• Maavadu (tiny baby mango) - 1/4 kg
  • Rock Salt (Kal Uppu) - 1/4 cup
  • Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon heaped
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafetida Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Mustard - 2 teaspoons
  • Gingelly oil or castor oil - 1 teaspoon

“Vadu Mangai” is the pickle prepared from Maavadu (tiny baby mango). In the beginning of summer, we get these tender mangoes and the pickle is prepared in large quantities and preserved for one year.

Traditionally, the tiny mangoes are plucked from the stems and castor oil is applied on each mango and then it is arranged in a ceramic jar in between salt layers and chilli and mustard powder is sprinkled over it. It will be kept for few days, shaking the jar twice a day, till it starts wrinkling.

Mostly pickles require lot of oil and salt for preservation. However, this “Vadu Mangai”, even though it is soaked in salt, it does not require much oil. I tried this in a short cut method with small quantity.

Method:

Separate the tiny mangoes from the stem keeping 1 or 2 cm of stem on top of the mangoes in tact. Wash and wipe it with a clean cloth. Put it in a broad vessel and sprinkle one teaspoon of oil and mix it well so that the oil will get coated on the mangoes. Boil ½ cup water and allow to cool. Grind salt, mustard, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and asafetida altogether to a fine powder. In a jar put the oiled mangoes and add the boiled and cooled water along with the spice powder. Shake it well. Close with a lid and keep it for two to three days. Shake it twice a day one in the morning and another in the evening.

I got the perfect wrinkled vadu mangai on the fourth day and heavenly with curd rice.