Summers are here in this part of the world! For Indians, it generally means exam time for school/college going kids, followed by a summer vacation, sultry day and nights, lack of appetite, unending thirst for water and cool refreshing drinks, watermelons, mangoes, papad and pickle making marathon and ..and wait..did I mention Mangoes and pickle? Oh yeah, I did! Well that’s what today’s recipe is all about.
This is a very traditional way of making Mango pickle in Sindhi Cuisine, though not many Sindhis make this nowadays. The pickle is very easy to assemble and gets mature within 10-13 days in summer.
What makes this simple ‘ grated raw mango mixed with few basic spices ‘ an exotic looking pickle, is the way it is preserved. The ingredients are mixed and small portions of it are tied up in individual ‘potlis’ a kind of Bouquet Garni (In french ) made by using a piece of Cheese cloth or Muslin cloth. Each potli is then either tied with a string to seal its ‘mouth’ or is simply knotted. These are then preserved in an oil-water-vinegar solution for around 10-15 days (depending upon the season/temperature).
I don’t know about other Sindhis, but I was surely fascinated with this pickle during childhood days. The thrill of untying individual ‘potli’ and inhaling the intoxicating whiff of raw mangoes, nigella seeds, mustard oil and garlic cloves, the tangy-sweet flavors hitting your palate….amazing !!!
If you don’t believe, just go ahead and try this pickle. You will know what I mean 😉
Kadhukash|Gathri Pickle|Sindhi style Raw Mango pickle:
- Raw mangoes (kairi) 1 kg
- Mustard oil Approx. 40 ml (Generally on every 100 gm of mango, 5 ml oil is used.)
- Turmeric powder 2 tsp
- Black pepper corns around 15-25 gm (more or less is ok)
- Nigella seeds (Onion seeds, kalonji) 25-30 gm ( around 9-10 tsp)
- Fennel seeds (saunf) 3o-35 gm
- Red chilly powder 10 gm ( Please be careful with this, the amount required may highly vary with the type of Chilly powder used)
- Fenugreek seeds powder (grind 2 tsp fenugreek seeds to make powder)
- Asafoetida (Hing) ¾ tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Peeled garlic cloves, 1 clove for each potli, so around 27-30 cloves
- Jaggery crumbled, 2 tsp (Optional )
- White vinegar (acetic acid) 1½ tsp
- Mustard oil 40 ml
- Boiled and cooled water (to fill the jar)
- Properly sterilized glass jar with airtight lid
- Unused, clean muslin cloth or cheese cloth cut in small squares or rectangles (I used around 10 cm by 15 cm pieces) 28-30
- Heat the mustard oil ( total 80 ml) to the smoking point and let it cool completely. Divide it into two parts.Use 40 ml to add in mango mixture and rest to make the solution for preserving potlis.
- Boil and cool the water that will be used to fill the jar.
- Sterilize the glass jar and lid by immersing it in hot boiling water, leaving it for around 20 minutes in hot water.
- In the mean time, rinse clean, the raw mangoes with water and wipe with clean cloth to get rid of any moisture on surface. Note that raw mangoes should be firm.
- Peel and grate mangoes. Mix all the ingredients listed under "for pickle" except garlic.We generally add one garlic clove each, in every potli.
- Place a small portion of this mixture on each muslin cloth piece and tie a potli sealing the contents inside.You can either tie a knot with the ends of cloth or just tie the 'mouth' of potli with a clean thread.
- Remove the glass jar and lid from hot water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.The more you work in sterile conditions, lesser the chances of the pickle getting spoiled by bacteria.
- Mix cooled water, vinegar and mustard oil to make a kind of dilute Vinaigrette.Fill the jar with this solution.
- Place the potlis carefully in the jar and make sure that they are completely immersed in solution.If not, just press them slightly with a fork or spoon.
- The pickle matures in around 10-15 days, depending upon the climatic conditions.
- To serve, just pick one potli out of the jar, untie it and relish this traditional Sindhi pickle.My favorite part of this pickle is the sweetish, tangy, pickled clove of garlic in each serving 🙂