If you ever speak to an Andhrite about their local cuisine you would either hear Avakaya or Gongura as their first preference.Andhra people prefer their food spicy and hence they have various varieties of pickles which they eat on daily basis.'Avakay (Raw Mango pickle)' can be considered as the king of pickles of Andhra.Though we prepare lots of other varieties of pickles we prepare Avakaya in a larger quantity.Traditionally any Andhra meal would ideally start with pickles like Avakay or any other vegetable pacchadi.(chutney)
During my childhood when the entire family meets during vacations,avakaya is mixed in a big bowl with either muddapappu (mashed up cooked toor dal) or spiced up pappula podi(fried gram powder) and dollops of ghee and is served to the entire family in the form of muddalu(rounds) during lunch.We add garlic pods to this pickle which when marinated gives a very nice taste to the pickle. I always search for garlic pods in avakaya pickle as they taste very nice with curd rice.One can even add kala chana or methi seeds to the pickle according to their preference.We added methi seeds this year to our Avakaya.ANDHRA AVAKAYA PICKLE RECIPE:
(makes approx 1 kilo)
Shelf life: 1 year
4 cups Mango pieces of 4-5 medium raw sour Mangoes (pickle variety,see the notes)
1 cup Mustard seed powder(ground from 1 cup mustard seeds)
1 cup Red chili powder(see notes)
1/3 cup Garlic pods
1 tbsp Methi seeds
1 cup (minus 3 tbsp) Salt(use salt less than 1 cup)
1 1/2 cup Sesame oil
cleaning the mangoes:
- Wash and wipe the mangoes with a dry cloth.You really need to have sharp thick knife to cut into 1" thick mango wedges with the inner shell in tact as shown in the pictures.Here in India the shop keepers does this job during the mango season.
- If the inner shell is in tact this will increase the shelf life of pickle.Take a sharp knife and scrub the inner shell to remove a thin white layer over it.This is another important step you should keep in mind otherwise the pickle gets spoil.
- Now take a dry cloth and wipe the pieces from all the sides ensuring that they are cleaned and dried well.
- Spread them over a dry cloth while you are preparing the spices for the pickle.
for making pickle:
- Keep ready the sterilized and sun dried jars ready before you start pickling.
- Grind mustard seeds(approx 1 cup)to a fine powder.
- Remove the extra outer layers of garlic and keep just one thin layer intact with the pod.
- Now take a big bowl and mix the mustard seeds powder,red chili powder and salt until everything is mixed well.
- Add the mango pieces to it and mix well and apply the mixture all over the mango pieces with your hands.Using your hands for this step is better than mixing it up with ladle.
- Add methi seeds and garlic pods to the mixed mixture and mix well.If you are using kala chana instead of methi seeds add them at this time.Use either methi seeds or kala chana in the recipe.
- Add 1 1/4 cups of oil to the spice coated mango pieces and mix well.
- Put the masala coated mango pieces and all the remaining masala in the sterilized jar add 1/4 cup oil over it and cover it with lid and keep it aside for 2-3 days.
- On day-1 check it some oil might have started floating over the pickle.Now taste the masala mixture in the pickle,it should be perfect and slightly salty as the pickle has to be yet marinated for a day or two before its usage.But if you feel the salt is less add a tsp or 2tsps of salt to it and mix well.I don't think it would be necessary if you follow the measurements accurate.
- Mix with a clean and dry ladle all over and repeat the same process on day-3.
- On the day-3 if you see the oil is floating on the pickle up to an 1/2" height then it is perfect.Otherwise add extra sesame oil over the top until the oil floats on top.
- Store it in a clean air-tight tupperware/ceramic/glass container.This way your pickle stores for long with freshness in it and even the mango pieces do not get soft and also would not change the color.
Serve it with hot rice and ghee.You can serve it with muddapappu(mashed up cooked toor dal) or pappula podi(spiced up fried gram powder) and ghee which are classic combos with avakaya.
- Use pickle variety mangoes which are sour and also cut them in to the pieces with the inner shell in tact.
- You can add 1/3 cup Kala chana in the recipe and avoid 1 tbsp methi seeds.You can use whatever you want,but use only one variety.
- Use red chili powder which is specially used for pickles as this variety gives a nice and bright red color to the pickle and also it is not very spicy.My MIL brought a brand called 'Three Mangoes' which is good for pickles.It is not very spicy and also gave beautiful bright red color to pickle giving a fiery look.
- Always transfer a small portion of pickle into a small jar and use a clean and dry spoon.
- Increase the amount of sesame oil as required in the recipe.The basic thumb rule is to make the oil float over the pickle after 3 days.So feel free to add extra sesame oil.
- This pickle stays good for an year.
- You can easily double or triple the recipe,the basic rule is to use 4 cups of mango pieces with 1 leveled cup(1 cup minus 3 tbsp) salt,1 cup red chili powder and 1 cup mustard seeds powder.
- North Indian style Aam ka Achar
- Maagaya/Sun dried Mango Pickle
- Bellam Avakaya(Jaggery Mango Pickle)
- Mukkala Pacchadi(Tiny mango pieces pickle)
- Pesara Avakaya(Mango pickle with Moong dal Powder)
- Palli Avakaya(Mango Pickle with Groundnut Powder)
- Avakaya/Andhra special Mango pickle
- Allam Avakay | Avakay with Ginger-Garlic paste
- Nuvvu Avakay (Mango pickle with Sesame powder)
- No oil Mango pickle(Water Mango pickle)