Monday, January 26, 2009

Ennai Manga – instant pickle

If you've been to a Tamil wedding, you will notice chopped up raw mangoes mixed with spices being served on the top left corner of your plantain leaf (yes, that is what food is served on during South Indian celebrations). This is a traditional feature in any Shubakaryam Menu. Easy to dish up in a jiffy and a popular combination with curd rice, this pickle is a favourite in our family.

It is essential that you buy the right kind of mango. It has to be raw and green, and I've noticed that baby ones taste better in the US.

Here's what you'll need:
1. 1 green mango, diced finely

2. Chilli powder - I use mom's homemade chilli powder. The store-bought powder is coarse in texture and simply not the same in flavour.

3. Mustard seeds, Hing, Curry Leaves, Salt

4. Optional - Channa Dal, Split Urad Dal - I use this to add on some crunch.

Here's how you spice it up:
1. Chop the mango and sprinkle some salt in it. Mix well

2. In a small pan, heat some oil. You can be generous with it - about 2 full table spoons. That's why it's called 'Ennai Manga'(Raw mango seasoned in oil and spices) Bring the mustard seeds to splutter, then add the curry leaves and dals.

3. When the dals turn crispy and aromatic, add one spoon of chilli powder and hing. Do not fry this a long time. Chilli powder will turn bitter if you over-fry it directly. Just give it a rough stir and pour it on to the salted chopped mango.

4. Allow this to marinade a while before serving.

I don't know why, but this is a favourite in most Iyer/Iyengar households. It brings back memories of school too in a weird way, when we used to crowd around the street food vendor who would sell sliced pineapples and raw mango dipped in chilli powder. Very similar to this popular side dish!


  1. hmmm rumsie looks cool:) prabhu stillloves this ''oorugai'' and strangly he still calls it''grahapravesham mangai'' cos i think he first ate it in his house grahapravesham:) Nice. Does the mangoyou get there has the pulippu taste like the ones available here? If so then i can tell you the receipe for mangai thkku Ur alltime favorite:)

  2. It is of good taste, but definitely not close to the Indian mangai. We don't get Indian Mangai or thengai anywhere in the US. So nalla irukadu. Vidya said she is anyway going to put Mangai thokku recipe... Perhaps you can add your recipe to hers when she posts or post your own

  3. Manni You put your recipe for Managa thokku and I will prepare based on it and add pics. ok?