Vadu Mangai Pickle

“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 short cut method with small quantity.


  • 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


  1. Separate the tiny mangoes from the stem keeping 1 or 2 cm of stem on top of the mangoes in tact.
  2. Wash and wipe it with a clean cloth.
  3. Add it to a broad vessel and sprinkle one teaspoon of oil and mix it well so that the oil will get coated on the mangoes.
  4. Boil ½ cup water and allow to cool. Grind salt, mustard, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and asafetida together to a fine powder.
  5. In a jar add the oiled mangoes and add the boiled and cooled water along with the spice powder. Shake it well.
  6. 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.
  7. I got the perfect wrinkled vadu mangai on the fourth day and heavenly with curd rice.


  1. S.Jayashree

    Dear Kamala Aunty,

    Thank you for posting the recipe that i had asked you, I was looking for it regularly,

    I will definitely try it out and let you know,

    Nice of you,



  2. what is the difference between kal uppu and indu uppu?

    • Hi Radha,

      Sea salt is called Kal Uppu and Rock salt is called Indu Uppu. Kal Uppu contains more moisture than other salts (there are approximately 5 types are salts are available in India).

  3. Hi Kamala,

    Thanks for the recipe of Vadumangai. I want to try this your short cut method, Just please tell me if you add boiled and cold water to this it doesn’t get spoil or what? pl. tell me.

    • Hi Shashikala Iyengar,

      If you are preparing in small quantity and going to consume within short period, you can go for short cut method. If you keep this pickle in refrigerator, it will not spoil. However, if you want to keep it for longer time, then you have to follow the traditional method where no water is added.

  4. S.Jayashree

    Dear Kamala Aunty,

    The pickle came out very nicely,

    Thank you very much,

  5. Vijayalakshmi

    Can. You pleas give me a receptive for making lime pickles

  6. If the water content is less what can we do to preserve the mavadu

    • When you add enough salt according to the quantity, you will get enough water content. However, if you find it less, you can add vineger.

  7. Hi, loved your posts. Can you please also let me know the other types of salts available in India apart from kal uppu and indh uppu. You have said 5, which are the others. Is senda namak got in North same as Indhuppu.

  8. Hi Mam,
    Can you share the traditional way of preparing this pickle for longer shelf life?

  9. Hi,
    Thank you for the recipe. I made the maavadu using traditional techniques and now I see these white coating on it. Smells normal. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be this way or if it’s fungus.

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