Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Raw Green Mango Pickle (Ambuli Nonchey/ Kairicha Loncha/ Maavinkayi Uppinkayi)

Green Raw Mango (Ambuli in GSB Konkani, Maavinkayi in Kannada and Kairi in Marathi) Pickle made from fresh Kairi tastes yummy. It is like a party of different spices in your mouth. I like this simple, easy pickle which Mom makes. Every Summer, pickle making has been a BIG ritual in many families. Some gather in groups, some make it alone, some get it done through experts but everyone has a tiny place in their kitchen for this tangy, spicy treat. A small jar would adore many a homes for the sheer symbolic value a jar of pickle carries with itself.

Pickles for me conjure and pile up lot of sweet, happy stories in a very special and significant way. Its about childhood memories, a cultural ethos which grows on you as you age, a group activity to bond, grow and share the daily domestic jabber, fond thoughts of summer vacations, visit to vast farms dotted with Mangroves and bounties of Mango trees, gift of couple of Raw Mangoes from a kind friend, hours of labour in the kitchen tugging along with Mom's Saree, some strict instructions given by elders not to meddle with the pickle jar - all this to finally taste the rich red tinged Mango bathed in the pickle liquor. A slice of sun-kissed Kairi with Red Chilli powder and salt dribbled on, and we packed a world of happiness with our giggles and pranks.

The pickle gets the powderful sharp and snappy aroma from the edible gum commonly known as Hing. Asafoetida is used in many Indian Daal and Curries. I picked Hing which is the globular gummy one you get in India instead of powdered Asafoetida. The taste had a profound difference in flavour with the use of gummy globular Hing. The combination of Crinkled Chillies (Byadgi) and/or Non-crinkled Chillies (Short Chillies/Guddi Mirsaang) enabled a smooth texture to the pickle liquor. We enjoy the red pickle liquor with Dosa's specially. The shelf life of this pickle is within 2-3 weeks or before the raw mangoes turn squishy and soft in the liquor.

Processing time: 2-3 days
Preparation time: 15 minutes

Raw Green Mangoes (chopped Ambuli/ Kairi/ Tor/ Maavinkai) - 4 cups
Red Chillies (Byadgi [15] + Red Chillies [15] ) - 30
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida ~ Edible globular gum (globular edible gum which is non-powdery) - 1/3 teaspoon

Wash and chop Raw Green Mango into bite sized pieces. Add good enough salt and leave them aside (salt cure) for 2-3 days. Store and refrigerate if required. This is called 'Karmbi'. The day you are making pickle, thaw them and leave aside. Grind Red Chillies in grinder, add Turmeric powder and globular Asafoetida and Mustard seeds towards the end. Do not add salt as the Mangoes already have salt. Allow the powder to cool off for couple of hours. Spread on a wide tray if required. Once cool, add the powder to Mango pieces, add enough water as desired. Mix well. Asjust and add salt if required. Leave aside for couple of hours. Store the pickle in a clean non-reactive glass/ ceramic/ porcelain jar. Refrigerate and consume within 2-3 weeks or till the Mangoes do not turn squishy and soft.


  1. Such a wonderful recipe Ashwini. I have a green mavinakayi sitting pretty in the fridge. I usually prepare the nonchey in a simple way, I like this wonderful traditional method.

  2. @ RC - Thanks for the encouraging words. With pickle I didn't want to take a chance and stuck to Mom's good old recipe. Glad it turned out well.


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