Friday, September 9, 2011

#152 An Onam Heirloom Kadumanga Pickle/ Cut Mango pickle

Happy Onam !!You may call this a ridiculously good salsa or a total knockout pickle for an Onam feast(Sadya) because this is one of the most common traditional mango pickles made in Kerala.  My grandmother was known for bottling up many different varieties of Mango pickles in her pantry. Mango spiced up and dried in the sun in oil, tender mango pickled whole and Kadumanga made on the spot. It's no secret that every household in Kerala must boast of having at least one version of a Kadumanga pickle recipe they call their own or that of their grandma's. Although bound by traditional respect for the mango and seasoning it to my individual taste, this pickle is more of a celebration of special ingredients rather than a recipe.

I was building up this pickle, sitting in my kitchen encountering the perfume wafting through the air and for a moment my thoughts sneaked away into my Mother-in Law's old home in Kerala.  Yes, this one belongs to my loving Mother in Law I am proud to say that my product turned out very much like her own.
(well, R complimented me on it!). 

My MIL was a truly remarkable woman who raised nine successful children and had the utmost patience when they were young. Her confidence on top of her wonderful sense of humour, her calmness and hospitality that welcomed everyone into her family may have been built up over the years of raising children who are about a year or two apart. I really admired her persistence and courage while she was bed ridden, and now have fond memories of her stories and her secret recipes.   I miss her and her laughter especially during the festival of Onam. This is dedicated to you Amma. R's family always got together for Onam and made large batches of fried plantain chips both savory and sweet. His mother's home was filled with the aroma of hot oil and pickles being made starting a few days ahead in preparation for the grand Onam Sadya. My SIL made enough mango, lemon and ginger pickles for the entire family to take home after the celebrations ended! 

Hridayamniranja Onashamsakal!!!
Onam is the largest festival in Kerala and falls in the first month of the Malayalam Calendar(August-September).  This festival is celebrated on a large scale over a period of ten days including many aspects of culture and tradition and is significant for the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali who reigned in the golden era when the harvest was at its best. It is a festival of abundance and prosperity with plenty of rice, vegetables and flowers.  The fun begins with interactive games and cultural activities along with the impressive Onam Sadya on the plantain leaf. Pookalam is laid out on the frontyard to welcome the King(a concept now). Pookalam is an intricately designed bed of flowers and a pure work of art.

The traditional dances like Kaikotti Kali where women are dressed in traditional clothes, with strings of jasmine in their hair and dancing gracefully around the brass nilavilakku is sure to create a festive mood. Legends of Gods and Goddesses explained through dances like Kummati Kali(a masked Carnival Parade) and people swaying to the tunes of vocal folk music, and Puli Kali where men dress up in vibrant tiger outfits.
The traditional Kadumanga is just a very small portion of the large Sadya or feast but here's how to make Cut Mango Pickle.............
1 Large Raw mango
Red Chilli Powder- 2 Tblspn
Fenugreek/Methi seeds- 1/2 tspn
Asafoetida powder- 1 tspn
Mustard seeds- 2 Tblspn
Oil and salt as needed.
Dry red chilly-2
Curry leaves- 1 sprig

1. Wash, dry the raw mango with a paper towel and cut it up into small pieces about 1/4 inch cubes.
2. Take about 1 Tbslpn salt and toss well with mango pieces in a preserve jar and keep overnight.
3. The next day you will notice that the mangoes have given out liquid. Strain the liquid into a cup and keep aside.
4. Dry roast methi seeds and mustard seeds seperately. Grind mustard to a coarse powder leaving aside about 1 tspn. Methi seeds may be finely powdered.
5. Heat a pan and add about 2 tspn oil. When oil is hot add the 1 tspn mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves and when they
splutter add the liquid in the cup and maybe another 1/2 cup water.
6. Add the Chilli powder, asafoetida, mustard and methi powders and enough salt to taste.
7. Let the liquid and spices boil together until just thick. Remove and cool this mixture.
8. Pour this cooled mixture into the preserve jar with the raw mango pieces.
9. Allow to rest for a week in a cool place for the mangoes to be pickled in the spices and then it is ready for serving.


  1. wow dear nice for the the athappu....

  2. Happy Onam! ooh is just so delicious and mouthwatering. Mom made this for sadhya and I just loved it..

  3. delicious looking pickle looks wonderful

  4. That first photo is so beautiful! And mango pickle is something I've always wanted to try...I've never tried green mango at all. Sounds so mouth-tinglingly delicious :D

  5. absolutely irresistible recipe...awesome clicks too..!

  6. Lovely looking recipe - your recipes always look so colourful and delicious, and I just *love* mango!

  7. Just mouthwatering...looks so easy to prepare and delicious!


It’s always a pleasure to get feedback from all our readers. Please leave your name or contact info. Thanks for stopping by!

Print Friendly

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF