August 23, 2012

Kadumanga Achar (Spicy Kerala Mango Pickle)

The very thought of this pickle makes my mouth water; the sour and tangy mangoes along with an exotic blend of spices that combine together to create this very delicious condiment. This pickle is very popular in Kerala and can surely be considered a common household staple.  “God's own country –Kerala” is blessed with abundant mango trees and especially during the mango season this pickle gets made in huge quantities at most households to be stored away and be enjoyed  year long. 

As a little kid, I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy a lot of mangoes, especially from my grandparents house and my uncles estate. During the holiday family get- togethers, it was a common routine for us kids to sneak into the pantry to sneak some of those lip-smacking pickle or fruit, when the adults were enjoying their afternoon siesta. Long gone are those days when I could step out of my house and pluck some home grown delicious mangoes to snack on. Luckily though, on my recent visit to the supermarket I was able to find some seasonal but extremely good mangoes and saw it as an opportunity to recreate some of my childhood memories. 

This pickle is a part of the Kerala Sadhya (meals) and also extremely in demand on Good Friday, when it is served as an accompaniment to Kanji and Payar, after the long church service. 

Makes about 7.5 cups

7 Cups – Diced Raw mango (about 3 big mangoes)
2 tsp - Mustard seeds
3 Tbsp - Chopped garlic
1 inch - Ginger
10 - Green Chilly
5 - Sprigs of Curry Leaves
1 tsp - Turmeric powder
5 tbsp - Red Chilli powder
1/2 tsp - Fenugreek/ Methi/ Uluva powder
¼ tsp - Asafoetida/ Hing/ Kayam
½ tsp - Sugar
1 ½ tbsp - Vinegar
5 tbsp - Sesame oil /Gingelly Oil/ Til Oil
Salt to taste
½ cup - Water

  • Do Ahead: Add 3 Tsp salt to the diced mango pieces and mix well. Store it in a closed air-tight non-reactive container, in the fridge, for atleast 24 hours. 
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter 
  • Stir in the chopped Green chilies, Ginger, Curry leaves and Garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. 
  • In a bowl, mix turmeric, red chilly powder, Uluva powder and ½ cup water to make a thick paste. 
  • Add the Chilly paste and let it cook for a minute or two. 
  • Add Asafetida, vinegar, sugar and mix as you add the cut mango pieces along with its juices. Mix well until the mango pieces are coated with the spices. 
  • Adjust salt as needed 
  • Allow it to cool completely before canning it into sterilized glass bottles. Refrigerate the pickle. 
Notes and Tips 
  • For tips to sterilize glass bottles click here and refer the "How to sterilize the jars?" section
  • You can use extra vinegar if the mangoes are not sour. 
  • Add extra oil if you are planning to store this pickle for a long time or if you are making a larger quantity. A layer of oil on top prevents the pickle from getting bad.
  • Refrigerate the pickle to retain freshness


  1. wow mouthwatering here,luks so tempting...

  2. Shema, you are simply tempting poor little me ;-) I'm sitting in my office n drooling here , just couldnt wait until I got home to see this recipe. Your clicks are so life like!


  3. My goodness more than your recipe, your English is too bashing!!! kudos!!


  4. Pickles r my fav.especially mango the pic n pickle

  5. why add sugar ?


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