Every Summer  brings with it memories of my childhood  and the excitement in seeing the  bounty of fresh mangoes. So this time was no exception when a bagful of raw mangoes arrives from my home…..wait something seems missing this time.I thought to myself and frantically search for it. But it is no where in sight. I get panic and called my mom to know about it and her shrill voice brings me back to reality. It seems yesterday when I left my parent’s place to start my own journey, and how time flies.  The phone call made me realize that my mother is getting older and the the gift she gave me every year in the form of pickles is going to be a distant dream. During summer, it is a common sight to find  freshly made pickles sun drying on the terrace of my home and bottled to be gifted to friends and relatives.
I love raw mangoes and love to experiment with it but the enormous quantity of mango I got  from home this time , puts me in a dilemma what to make out of it. A day passed like that and suddenly an idea stuck me to try making Pickles out of it. That sounds interesting but there is a hitch, I have never made pickle in my whole life and donot know what goes into it as it was always my mother who makes it for me. I love challenges and this one is a tough one for me, but I had decided to learn making Pickles at home and gift it to my mom on Mother’s day….thus began my Pickle journey.
Indian pickles are known for it’s spicy, rich , oil based and explosion of flavors. The condiment that adds punch to the meals of plain rice and dal and the one that makes rotis and paratha taste better was almost indispensable in our home is the humble Pickle. Most of us have grown up eating delicious, crunchy and tangy pickles made by our mothers and grandmothers . These Pickles used to be very important item in our meal as it enhances the tastes of the meal. However, the art of pickle making at home is slowly fading with mass availability of commercially prepared pickles in the stores. But, it does not have the rustic characteristic of the home-made pickles.Despite being a time consuming process ,it is ridiculously simple. Yes, you do need patience to go through the process of sun-drying the ingredients, soaking them in oil and spices, and finally let them age in the sun for a few days to develop the flavors. But like they say all good things come to those who wait, the result is extremely rewarding.
Salt and oil play very important role in pickle making. Salt adds to the flavour, draws moisture and inhibits bacterial growth. Oil on the other hand acts as a barrier to prevent the ingredients from becoming dry and keeps them moist. Different oils and spices render different characteristics to the pickles. Hence, a mango pickle made in north India which mainly uses mustard oil is very different from that made in the south, where sesame oil is most preferred in the pickle making process.It is extremely interesting to see the various versions of pickles found throughout the country. The process of making pickle keeps on changing with the change in region, That is the reason why Aam ka Achaar in north India tastes completely different than we have in the southern states. The Pickle making process involves four vital steps:
Sun drying the fruits or vegetables:
Wash and pat dry the vegetables or fruits to be used for the pickle  with a clean paper towel. Chop them as per the required size and apply salt and turmeric to it and place in a  sterilized glass bowl and cover with a white thin muslin cloth and let it sun dry till all the water gets evaporated and the fruits/vegetables becomes tender but it should be crunchy also.
Prepare the pickling spices
Dry roast on a medium hot pan the spices individually. Stir continuously while dry roasting so spices donot burn.  Mix together and spread on a plate to cool. Powder the spices coarse so that you can have your own pickling spice mixture.
Prepare the oil
Pour the oil in a pan over medium heat and gently warm the oil. Watch closely till you see ripples in the surface. Turn the heat off soon as you see the surface shimmering and let the oil cool down to room temperature.
Putting it all together
Add the pickling spices and stir to coat every exposed surface. Then add the oil and stir several times again till all the oil is absorbed. Now put the pickle in a narrow mouthed sterilized glass jar and pack the pickle in and press the surface till a film of oil rises up and forms a protective barrier. This is very important in preserving your pickle from outside pollutants and fungal growth. Lid the jar and set it on a sunny ledge.
What I learnt in the process of making Pickle:
  • Pickles and water are  Enemies.When you are making Indian style pickles, make sure that you have absolutely no water in the jars that you store your pickles in.
  • Some pickles mature after a while and even kept for years. The use of certain spices like asafoetida, turmeric and saunf (fennel) are used to help digestion.
  • Certain spices like clove, cinnamon and ginger are used for their warming properties. Cumin and cardamom are cooling spices, the variety is endless.
  • In the southern states, sesame oil is preferred, while mustard oil is preferred in northern states for making pickles.
  • Mustard oil can be added to the spiced pickles directly to have a strong and intense flavor of mustard oil in the pickle. But if you want less pungent flavor & taste to your pickle then, you have to warm or heat the mustard oil as heating reduces the pungency in the mustard oil and makes it sweet.
  • The sun-drying naturally preserves the vegetable, along with the spices.
  • To prepare quickly however, vegetables may be cooked on stove top and additional preservatives like vinegar, sodium benzoate or citric acid may be used.
  • Commonly used spices include mustard,  fenugreek, chilli powder, salt, asafoetida and turmeric.
  • Indian pickles are usually made with oil as the primary preservative.
  • Salt, turmeric and vinegar(optional)are also key ingredients in the preservation process.
  • In some pickles the vegetables/fruits are pre cooked , in other recipes it is sun dried.


