Gur Aam (Sweet Mango Pickle)

There are a few common kitchen items that every grandmothers had. Jars of pickles. Sweet and sour or hot and spicy. Mouth watering and lip smacking pickles to tickle the taste buds. We never knew how she made those, but each tasted different and irresistible.

My last post was about the joy of collecting mangoes and wood apples after a thunderstorm. What do you do with the collected raw mangoes? Make pickles of course . Versatile fruits like mangoes can be made into pickles of varied tastes. Each Indian state specializes in their own way of making pickles.

Making pickle is an culinary art. Blend of spices mixed in right proportions and at the right time ensures a perfect taste that runs down traditions. Spicy mango pickles of Punjab are well know. South Indian pickles are red hot with curry leave tempering.

Bengali have a sweet version of this too. Sweet mango pickles made with sugar cane  jaggery. Have it with roti or bread or just a bowl of it as is. Cooked in Gur (jaggery), this sweet pickle has a distinct sweet, sour and spicy taste to satiate the taste buds.

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What you need:

Raw Mango: 1 kg
Sugar cane jaggery: 500gm
Fennel seed: 1 tsp
Fenugreek seed: 1 tsp
Cumin seed: 1 tsp
Nigella seed: 1 tsp
Mustard seed: 1 tsp
Dry red chili: 4-5
Mustard oil: 1 tsp
Salt

How to make:
1. Cut raw mango into wedges, smear with salt and let dry under sun for 1- hrs. There’s a quick alternative to this step. Fry the wedges with a little mustard oil in a wok to dry the moisture in the mango.
2. Dry roast half of the each whole spices and two dry red chili, coarsely ground them, keep aside (bhaja masala).
3. Melt the jaggery in the wok.
4. In a pan, heat mustard oil, add 1 teaspoon of the mixed spices and remaining red chilies.
5. Add mango wedges, stir, add jaggery. Cook till mango is cooked. Boil for 3-4 min. Sprinkle rest of the ground spices (bhaja masala).
6. Keep in a sterilized glass jar, cure under hot sun for 6-7 days.

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Note:

  • Mangoes with hard seed skin makes better pickles
  • Totapuri mangoes doesn’t make good gur aam, since they melt completely within minutes. So go for the indigenous local mango variety.
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