone into her family may have been built up over the years of raising children who are about a year or two apart. I really admired her persistence and courage while she was bed ridden, and now have fond memories of her stories and her secret recipes. I miss her and her laughter especially during the festival of Onam. This is dedicated to you Amma. R's family always got together for Onam and made large batches of fried plantain chips both savory and sweet. His mother's home was filled with the aroma of hot oil and pickles being made starting a few days ahead in preparation for the grand Onam Sadya. My SIL made enough mango, lemon and ginger pickles for the entire family to take home after the celebrations ended!
The traditional dances like Kaikotti Kali where women are dressed in traditional clothes, with strings of jasmine in their hair and dancing gracefully around the brass nilavilakku is sure to create a festive mood. Legends of Gods and Goddesses explained through dances like Kummati Kali(a masked Carnival Parade) and people swaying to the tunes of vocal folk music, and Puli Kali where men dress up in vibrant tiger outfits.
1 Large Raw mango
Red Chilli Powder- 2 Tblspn
Fenugreek/Methi seeds- 1/2 tspn
Asafoetida powder- 1 tspn
Mustard seeds- 2 Tblspn
Oil and salt as needed.
Dry red chilly-2
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
1. Wash, dry the raw mango with a paper towel and cut it up into small pieces about 1/4 inch cubes.
2. Take about 1 Tbslpn salt and toss well with mango pieces in a preserve jar and keep overnight.
3. The next day you will notice that the mangoes have given out liquid. Strain the liquid into a cup and keep aside.
4. Dry roast methi seeds and mustard seeds seperately. Grind mustard to a coarse powder leaving aside about 1 tspn. Methi seeds may be finely powdered.
5. Heat a pan and add about 2 tspn oil. When oil is hot add the 1 tspn mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves and when they
splutter add the liquid in the cup and maybe another 1/2 cup water.
6. Add the Chilli powder, asafoetida, mustard and methi powders and enough salt to taste.
7. Let the liquid and spices boil together until just thick. Remove and cool this mixture.
8. Pour this cooled mixture into the preserve jar with the raw mango pieces.
9. Allow to rest for a week in a cool place for the mangoes to be pickled in the spices and then it is ready for serving.