Indian pickles are an important component to every meal as one or two different ones are included in the menu. In India there are thousands of varieties of pickles.Each state has its unique recipes, ingredients and tastes for pickles. No two pickles are the same since the recipes not only vary by state but by family.The only things they have in common are that everyone loves them and thinks the ones from their state are the best. Here is a peek into the various forms of Pickles prepared across India.
In order to learn the art of Pickle making, I have prepared different types of Pickles using fruit( Mango) and a vegetable( drumstick) for this Mother’s day as a gift to my Mother. Please come with me on this fascinating journey of knowing Pickle making procedures in different parts of India. Due to my shortage of time, I am not able to learn pickles from individual states but have asked some of my Bloggers friend to contribute to this write up and I am thankful to each and every one of them for their timely input.
Spicy Punjabi Mango Pickle recipe
Source: Here
  • ½ kg medium sized raw mangoes
  • 1.5 tbsp split fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsps fennel seed coarsely ground
  • 1.5 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 1.5 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • as required salt
  • as required mustard oil

Let’s Learn how to make this pickle recipe:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the mangoes. Dice the mangoes and discard the seeds. Dry roast the Fenugreek seeds, Fennel seeds and coarsely ground them along with Mustard seeds, Nigella seeds.
  2. Mix this spice powders, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder along with the diced mangoes. Mix well so that the spices get evenly coated on the mangoes.keep this spiced mango mixture in sunlight for 3-4 days covered with a thin muslin to protect from dust. After 3-4 days, add the mangoes to a jar.
  3. Heat the mustard oil to boiling point and let it cool to room temperature and then pour mustard oil till covers the rim of the mangoes.Stir and mix well.Store the pickle in a dry and cool place for 3-4 days after which you can have the mango pickle.
  4. Serve the mango pickle with your dal-rice, curd-rice, parathas & veggie dishes.


Sweet and Sour Punjabi Mango Pickle recipe
  • 5 raw medium sized mangoes
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • ½ tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1.5 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1.5 cup powdered jaggery
  • as required salt

let’s Learn how to make this pickle recipe:

  1. Wash and peel the mangoes and then chop them, mix all the ingredients with the chopped mangoes.Check the seasoning and if required add more jaggery or salt or chili powder.
  2. keep in the sun for 2-3 days till the jaggery thickens a bit and the mangoes tenderize a bit.Store mango pickle in a clean bottle or jar.
  3. Serve punjabi mango pickle with any Indian meal or parathas or have it plain.


UP Style mango Pickle:

Recipe Source: My Sister In Law
  • 3 to 4 Raw green mangoes each cut into 6-8 pieces
  • 2 tbsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 11/2 tbsp fenugreek seed
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp ajwain
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • salt
  • oil
Let’s learn how to make this recipe:
  1. Wash and chop the mangoes and apply salt and turmeric to it and keep in the sun for 3 to 4 days to dry.
  2. After 4 days, add red chilli powder and coarsely ground mustard seeds to it and keep in the sun for one more day or till all the water gets evaporated.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add hing, methi powder,ajwain and nigella seeds and turn off the gas. immediately pour the achar mix to the mangoes and mix well.
  4. After mixing the achar , it becomes cool to handle. Now fill the achar in sterilized bottles, take care not to leave any air spaces in the bottle,for this you need to slightly tap the bottle against kitchen platform so that the achar settles down nicely leaving no air spaces,you will see the oil coming on top of the bottle in a thin layer.


Andhra style Mango Pickle
Recipe Source:Here
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp red Chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped mangoes
  • 8 to 10 garlic pods
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • Mustard Oil as needed
Let’s Learn how to make this recipe:
  1. Wash and Wipe the mangoes with a cloth and cut them into pieces.Clean the pieces with a soft cloth and spread them over a dry cloth while you work on the rest of the pickle preparation.
  2. Wash the pickle jars and sun dry the jar till completely dry with absolutely no moisture.
  3. Sun dry the mustard seeds and grind the sun dried mustard seeds to a fine powder. Set aside.Peel the garlic and set aside.
  4.  Take a large wide vessel or bowl and add red chili powder, mustard powder and salt and mix well with clean, dry hand. Add methi seeds, garlic cloves and 3/4 cup oil and mix well.
  5.  Add the mango pieces and mix well with your hands such that the mixture coats the mango pieces.Place the spice coated mango pieces along with some of the spice mixture and add to the jar. Any remaining spice powder should be added to the jar. Pour Oil on top and cover the pickle jar with the lid. Tie a cloth over the lid and keep it in a moisture free area up to 3day.
  6. On the 4th day, open the pickle jar and use a clean dry ladle and mix the contents carefully. Taste the mixture and check if its salty. If required add more salt . Pour more oil on top as the pickle needs to be covered in thin layer of oil. Cover the jar with lid and tie a cloth over it. Let the pickle marinate for another 4 days.
  7. After 4 days ,mix the pickle carefully with a clean and dry ladle. The mango pickle is ready for consumption.
  8. Serve this pickle with hot steamed rice.


