Tender mango pickle..! For Malayalis the very first thing that comes to their mind on hearing pickle is Kadumanga. The small green baby mangoes ( kannimanga )in the fiery red, bit watery, gravy. Stored airtight in big ceramic pots ( bharani ), it takes a minimum of 4-5 months for these mangoes to become tender.
At my home back in Kerala, these ceramic pots were kept under my grandmother’s cot. Whenever guests visit, she will go to her room in the upstairs to take out a fresh batch (for out daily use, there will be a small bottle kept in the kitchen). But we kids were not allowed to have a look as she was afraid that this might make it taste bad. She watched our guests relishing this heavenly tasting pickle with a smile. I remember how they used to praise the taste and ask for a bottle of Kadumanga for them to take home. Years passed by and now it’s my mother’s turn. Luckily she is not that strict and lets us watch the whole process. My way of making these is adapted from my mother’s recipe, except from the fact that I buy raw baby mangoes fresh from the market whereas she uses homegrown ones.
The main ingredients are Tender mango, mustard, homemade red chilli powder, crystal salt and sesame oil. It is the essence of these tangy baby mangoes that gives this pickle a unique taste and flavour which gets better over the period of time. The perfect partner for this Kadumanga is curd rice but it goes really well with rice porridge too.
It involves a long pickling process, but is worth the effort. The nostalgic taste from Grandmothers…
Yes it’s not just a pickle.. It is Kadumanga..!!
By Ramya Pramod