Pickle me good!
Aaah! There is something particularly magic about pickles especially Mango Pickles. The aromas are so incredible that you would want to just hang in there and smell them for hours.That’s my case really when it comes to Pickles, I just can’t get enough of them. Pickling has long been in the tradition here in Mauritius.I recall how back in my childhood days my Aunty would stack jars of them in her kitchen.She would have everything and when I tell you everything,that is indeed everything! From Mangoes to Olives,to even Bilimbi Fruit or Mixed Vegetables Pickles.She was to me the Queen of Pickles because they were damn so delicious.
Pickles are very dearly known as ”Zassar” or ”Achard’‘ here. Mauritius being an Island blended with so many multi cultural richness, you are sure to find a jar or two hidden somewhere in the heart of every house. We all love them so much really.The love for Pickles is so strong that sometimes while visiting our loved ones,they would send us back home with a big jar full of them as token.It is believed to be almost like a tradition here in Mauritius, where families would pickle fruits for their loved ones.And thereon would distribute evenly among everyone during the big New Year gathering. It was certainly the case at mine! My Aunty would pack each of us shares,wrapped in old newspapers and sealed tightly,after a day full of good food and content. Oh well the childhood memories! At least we can revive them by transcending the tradition. Mangoes are mostly in season during this time of the year, i.e Summer time in Mauritius. Therefore it makes it easier to kick start the pickling process as they last up to months until the next batch comes in season again.
Serves : Makes about 1 Big Jar to last for weeks
Preparation time : 24 hours
Cooking time : 24 hours
- 10 – 15 Raw Mangoes cut into wedges
- 6 Dry Red Chillies
- 1 bulb of Garlic
- 1/2 a cup of Mustard seeds
- 3 tsp of Feenugreek seeds
- 2 tsp of Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp of Fennel seeds
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable oil
- Cut the Mangoes into wedges and leave to dry in the sun for a day or so.
Note: If ever it is difficult for you to get them to dry in the sun,simply leave them next to your windowsill to dry.Simply make sure the place is very airy and not humid.
- After a day in the sun,the Mangoes should now be ready to use for pickling.(As shown below)
- In your grinder, add in the Mustard seeds,Fenugreek Seeds,Cloves of Garlic,Dry Red Chiliies and the Fennel Seeds and blend.
Note: You can vary the proportions of the spices depending on how strong your like the flavours to be.
- Pour in the spice mix into a big bowl and then add the Turmeric powder followed by salt and a couple tsp of oil.
- Mix everything altogether until a smooth paste is obtained.
- Now add the dried Mangoes to the paste and coat everything well into the smooth paste.
Note: Keep adding a tsp oil more until all the mangoes are well coated into the spice mix.
- Pour everything into a big jar container and top it all with a lot more of oil making sure everything is covered.
- Seal and leave to rest for 24hours or more in a dry place so that the flavours develop themselves.
Note: As long as you keep floating the all with oil from time to time,they can last up to 6 months.
And there you are with the Pickles.Not complicated at all,aren’t they? You can serve them over anything to be honest.I have them over everything and Mum always scolds me because my love for Pickles are such that I eat them like greedy. They go so well with Briyani,Curry,Daal,Pilaf Rice,Parathas or Chicken Daube.Anything really,see! So no inhibition and no fear! Eat as much as you want but still for those who have sensitive digestion ,I guess this won’t be so wise really.
There is always a different way of doing things and same goes for the pickling process.Some would instead skip the drying part and pickle the raw Mangoes straight away. And will only dry them out after coating everything into the spice mix paste. Some maybe would prefer to cook the spice mix by simply heating a pan with some oil before coating all the Mangoes into it. The process differs from one person to another really.And at the end it is only a matter of how it was transferred to them.
I am sure you have your own ways of pickling too and as usual I would love to know how you make yours.Do you cook your Pickles spice mix too before? And other than vegetable oil, do you happen to use any other oil for example Rapeseed? And is there any extra that you add to the mix before blending the all? I would definitely love to hear from you.
Until my next post, have a great weekend.