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pickled mango | amba

Ingredients

3 green, unripened mangoes *
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cups water
3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 1/4 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds **
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Pit and peel the mangoes and then slice them into thin strips. Coat them in lemon juice. ***
  2. Pack the mangoes into two pint-sized canning jars.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine water, cider vinegar, curry powder, turmeric, fenugreek, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Bring to a boil and then immediately remove from heat. Pour over the mangoes.
  4. This recipe is designed for 2 pints, but if you need to, feel free to top them off with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. If the tops are poking out, give them a shake every day for the first few days.
  5. Store the amba in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving. It is pretty good as a quickle after 3 hours, but it’s even better after a few days.

Notes

Serving suggestions: This is a very flavorful pickle and should be served with food that doesn’t have a lot of flavor and piquancy of its own; use this anywhere you want to add acidity and brightness, like you would with a chutney, relish, or salsa. Serve alongside grilled meats and veggies, burgers, hot dogs, riza sh’ariyeh, and/or a simple salad with a very light dressing. Leave the amount of amba up to your guests instead of plating it for them. Everyone has a different preference for tartness, and while some guests will polish off a whole pint, others will only have one or two pieces (but rest assured, just about everyone will love it).

* The mangoes should be very firm and should not yield to pressure. It’s ok if they are a little red, but they should be mostly green (judge by squeezing more than color).

** You can easily find ground fenugreek seeds online or in almost any Indian market. Although they’re from the same plant, they taste very different from fenugreek leaves (just like cilantro doesn’t taste like coriander seeds). You can sometimes find fenugreek seeds in Middle Eastern markets and health foods stores, but I find that Indian markets are the only really reliable source. If you can’t find ground fenugreek seeds, feel free to leave it out and use a total of 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon curry powder for the recipe.

*** See above gifs for instructions on pitting and peeling unripe mangoes. It’s a little different than pitting and peeling a ripe mango, since you can’t easily separate the flesh from the peel and you have to use a bit more pressure to slice through, and must therefore stabilize it.