Ama's Mango Pickles

This is my adaptation of my Ama’s (grandmother’s) aam ka achar recipe – magnificent mango pickles. She first taught me when I was a young girl. It was one of those formative moments which inspired me in writing my first book, Seva: The Art of Hospitality. My modifications are primarily due to a couple of ingredients that were not available in Hong Kong, California or Luxembourg, where I have resided. I continued to master this wonderful accompaniment over the years.


2 Large green unripe mangoes, peel on, cut into medium size cubes

1 cup coconut oil or sunflower oil

12 fresh or dry curry leaves

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 teaspoons each of mustard and fennel seeds

1 teaspoon each of fenugreek, asafetida and nigella seeds

½ teaspoon red chili powder

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2-3 teaspoons kosher salt



Aam ka achar (magnificent mango pickles) work well as a side accompaniment with any Indian dish.


Heat ½ cup oil over medium flame, add in all the seeds, they should start crackling in a minute, add curry leaves to fry for just for a few seconds. Remove all ingredients from pan, set aside and allow to cool.

In a bowl mix the remaining ½ cup of oil together with the rest of the ingredients. Add in the cooled mixture and transfer into a sterilized, pickling jar or “barni”.

Store in a warm, sunlight area for 2 weeks, toss the jar once a day. Check for readiness after 10-12 days, mangoes should have softened slightly. Add more salt and or vinegar as needed for individual taste.

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