How to prepare Avakaya (Hot Mango Pickle) - Recipe
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Video: Watch the preparation of Avakaya (Hot Mango Pickle) - Recipe
* Cut and cleaned Mango Pieces – 2 1/2Kgs
* Mustard Powder – 560gms
* Salt – 675gms
* Red Chili Powder – 375gms
* Husked Gingely Oil – 600gms
* Chick Peas (Kabuli Chana) – 150gms
* Fenugreek Seeds – 30gms
Selection of Mangoes:
Select mature, firm, big, sour and even sized mangoes. The pickle tastes better when mangoes are fully mature and sour. Choose only the tree plucked mangoes. Mangoes which have fallen to ground would have internal damages which increase the chances of spoiling the pickle
Cleaning of mangoes and making pieces:
Observe the sticky liquid (SONA IN TELUGU) flowing from the mango which has to be cleaned. Fill water in a bucket. Remove the stems (Muchhelu in Telugu) attached to the mangoes as shown in the movie. Observe the sticky liquid (SONA) coming out. Drop the mango in the bucket. Like this remove the stems of each mango and drop it in the bucket. Let the mangoes soak in the water for half an hour. Then wash the mango thoroughly by rubbing between the palms. Washing this way removes the sticky liquid from the mangoes. Take them into a tub or a big bowl. Take a clean and dry cloth and wipe each mango thoroughly. Spread the wiped mangoes on a clean cloth. Like this wipe all mangoes and dry them in shade for 10 minutes. Now we need to cut the mangoes into medium sized pieces. As you see in the movie clip the instrument used to cut the mangoes has a firm handle (for firm grip) on a butcher’s knife and a firm base both joined at one end. Cut the mangoes into even sized pieces. This you may attempt at home carefully or get it done in the market from professionals. Each piece should have the hard portion of the seed (Tenka in Telugu) attached to it. Now we need to remove the inner portion of the seed (JEEDI IN TELUGU) which has been chopped along with the pieces. You would notice a thin layer (Pora in Telugu) is attached to the seed (TENKA) which is to be removed. Carefully remove the layer attached to the TENKA — if it is difficult to remove this layer with fingers, scrape it with the back of a spoon or a knife. Like this remove all JEEDIS and also the thin layers (Poralu) attached to the pieces.
Measure the cut mango pieces required for preparing the Avakaya using a weighing machine. Wash, clean and dry the bottles or jars (in advance atleast 24 hours) in which the pickle is going to be put and keep them ready.
Preparing mustard powder:
In olden days the mustard seeds were put in hot sun for two to three days and were pound in mortar and pestal soon after bringing them from the sun.
In modern days due to paucity of open terraces and fast life we also need to change. Take some mustard seeds (approximately 100 grms) on to a paper plate. Place this paper plate in a microwave oven and dry roast the mustard seeds on high power for 35 to 40 seconds. These seeds are to be removed from the oven just before the first mustard seed would crackle. Keep a watch on the Oven and remove the mustard seeds earlier than 40 seconds if required. Take these roasted mustard seeds in a bowl and allow them to cool till warm to touch. Remember they should not become cold. They should be warm enough, as though they have been put in sun and brought home just now. Don’t be tempted to roast them on an electric or gas stove. The heat would be more and uneven roasting takes place.
Take a clean and dry mixie jar and add some roasted mustard seeds. Grind them to a powder. In between open the mixer and mix once with a spoon, before grinding again. As mustard seeds are crushed, oil oozes, and the powder sticks to the mixie jar (more to its base). So loosen the crushed mustards with a spoon and powder them. The powder will be slightly coarse. It would never become fine powder due to its cover. The more you attempt to make it a fine powder, more oil oozes out and it becomes sticky. You are the best judge to decide the optimum grinding. Do not sieve the powder. Like this, powder all the mustard seeds and measure the required amount of mustard powder using a weighing machine.
Similarly weigh salt, red chili powder, chick peas and fenugreek seeds and keep them ready for pickling.
Take a flat and deep bowl and add mustard powder, salt and red chili powder. Mix all the dry ingredients well. Now the Masala for the Avakaya is ready. Take a clean and dry jar or bottle and keep it nearby. Take a shallow wide bowl (preferably a basin) and add around 250gms of oil to it.
