Avakai

This recipe is one of the many authentic and exotic ones from my mum’s kitchen, which I am extremely proud to say is a part of my kitchen too!!  Am sure everyone will agree and is familiar with the saying “there is nothing like mum’s cooking”!!!!My mum like most mums has spent and is still spending most of the time in the kitchen to cater for the everyday meal in the family as well as other treats!!
The key ingredients to the recipe of her success and the elders in all families is the affection, love, fortitude and determination with which they carry out all the tasks and hopfully have passed on those positive vibes to us!!

This avakai recipe has been handed down to my mum for generations, which I would like to call as

“Mrs Anasuya Rao’s Avakai”
appreciated, loved and savoured by all in the family around the globe….especially her grand children!!!

Ava means Avalu which is mustard seeds and Kai is the vegetable, which is the raw mango referred to in this recipe
This pickle is synonymous with the Andhras – a pickle originated in Andhra Pradesh is very popluar and great for the taste buds.
Most Andhras during summer time (when raw mangoes are available in abundance) congregate in one household and enjoy preparing the avakai together – a regimental, ritual exercise and a catch up time as well!!

Ingredients

5 Large Mangoes
3 Cups Raw Mustard Powder
3 Cups Red Chilli Powder
2-3 Cups Salt
2 Tbs Turmeric Powder
2 Tbs Fenugreek
2-3  Cups Gingili Oil

Preparation

Cut the mangoes with the seed into medium size pieces using a swift cutter
Take the seed and pulp out, leaving a layer of the skin and spread it on a large plate
Smear the turmeric powder and a little bit of oil  on all the mango pieces
Mix the mustard powder, salt,  fenugreek seeds and the red chilli powder on a large flat plate
Take a handful of oil and pour it on the plate and mix it with your hands
Add a little more oil if it is too dry
(The consistency of the mix should be such that you are able to grab the mix in your hands and be able to let go easily without excess oil in your hands)
Take the mango pieces in small batches and rub through the salt, mustard ,chilli powder mix.
Once all the mango pieces have been smeared with the mix, transfer it into a ceramic jar or bottle
On the third day, mix the avakai and ensure that there is atleast one inch of oil above the avakai
Tie the jar with a white muslin cloth
Keep stirring the avakai with a wooden laddle once every day for a few days
A few scoops of the pickle is generally transferred into a small jar for everyday use.

Note:  Mustard Powder is prepared by drying out the mustard for an hour or so and then ground into a fine powder
The shelf life for this pickle is quite long and so handling the pickle is very important ensuring that you use a wooden ladle as well as wiping your hand dry before you open the jar
Traditionally, sea salt is used in the preparation of the avakai, where the salt is aired and ground into a fine powder 

 

Comments

  1. No one can beat the Andhras when it comes to mango pickles – I love pickles but have never made them from scratch. Perfect timing for this one considering Summer is coming…

     
    • Shobha Krishnan says:

      Absolutely Sandhya – Andhras and the variety of pickles with mangoes really go hand in hand – Great timing for the Ozzies – mangoes are already in season here……the joy of making your own avakai is simply unbelievable!!

       

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