Sunday, August 19, 2012

Monsoon Memories: Sadya Manga Kari/ Kerala Mango Pickle for Feasts

Preparations for the Sadya, Manga Kari the previous day by traditional cooks. Photo taken with my point and shoot Nikon.

Sadya Manga Kari
This is the Mango Pickle, made for  a traditional Kerala feast, the Sadya. It is from our nook of Kerala. Think the regions straddling the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur. :-) These were the first dishes to made in the cooking sequence for the feast. Coconut Oil was liberally used. It keeps in the fridge for a week. This recipe has been in the drafts for a long time, since our trip to Kerala, last summer for a wedding during the monsoon.

Midhunathil Oru Kalyanam/ A wedding during the month of Midhunam
Blue Tarp covering the perimeter of the old house, bathing us all in unreal blue!
It was my cousin's wedding. It was the last in a generation.So our Uncle decided to wait for us- the Amerikyakkar- disregarding everything, particularly the South-West Monsoon! Sacrilege in many senses since it was going to be held at home, in our village and not in a 'hall'. And that is how we attended the, relatives, drama, barbs, darts, fun, laughter, cousins and all!

It was scheduled in the month of Midhunam, which precedes the month of  Karkidakam. Karkidakom is considered inauspicious according to the Hindu Calendar for festivities. So, the fact that it did not rain two days prior to the wedding and  most importantly on the wedding day was huge. This fortuitous aspect was also a validation of several important, unspoken issues in a large, extended, sometimes feuding  clan. The 'holding off' of the Monsoon was akin to a small miracle, a result of the accumulated good deeds of family, forefathers, generations, answer to several prayers etc.etc....and most satisfyingly, a sharp snub to several relatives by Mother Nature herself!  :-D!
Raw mangoes being chopped on our old wooden bench, lined with banana leaves, in  the Aala/Multi-purpose shed in Palakkad district, Kerala.

Nothing like a fiery red Manga Kari, one of  the staple's of the  traditional Kerala feast, to put someone's  tongue to rest! A liberal quantity of coconut oil, covering the mango pieces would ensure the freshness and 'rich look' for the feast next day. Here is  a previously posted recipe for a smaller amount: Manga Kari/ Kerala Raw Mango Pickle.

  1. Raw Mangoes finely chopped/cubed : Approximately 5 Cups/ 2 Large mangoes
  2. Red Chilli powder- 3 tbsps heaped or according to preference
  3. Salt   2-2 1/2 tsp
  4. Coconut Oil- 1 tsp per Cup of chopped mango = 5 tsps.
For Tempering
  1. Mustard Seeds- 1 tbsp
  2. Curry Leaves- 1 stem
  3. Dried Red Chillies- 2-3
  4. Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
  5. Coconut Oil - 1 1/2 tbsps
  1. Finely chop the raw mango
  2. Sprinkle Salt, Red Chilli powder over the chopped mangoes
  3. Mix Well until all the pieces are evenly coated
  4. Heat the Coconut Oil to smoking point
  5. Turn the heat to medium
  6.  Put in mustard seeds, broken red chillies and curry leaves in this sequence/order.
  7. Switch off  the heat
  8. Immediately add the powdered asafoetida
  9. Pour over the chopped mangoes
  10. Mix Well
  11. Set aside for about half an hour and serve.
Alternately one could also add the asafoetida with the salt and chilli powder.
One could add more coconut oil, so that it covers the mango pieces.


  1. A MOST enjoyable post - I have feasted my eyes on those beautiful pictures of the mangoes and the pickle - two thumbs up!

  2. Adipoli mangakari, oru kalayanm kooditu ethra kallam aayi shri, kothipicathe.

  3. I love that kalchatti! have been meaning to buy a small size one, but not been able to. the kari itself is something to look forward the sadhya for.

  4. Wow those manga kari,makes me drool..

  5. Loved reading the post and the clicks..

  6. Thankyou! I managed to bring one over- wrapped in bubble and nestled among clothes inside a plastic shoe-box Lata! :-D!

  7. Manga kari -My are making me drool.

  8. Hi Shri, i am really happy to see such a wonderful blog...i dont know how i missed it...Thank you so much for your effort...Hoping to see a lot from you...Keep going..

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Hi Shri, Thanks for stopping by my blog & showering such wonderful words. I have tried answering your questions but do let me know if you have more. Will be very glad to answer more :)

    You have a lovely blog too, liked your context setting & the clicks too. Without question the recipe is great, its really makes my mouth water. Happy to follow u

    1. Thanks Shwetha, your recipes reminded me of my friend's cuisine.

  11. OMG!!! first snap is too tempting..
    you just reminded me about the previuos day of wedding..poeple here and there..cutting veggies...spicy smell of sambar..yummmmmm

  12. OHHH MYYY GOSHHH these pickle is mouthwatering

  13. your pic with the final pick in the earthern pot is looking so rustic... beautiful... your post is too late... mangoes are gone in india. i have bookmarked this post so that i make the manga kari next year...

  14. Thankyou Dassana, Lubna.
    Dassana, I know! We make Naranga Kari/ Wild Lemon Pickle for Onam since the mango season would be over.

  15. absolutely gorgeous mango pickle Shri. Those photos with the pickle in the mortar and pestle are stunning!

    1. Thankyou Shulie. It is not a mortar and pestle- it is traditional clay vessel. It is shaped like another traditional soap-stone vessel that we also use.

  16. You have an amazing blog! This pickle and the background images are wonderful.

  17. Tempting and delicious pickle.. Thanks for linking it to the event.
    Am your follower now.

    Divya's Culinary Journey

  18. Tempting shri


  19. Awesome pictures. Loved the vibrant colors which incidentally got a puddle of drool in my mouth.

  20. Ugran mangakari! Tempting me sooo much to have it with curd rice :)


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