When Indian cuisine is plated pickles always play a significant side. The salty tang or the spicy kick from the preserved fruit or vegetable is what the palate craves depending on the season.
Locally grown raw mangoes and limes are the must-have in the pickle category for a South Indian family. Added to this list are Gooseberries, drumsticks, bitter gourd, so on and so forth. With the never-ending list of oorugais in the bharani, mango tops the wanted list. Every South Indian home has a version of a mango pickle (manga oorugai) This one is my favourite.
The instant Kerala nurukku manga Kari ( on the blog) does not really stand the test of time. If you want one that stays a bit longer and spicy, you should try this version of fenugreek infused mango pickle.
Selecting the mango for pickling
All through my postgraduation hostel-life amma always send a bottle or two of a homemade manga pickle. This treasure was brought out of days of absolute missing home or the days when we sneakily cooked in the room with an electric stove. That was an adventure indeed and everyone had their favourites to share.
Years later when I was learning to pickle these manga, amma reminded me of the mango one she sends. That immediately forever became my favourite. But the difficult task was securing perfect mangoes to pickle
The mangoes chosen to pickle are raw, firm and absolutely eye cringingly sour to bite into. In addition, the variety should not really become pulpy upon being in brine for a few days. This is a real trial and error if you are not in India. The valuable service provided by the vendors in India who exactly know which is the one we are looking for and the added service of chopping them into chunks makes it all so easy.
The common varieties for pickling in India are Ram Kela or gola. My mother vouches for her share of pickles with local Kerala varieties called puliyan or moovandan. These varieties are chosen for the depth of sourness, fibre content and the firmness to hold on to the salt without disintegrating.
Another important fact is the harness of the shell (seed coat) The raw mangoes with firm seed coat will create more longstanding pickle. With all this mouth-watering information lets now scroll down for the pickle.
Before you leave
These Mango varieties are the best to make the Indian Mango chutney as well. Here is a Coconut and Mango chutney from my mother’s kitchen.
If you need help to figure out some mango varieties, don’t miss to reach out. Keep in touch with us by leaving a note in the comments and subscribing to this blog. Enjoy the pickling and have a lip-smacking Indian thali.
Menthiya Manga oorugai
Mango pickle with fenugreek.
to roast and powder
- 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
- 3 tbsp dry red chillies 9crushed)
for the pickle
- 250 gram mango raw and fresh, diced.
- 1.5 tbsp cystalline salt ( vary depend on the sourness of the mango)
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 pinch Asafoetida
- In a dry pan roast the fenugreek seeds on a gentle heat. Remove and set aside.
- Add the crushed dry red chillies into the same warm pan and toss around till they are slightly roasted.
- Set aside to cool
- Dice the mangoes and spread on a plate
- Leave under bright sunlight for a day.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Crush the fenugreek and red chillies to a coarse mix. mix this into the now salted mangoes.
- Add this into a clean sundried bottle.
- Heat a pan and add the sesame oil, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add the curry leaves as the oil heats up and allow it to sizzle. Now add hing to the oil and remove from heat.
- Pour this warm oil over the mango mix.
- Cool and cover the bottle in an airtight fashion. Keep the bottle for two days to allow the flavours to marinate.
- The mangoes will be ready on the third day for the best flavour
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Seema you’re so right every Indian household will have its own version of mango pickle with fenugreek. I remember my mum use to make a huge jar during the mango season and us kids would eat half of the semi dry mango before it reached the jars. Your menthiya manga oorugai is drool worthy and wish I could have some right away.
I know!! getting maangai oorugai as soon as it was done was very rare. It was always kept hidden for few days which only the mum or the eldest in the family had access to. Once it was ready, it was so tasty. You will get the same feel with this mango pickle as well.
Summers seems to be incomplete until elders in your family aren’t sitting around to prepare mango pickle in big bulky jars. What new I have noticed in your recipe is the use of curry leaves. I am sure it helps in enhancing more flavours.
The curry leaf infused sesame oil is a very unique fragrance combined with the mangoes. It is a Classic South Indian flavour.
The classic South Indian flavour mango Fenugreek pickle recipe has completely bowled me over. While I am reading the recipe about how you have infused curry leaves in sesame oil, I am craving for it now. Super delicious, flavorful and a must try recipe.
Lata, adding curry leaves to sesame oil is something common to most South Indians, hence it shows up in our pickles too.
I have a weakness for pickles. when I see a pickle recipe, my mouth will start to drool. This recipe looks awesome!
Haha Uma, I guess I can say that used to happen to me. Now I have so many in stock and i know they are at easy reach. So keep some, you will enjoy them.
Such a mouthwatering pickle recipe. You are right Indian meals are incomplete without pickles. I am eager to try this recipe of yours.
The tangy pickle sides work well to add flavour to the Indian meals. Please do let me know how you like this recipe.
Love Mango pickle and this version with fenugreek is one of my favorite. Thanks for the detailed recipe, now I can make my own at home.
Once you get used to pickling you will love the process, that variety and taste of homemade ones. Give it a go…
Very less ingredients and such a simple recipe. I am sure this must be a keeper. Thanks for sharing!
Certainly, this is a family recipe and a definite keeper.
Indian thali without pickle seems lifeless, however, my family hardly enjoys any pickle. Really interesting recipe as you have used curry leaves in the pickle recipe.
Pickles are not just for the heat, they are lacto-fermented so is a collection of good gut bacteria as well. Yes, the curry leaf flavour is fantastic.
Wherever there is a pickle, fenugreek seeds are a must. This mango pickle looks so tempting.
With South Indian pickles, we have a variety of spices we add, most of them have only a tiny bit of fenugreek. In this, there is plenty to feel and taste in every bite.
Indian household can never be without a pickle! And this menthiya mangai oorugai is my favorite. I like this version as it has a longer shelf life than the instant version that I make. Making this pickle with freshly picked mangoes is the best ever~
It certainly is a long-life version. Make sure you get the sour mangoes, otherwise it doesn’t taste great after a few months.