Dry Mango Dates Pickle

I think I have mentioned in one of my old posts that my grandparents used to have couple of mango trees in the front yard.  One used to bare lot of sweet mangoes.  But the other mango tree was prone to diseases and yielded only few sour mangoes.  They were mostly used as green mangoes.  Some of the green mangoes from that tree was used to make the salted dry mango.  They were cut into small pieces with the skin;salted with rock salt and sun dried for weeks to get the dry mango called 'Unnakka Manga'.  These dry mango pieces are the tangy nuggets  that comes handy during off season.  It goes into many curries when you need to give some mango tang to the dish.  A small bit goes a long way.

I remember my grandma used to store it in big earthen pots called 'Bharani'.  She used to open the lid with great care to avoid any mold or fungus growth.  Drying mangoes on the special mat made out of Pandanus leaves was a regular scene in most of the house during those days.  Enjoying the bountiful sweet mangoes and playing on  the swing tied to the mango tree are some sweet nostalgic memories I still cherish.

I always make sure to get a small bag of dry mangoes from India during my visits.  I keep them safe in cold dry place and use them like a rare luxury item.   They store well in the sealed containers. 

The most favorite thing I make out of it is this Dry Mango Dates Pickle.  The hot, sweet and tangy Dry Mango Dates Pickle pairs well with Biriyani.  There are some recipes, you just eye ball and don't bother to write down the measurements.  Its back in your head kind of thing.  I thought it was about time to write it down and share it on the blog so that it will be useful for everyone.   And when its on the blog, its easy to share.  Hope you can give this recipe a try.  Please do tag me on instagram or facebook if you are making it.  I would love to hear from you.

Yields - 16 oz bottle of pickle

1.5 cups - dry mango pieces
4 cups - water
1 cup - pitted dates cut into long slices (4 pieces)
20 cloves - garlic cut into thin slices
1.5 inch - ginger chopped/cut into thin slices

Pickle mix
1.5 tsp - hot chili powder (heaped tsp)
3 tsp - kashmiri chili powder (heaped tsp)
1/4 tsp - fenugreek powder
1/4 tsp - asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp - turmeric powder
2 -3 - dry red chili
1/2 tsp - black mustard seeds

2 tbsp - vinegar
1 tbsp - brown sugar/grated jaggery
4 tbsp - oil/sesame oil
2-3 sprigs - fresh curry leaves
salt to taste

  • Wash the dry mango to remove any impurities.
  • Soak it in 4 cups of water for at least 2-4 hrs or overnight.
  • Drain the soaked mango and reserve 1.5 - 2 cups of water.
  • Heat 4 tbsp of oil in a kadai/pan and add the mustard seeds to it.  Wait till the mustard seeds splutters.
  • Add garlic and cook for a minute.  Add the ginger pieces and dry chili.  Saute till the garlic and ginger turns light golden yellow color.
  • Add the sliced dates pieces and saute for a minute.
  • Its time to add the powders now.  Add turmeric, chili powders, fenugreek powder and asafoetida powder.  Make sure the flame is on low.  Cook till the raw smell goes away.
  • Add the drained mango pieces and mix well.  Add salt to taste.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water to it.  Give it a good mix; cover with a lid and cook on low to medium heat for 10 minutes till the dry mango gets softened.
  • Open the lid and check the consistency of the pickle.  If needed, you can add more of the mango water to it.  Make sure to cook it well.
  • Add 2 tbsp of vinegar, 1 tbsp of brown sugar/jaggery and curry leaves to the pickle.  Mix well and let it cook for another minute.  Turn off the flame and let it cool completely.
  • Transfer the pickle to a clean dry jar with a tight lid.
  • Store the pickle in the refrigerator.  You can enjoy it with Biriyani, rice or even Indian flat breads.

  • Make sure to wash the dry mangoes well to remove excess salt and any impurities.
  • Make sure to check the salt after adding the mango and mango water.  Sometimes the dried mangoes are too salty that you don't need to add extra salt in the pickle.

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