Kerala Style Mango Carrot Pickle / Vella Manga Carrot Achar

Things have changed a lot since my last blog post.  At this juncture, we have started to accept the new norm of working from home, home schooling, wearing masks & gloves, wiping and cleaning groceries, hand sanitation and the list goes on.  Hope this is the case with you too.  I feel we have evolved so much since this micro organism has invaded the world.  

I have been cooking a lot since kids are home schooling and we both are working from home.  Things I haven't tried for ages from my own blog are been tried.  Lot of DIY projects, gardening and yard work is getting done these days. The basic things that we used to get from the store suddenly became rare luxurious commodities. I spent lot of time trying the basic recipes to make them from scratch, and found it better when compared to store bought items.  Going to the basics reminded me of our roots and traditions.  It is exciting as well as refreshing for me to learn the old techniques of making food.  

Here is one such simple basic Kerala pickle that I got to taste when I visited India couple of years ago.  It was my cousin's wedding and with every meal, we were served with this delicious spicy tangy crunchy Mango Carrot pickle. The addition of carrot was new to me and it gave this extra crunch and taste to this mango pickle.  The heat in this pickle comes from the birds eye chili (Kanthari).  This recipe calls for lots of garlic and trust me it adds tons of flavor to this pickle.  Please do try this recipe and let me know how it turns out for you.


1 - mango peeled and cut into thin long pieces 
2 - medium size carrots, peeled and cut into thin long pieces
1/2 tsp - salt

20 cloves - garlic sliced (2 pods)
1.5 inch ginger - peeled and cut into thin long pieces 
5 - dry red chili (I used Kashmiri chili)
10 - birds eye chili / Thai Chili / Kanthari splits (refer notes)
1/4 tsp - asaphoetida powder/hing powder
1/2 tsp - fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp - mustard seeds
3 tbsp - oil (sesame oil or any vegetable oil)
3-4 sprigs - fresh curry leaves
1 cup - water boiled and cooled
2 tbsp - vinegar
salt to taste

  • Add 1/2 tsp of salt to the cut mangoes and carrots.  Mix well and keep it for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a non-stick pan or wok and add 3 tbsp of oil.  Splutter mustard seeds in the oil.
  • Add the fenugreek seeds; lower the flame and let it get golden brown color.
  • Now add the sliced garlic and ginger pieces and cook on medium heat till it is slightly cooked and a nice aroma comes.  The garlic and ginger pieces should not turn brown.
  • Break the dry chili into half and add to the oil, followed by green chili/Kanthari.  Let it cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the asaphoetida powder.
  • Its time to add the salted Mango and carrots to the pan.  Toss it good till everything is mixed well.
  • Add 1 cup of water (boiled and cooled) followed by 2 tbsp of vinegar.
  • Adjust the salt at this point.  Add the curry leaves.  Let it simmer for a minute.  
  • Turn off the flame and let it cool completely.   Transfer to a sterilized glass jar with lid.
  • This pickle is ready to use right away after preparation.
  • You can substitute green chili for birds eye chili/Kanthari.  You may need to adjust the amount per the heat of the green chili.
  • The mango I used in this recipe gave me 3 cups of cut mango.  The amount of mango should be higher than the amount of carrots in this recipe.
  • Store the pickle in the refrigerator and always remember to use a dry spoon.

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