Vadu Mangai (Tender Mango Pickle)

I cannot imagine a South Indian household that does not stock this tender mango pickle. It is made using a specific variety of tiny, green mangoes. This variety of mango is called vadu mangai or maavadu. It is only available in South India, mainly Thamizhnadu. Since I live a couple of thousand kilometers away in Gurgaon, it is often not possible for me to get this variety. Some years ago, I decided to try this pickle with a variety of tender mangoes available in the nearby state of Himachal Pradesh. It was unmitigated disaster. Since then, I ask my classmates in Chennai to courier this mango to me every year. It has a short window of availability – March-April. It is therefore essential that it is bought on time and pickled quickly. It’s shelf life (without refrigeration) is about 2 years.\

Vadu Mangai – beginning of the process
Vadu Mangai – end of the process

1 kg tender mangoes
200 gms red chili powder
150 gms pink Himalayan salt (adjust according to taste)
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu) – optional
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam) – optional
Wash the mangoes and dry completely – any moisture will make the pickle go bad
Transfer the mangoes into a mixing bowl
Add salt and chili powder
Mix well
Set aside
Heat a wok and add the mustard seeds and asafoetida
Switch off the flame once the mustard begins to splutter
Add this tempering to the mangoes
Mix well again
Place in the sun for a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 7 days
Each day, mix the pickle before placing in the sun
The mangoes will release their juices
Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place
Serve with yogurt rice or any bland preparation like upma, dosa, idli….
Most people have their own way of consuming this pickle – either just the juice or the mango itself
You can take your pick

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Just the pic made my mouth water😍


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