Pickles were something that I always thought of as an elaborately intricate process involving a lot of fiddly dos and don’t s ! For the most part,the traditional pickles do require a lot of attention to detail and an age old knowledge of pickling and preserving. Which is probably why I am happy to leave that in the expert hands of my aunts and grandmothers and stick to doing my super fast version of a ‘mango pickle’ which is not very time consuming and at the same time gives me a huge sense of satisfaction !!!
Not everyone is blessed with mango trees in their home. It is rather a hardy tree to grow,demands very less attention other than the basic care but rewards immensely and generously So,when I inherited these lovely old trees post wedding…season after season I waited for the fruits to ripen and year after year was disappointed that they stayed green and eventually rotted away. At one point,I blamed myself that I was indeed not born with a green thumb unlike my mother in law and mother ! When it finally dawned on me that these trees were not the fruit variety but the pickling variety,I was embarrassed and grateful at the same time that these could be put to good use. So ,were born the various recipes,mango rice, green mango salad, mango tamarind gravy etc…but the harvest was far too much to be used up ,even after sharing …
It was a revelation when a close friend and foodie made me a bottle of pickle with the mangoes I sent her…a pickle that was instant,used less oil and needed refrigeration….for a couple of years I religiously sent my mangoes to her for pickling and she, very sweetly indulged me, until one year…aghast at my laziness I tried my hand at making it and it was not bad at all…I still think that it’s not as good as her’s but I enjoy the whole process immensely,no matter how busy I am,it’s almost like a summer tradition now. The best part of this whole pickling process is that I get to share the bounty of green mangoes bestowed by our trees,with my family and friends ! What joy…one of the simple pleasures of living !!! It’s light and not very spicy but still tastes great with curd rice or some people like it as an accompaniment with toasted bread as a snack.
I do hope you try this recipe…the time taken is only in dicing the mangoes and the time needed to cool the pickle. Also,I’d like to mention that old jam jars etc can be sterilized by placing in a hot oven for 20 mts…make sure that once you take them out,that you don’t de-sterilise them by putting your hand or fingers inside or letting any water get in. Green mangoes are available in plenty now,so please make and share. This pickle also keeps well for a year,in the refrigerator.