The Vadu Maanga also known as Maavadu in some households is usually prepared at the beginning of the raw mango season. The young baby mango is plucked and pickled as a whole without chopping it. Since the mango is still young it is very tender and once soaked in the spices, entirely absorbs it and starts leaving its own sour liquids into the spices, all this gets suffused and thus we get our famous south Indian pickle the vadu maanga, which tastes divine with curd rice and the water that oozes out of the mango over a period of time mixed with the spices taste so heavenly that u can mix it with rice and some oil and just have it, its absolutely mouth-watering. This pickle is literally oil free except for the 1tbsp oil, if you want you can avoid adding the oil completely.
Young Green mangoes – 20-25 pieces.
Mustard seeds - 8 tsp
Red chillies – 8-10 (please use chilly as per spice required)
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 cup
1 tbsp of cooking oil.
Wash the young green mangoes, pat dry. Take a porcelain or glass pickle jar or Oorghai Bharani. Put the mangoes in it and a handful of crystalline salt. Keep doing this in layers. One layer of mangoes topped with salt and so on and so forth. Keep the pickle jar closed and shake it twice a day, so that the salt and mangoes mix well. After 2-3 days you will see that the mangoes have shrunk in size or the salt has acted upon the mangoes and made it tender.
Dry Roast the mustard seeds, take a little cooking oil and roast the red chillies till it becomes plump. This removes the raw smell of the red chillies and also gives it a better color. Now grind the mustard seeds, crystalline salt, red chillies and turmeric powder into a thick paste. Mix this paste with the mangoes. Remove from jar and put in an open vessel so that the paste can be thoroughly mixed with the mangoes. Now transfer the mangoes with the masala mixed into the pickle jar. Heat one tbsp oil and allow to cool. Pour this oil on top and close the lid.
For the next 2-3 days shake the mangoes well once every day. Store in air tight containers in refrigerator. This will last for about one year.
Tip: The use of crystalline salt (kallu uppu) is advised as iodized salt darkens the pickle.