I am sharing with you a tried and tested family heirloom recipe for a traditional Punjabi-style aam ka achar.
About Aam Ka Achaar
Salty, spicy, savory, aam aa achar is an amalgamation of all favorite flavors from grandma’s kitchen.
In India, we have a variety of mango pickle recipes from each corner of the country. It is one of the most common pickles made and enjoyed in every household.
The summer season from June to July is the best time to make mango pickles. The dry Indian summer season and the abundance of green mangoes (kachhi kairi) are two idealistic conditions for pickling.
Heat at its peak, flora, and fauna at their dullest mood, and the scent of mangoes hanging in the air. What could be a better way to spend a long summer afternoon indoors than making a mango pickle.
Every year, we make a big batch of this Punjabi-style aam ka achar from scratch with homemade pickle masala powder.
Pickle Making Process
Type of Mango: For this mango pickle, you need green mangoes (kachhi kairi or achaar ka aam) that have tender/chewable or almost no stone inside. Most vegetable vendors sell them as ‘pickle mangoes’ or ‘achaar ke aam’. You cannot make Punjabi aam ka achaar with any other variety of green mangoes.
Cleaning Of Mango: Wash the raw mangoes nicely 2 – 3 times in water or soak them in a bucket full of water for 1 hour. Since the skin of the mango is not removed for making pickles, wipe each mango with a clean and dry kitchen towel to remove excess water/dirt. Make sure no water, moisture, or dirt traces remain in the mangoes.
Cut Of Mango: For this traditional aam ka achar, cut green mangoes into bite-size pieces. Each piece has to be of equal size. You can use a mango cutter, or sharp knife, or can request your vegetable vendor to cut them for you. Vegetable vendors who sell raw mangoes for pickles often provide cutting services as well at a minimal price.
Sun-Drying Of Mango: Combine the chopped mangoes with turmeric powder and salt. Toss well using your fingers. Place the mangoes on a muslin cloth, cover with another piece of muslin cloth, and place under the direct sun for a day or two. This process ensures all the moisture from the green mangoes is released.
Making Mango Pickle: Now in a large mixing bowl add the sun-dried raw mango, remaining salt, and achaar masala (see recipe). Combine nicely so that each piece of mango is coated with the spice mixture. That’s it!
Sun-Drying Mango Pickle: Transfer aam ka achar to a clean, dry, and sterilized jar. Make sure no dirt particles or moisture content remain in the jar before transferring the pickle. Seal the opening of the jar with a white muslin cloth and keep under the direct sun rays for 2 days. Shake the jar in between once a day. Keep the pickle jar indoors after the sunset.
Adding Oil: After 2 days, heat mustard oil in a pan till it reaches the smoking point. Turn off the heat. Allow the oil to cool down completely at room temperature. Pour the mustard oil into the jar and shake the jar to mix. Now seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the sealed jar under the direct sun rays for a week. By then, the pickle is matured.
Storing Mango Pickle: You can store the mango pickle for a year at room temperature. No need to refrigerate it. But make sure to keep it away from all kinds of moisture else it will develop fungus and get spoiled.
Homemade Pickle Masala
We use homemade achaar ka masala for making all types of pickles. It is a simple spice powder that takes less than 20 minutes to make at home.
The bold, blazing, spicy, sweet, sour, pickles are incomplete without a teaspoon of achaar ka masala. In the mango pickle, the achaar masala adds flavor and color.
If you are not able to make pickle masala at home, use readymade achaar masala or pickle spice mix.
The beautiful thing about making aam ka achar is it’s truly the most intense way to time travel without leaving your own backyard. You can experience the familiar aroma of the ancestral kitchen, and childhood summer memories, right at home, if only you venture to try.
What else you can make with green mangoes?
More Indian Pickle Recipes
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Punjabi Aam Ka Achar Recipe
- 1 kilogram raw mango (achaar ka aam)
- 200 gram (1 Cup) achaar masala (see recipe)
- 50 gram (¼ Cup) turmeric powder
- 50 gram (¼ Cup) Salt
- 500 ml (2 Cups) mustard oil (sarson oil)
- Wash the raw mangoes nicely 2 – 3 times in water. Wipe each mango with a clean and dry kitchen towel to remove excess water. Make sure no water or moisture traces remain in the mangoes.
- Chop each mango into 4 – 5 equal size pieces. We use a traditional raw mango slicer for the purpose. But the same can be done with a sharp knife as well.
- Combine the mangoes, turmeric powder, and 2 tablespoons of salt and toss well using your fingers. Place the mangoes on a muslin cloth, cover with another piece of muslin cloth, and place under the sun for a day.
- After a day once mangoes have released water, in a large vessel add the raw mango, remaining salt, and achaar masala. Combine nicely so that each piece of mango is coated with the spice mixture.
- Transfer the pickle to a clean, dry, and sterilized jar. Make sure no dirt particles or moisture content remain in the jar before transferring the pickle. Seal the opening of the jar with a muslin cloth and keep under the direct sun rays for two days.
- Shake the jar in between once in a day. Keep the pickle jar indoor once the sun sets.
- After two days, heat mustard oil in a pan till it reaches the smoking point. Turn off the heat. Allow the oil to cool down completely at room temperature.
- Pour the mustard oil in the pickle jar and shake the jar to mix. Now seal the jar with a tight fitting lid.
- Keep the sealed jar under the direct sun rays for a week. By then, the pickle is matured. The mango pickle has a tendency to turn more flavorsome and tender with time.
- You can store mango pickle for a year at room temperature.
- Serve Aam Ka Achaar with Indian main-course dishes.