Monday, April 10, 2006

Avakkai- The king of all pickles

In my opinion, there is no better pickle than avakkai. True to the name pickle or urugai, it is very spicy, oily and potent. But I have never been able to recreate it on my own. My mom and grand mom are great pickle makers. They follow all the rules of pickle-making and their creations will last at room temperature for at least a year. But I am too bored of sticking to rules. Besides, I am the only one in our small family here who eats pickles. So I make avakkai with just two green mangoes. You should have about 3 cups of chopped mango bits with 2 large mangoes.

Avakkai is a tasty mix of sour mango pieces, mustard powder, salt, chili powder and sesame oil. This recipe is small enough for you to test your pickling skills but large enough to last at least a month. There is no cooking involved but just a marination time of at least 15 days. The longer the pickle sits the better the flavor.

2 large green, sour Mangoes
1 cup or more Sesame oil
1/2 cup coarse Mustard powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup Chili powder
Salt, as required (you will have to add at least 1/2 cup)
2 tsp fenugreek powder
Asafoetida, a good couple of pinches

One good quality plastic or glass container.

Wash and cut mangoes into small bits with the kernel inside. Wipe and dry under the fan for some time until all the moisture is completely evaporated. Mix spices with half the amount of oil. Add mango bits and mix well. Store in a jar or container.Add remaining oil and mix well. Give it a taste. The pickle should be on the salty, hot side.

Oil should be enough to immerse pickle completely.Close the lid properly. Give the container a shake or two everyday. Start using after 15 days. You can choose to add some sauteed garlic pods also though this is not traditional in tamil avakkai.

There should be a layer of oil floating on top if the pickle should last long.

Store this pickle in refrigerator if pickling and sterilization rules are not followed.


  1. god, Mika... my mouth was watering just reading the recipe. Avakkai is my all-time favourite pickle too!

  2. hi mika
    I am going to try this version as soon as i get some green indian mangoes

  3. oooh, fresh avakkai...can you send some over please??

  4. Mouthwatering, Mika.
    You know this is my favorite of all and king of all pickles is the right name for it.

  5. I have never pickled anything in my life (other than memories) something about them remains so elusive, too mysterious you know. this one sounds easy , and looks delicious.

  6. i have to prepare this avvakkai. even i do, but i don't have particular measurements with me. will definately follow yours.

  7. wow, the recipe looks mouthwatering:)

  8. Hi mika,

    Ur Avakkai looks so cool I feel like taking some avvakkai from ur bowl and having with hot rice wow yummy:)

  9. Avakai..well like Indira said...its the KING of all pickles.Delicious looking avakaai!

  10. mika, do we have to roast these mustard and methi before making into a powder?

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  12. What kind of knife did you use to cut the mangoes with the kernel? I'm kinda scared to use my chef's knife.