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Aam ka achar (green mango pickle) by Udit Sarkhel

Some stored pickles require light, others darkness, to help them mature. This pickle has to be sunned, exposed to sunlight in an unsealed container for at least a week, to mature it properly. Because of this, it is a pickle to prepare during the summer.

INGREDIENTS

(makes 1 jar)

½ red pepper
½ green pepper (optional)
3cm knob fresh ginger
2-3 green chillies
3 green (unripe) mangoes
Salt
250ml approx malt or white wine vinegar
50ml approx water

Udit Sarkhel chose small Kairie mangoes for this recipe, but the larger Rajapuris would also be fine. The critical thing is selecting them while they are still green, hard, with only the slightest give in the flesh. You will need an extra-sharp knife to slice them correctly. Perfectionists buy mangoes still attached to the stems.

METHOD

Slice the peppers. Julienne the ginger. Slice the chillies on the slant.

Slice off the ends of the mangoes. Split them into halves, cutting through the stones. Extract the pieces of stone as though you were preparing an avocado pear. Cut the mangoes into chunky segments.

Pack a jar with the peppers, mangoes, chillies and ginger. Sprinkle plenty of salt (about a tablespoon) over them. Three-quarter fill with vinegar and top up with water.

To mature the pickle, fit a lid and shake it. Leave it in a warm, well-lit environment for at least a week. Each day, unfasten the lid for an hour or so. Once the pickle has matured, you can seal the jar and it will keep in a larder as long as necessary, although it is more practical to start eating it straight away.

This pickle would make an ideal accompaniment for a biryani or pulao.

Udit Sarkhel 

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