Follow the steps mentioned below:
1. Add a fistful of Masala mix into the jar and spread it at the base.
2. Take a handful of mango pieces into the oil in the basin and coat each piece nicely with oil.
3. Transfer the oil coated mango pieces to the prepared Masala bowl.
4. Coat the mango pieces gently with the Masala. As each mango piece is wet with oil, the Masala sticks to it easily.
5. Transfer these masala coated mango pieces to the jar and spread them evenly.
6. Spread some chick peas on the avakaya mixture in the jar.
7. Spread some fenugreek seeds on the avakaya mixture in the jar.
Now repeat layering once again. Like this finish off the mango pieces, chick peas and fenugreek seeds by layering. Pour the remaining oil on top of the avakaya mixture and cover the jar. Do not cover the jar tightly. Keep this jar aside at a dry place for 48 hours. The sour mangoes when mixed with salt in the avakaya masala mixture, oozes moisture. This process will take 48 hours. After 48 hours the pickle will be wet as water oozes from the mangoes. We need to remix the pickle. In the process the mixture becomes more compact and you would observe that the volume has decreased.
For proper and even mixing we would be using our hands. Therefore wash, clean & wipe your hands till dry. Take a broad and deep vessel which is totally dry. Transfer the pickle from the jars into this broad vessel. Mix the pickle well. If the pickle is too dry add some oil and mix well. If it is sufficiently wet do not add the oil at this stage. Transfer the pickle once again to the jars. Earlier we have used 250gms of oil. Now add the remaining oil (350gms) to the jars. See that the pickle is having a thin layer of oil above it. Clean wipe the edges of the jar with a clean and dry paper napkin. Close the lid of the jars and store. For daily use, take a small quantity of pickle into a clean and dry jar. Avoid using the main pickle jar for daily use.
Measurements of Avakaya for Lesser or More quantity:
Presuming one raw mango weighs 250gms, we get approximately 215gms of mango cut and cleaned pieces and 35gms of JEEDI (Seed). It is advisable to base all our calculations on the weight of the mango pieces.
For 215gms of cleaned and cut mango pieces, (i.e., for one mango) use:
* Salt – 55gms
* Mustard Powder – 45gms
* Red Chili Powder – 30gms
* Oil – 50gms
* Chick peas – Few (approx. – 1 1/2tbsps)
* Fenugreek Seeds – Few (approx. – 1tsp)
Learn More About Mangoes And Salt In Pickling:
Take firm and big mangoes. It is necessary that the mangoes are raw and creamish in color when cut. The mangoes should taste sour. The taste of this pickle is proportional to the sourness of the mangoes. When the sour mango pieces come in contact with salt in the avakaya mixture they ooze out water. That water helps in moisting the Masala in the pickle. However, when water oozes out there are chances of it spoiling the pickle. So the salt we add saturates the water and also acts as the balancing ingredient to the sourness of mango. It works as a preservative for the pickle. If the sourness is too high you may need to add extra 5 – 10 grams of salt for 215 gms of mango pieces. If they are not that sour you may reduce the quantity by 5 gms. In any case ensure that the salt content is not less than 50 gms for 215 gms of cut mango pieces. Check, preferably after 96 hours before deciding to add more salt.
The salt which I have used is table salt. Nowadays table salt is available in various variations and the manufacturers are adding additional chemicals to make it free flowing. Similarly instead of Sodium salts, Potassium salts are also marketed. Unlike in the past, the saltness of each salt is differing. The base standard is always sea-salt which has almost become extinct in the market. For 215gms of Cut and cleaned mango pieces, the base sea salt requirement is 50gms only. In my video, I have shown the table salt which I have used. My observation in the kitchen is, Potassium salts are less salty compared to Sodium salts and I need to put relatively large quantities of Potassium salts while cooking. With Pickles I didn’t want to take a chance, for which I have used the regular Sodium table salt with which I am comfortable with. Salt is a crucial component in pickling and one has to be imaginative to deal with the practical problem. For the novice, I can suggest to add 50gms of salt and progressively increase it, depending upon the taste and smell coming out of the pickle.
Pickling is a job where all family members are supposed to be involved. The couple goes to the market to collectively choose the right mangoes (so as not to blame each other during the later part of the year). Children would clean them and dry them, Husband would cut the mangoes, Children would remove the Jeedi and Poralu, and Wife would grind the Masala. Towards the end the couple would be coordinating to mix all the ingredients and pickle the mangoes. If all (small and big) in the family are involved, mango pickling is a fun. It tastes great because every one’s love (key invisible ingredient) is also mixed with it which is enjoyed throughout the year.
Video: Watch the preparation of Avakaya (Hot Mango Pickle) - Recipe
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