Kerala Mango Pickle:

Recipe Source:Here
  • 2 cups chopped raw mango
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup garlic peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2.5 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 strands curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup oil
Let’s Learn How to make this recipe:
  1. Wash and chop the mangoes and add salt to the cut mangoes and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Combine 2 tsp mustard seeds , fenugreek seeds and make a coarse powder of it.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add the garlic slices and when it starts to turn golden brown, add the curry leaves and coarsly ground mustard and fenugreek seeds without letting it burn.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the raw mangoes, red chilly powder and hing.
  5. Mix it lightly till all the spices are coated perfectly . Let the pickle cool down completely before pouring on  jar and store it with more oil.


Gujrati Mango Pickle Recipe

Recipe Source:Here
  • ½ kg raw unripe green mangoes
  • ¾ cup whole fenugreek seeds
  • ½ cup split mustard seeds
  • ½ cup red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp asafoetida
  • Salt
  • Mustard Oil as required
Let’s Learn how to make this pickle recipe:
  • Grind the fenugreek seeds to a coarse mixture.
  • Rinse the mangoes and then dry them with a clean kitchen towel. there should be no trace of moisture on the mangoes. chop the mangoes into bite sized pieces or cubes.
  • Take all the chopped mangoes in a mixing bowl or pan.add the coarsely ground fenugreek seeds and split mustard seeds.add turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida and salt.mix very well with a clean spoon.now add this pickle mixture in a sterilized glass jar.
  • Heat the mustard oil, till it reaches its smoking point. switch off the flame and cool the mustard oil completely. add the cooled mustard oil to the pickle mixture.the oil has to float at least 2 inches above the top.close the jars tightly and keep them on your kitchen counter for 10 to 12 days, till the mangoes soften a bit and become tender. stir the jar after every 2 to 3 days with a clean sterilized spoon.
  • Once the mango pickle is ready, you can serve them. whenever the amount of oil becomes less on top, add some more oil.

PicklesSweet & Sour Drumstick Pickle:

Recipe Source:My Mother’s
  • 15 nos of drumstick cut into 3 inch long
  • 1tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds
  • 20 nos of dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 100 gms tamarind
  • 100gms  sedless dates
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • salt
  • oil
Let’s Learn how to make this pickle recipe:
  1. Wash and dry the drumstick and then chop into 3 inch long.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil and add the nigella seeds and the drumsticks. add salt and fry on high heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Turn off the flame and let it cool.
  4. in the mean time, dry roast the red chillies,fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds and grind to a semi fine powder.
  5. Soak the tamarind and the dates for 30 minutes. Grind the dates to a fine puree and add the tamarind pulp to it.
  6. Heat oil in  kadhai and pour the tamarind and dates puree along with the powdered spices and sugar and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or till the sugar melts and then add the drumstick pieces .
  7. Mix properly and turn off the heat. let the pickle cool itself and then pour in to  jar and filled it with mustard oil to be relished later.


Odisha Sweet Mango Pickle recipe

Source: My Mother’s
  • ½ kg medium sized raw mangoes
  • 1.5 tbsp split fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds coarsely ground
  • 1.5 tbsp turmeric
  • 20 red chilli powder
  • 1/2 kg jaggery
  • as required salt
  • as required mustard oil

Let’s learn how to make this pickle  recipe:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the mangoes. Dice the mangoes and discard the seeds.
  2. Salt and turmeric to the mangoes and keep this mango mixture in sunlight for days covered with a thin muslin cloth to protect from dust. After days, the mango would have been dried properly .
  3. Add the coarsely ground mustard seeds to the mangoes and sundry for one more day.
  4. Dry roast the red chillies, Fenugreek seeds, Fennel seeds and coarsely ground them.
  5. In a heavy bottomed pan , put the jaggery to melt completely, add the  spice powders along with the diced mangoes. Mix well so that the spices and jaggery get evenly coated on the mangoes.Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  6. Heat the mustard oil to boiling point and let it cool to room temperature and then pour mustard oil till covers the rim of the mangoes.Stir and mix well.Store the pickle in a dry and cool place to be relished later.

Happy Mothers day

As I come to an end of my pickle journey , I would like to share my heartfelt thanks to some of my bloggers friend who have shared their links with me, which have helped me in understanding this Pickle making process.

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