Aam Ka Achaar: Easy Tips To Make Perfect Homemade Mango Pickle

Mango is the best thing about the summer season, and every Indian is obsessed with this fruit. Apart from enjoying it directly, mangoes are also used for preparing a variety of dishes like chutney, dal, rice, and mango curry. This fruit is relished in its raw form as well. Aam panna is the most popular raw mango recipe, and it is known to have several health benefits, including boosting immunity. Another raw mango dish that has stolen the hearts and taste buds of Indians is aam ka achaar, or raw mango pickle. Yes, mango is not only the king of fruits but also everyone’s favourite pickling ingredient.

Most Indian households have a jar of mango pickles in their kitchen. This tangy and flavourful superhero, made with the fiery kick of the spices, can transform any boring dish into a tantalising meal. Whether you have rice, roti, or paratha on your plate, aam ka achaar fits well with everything. The basic method of preparing mango pickles starts with the selection of mangoes, followed by slicing the raw mangoes into bite-sized pieces and then mixing together some spices like cumin, mustard seeds, and chilli powder separately before combining them with the mangoes. Finally, some vinegar, salt, and sugar are added to the mix. Then it is stored safely in a jar and left for a few days to marinate properly.

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But is this recipe not giving you the desired result? Are you not able to get the flavours right, just like your grandmother used to make them in your childhood? Don’t worry; we have got your back. Here are five effective tips to make perfect aam ka achaar at home:

Select The Mangoes Carefully

Extra attention must be paid while purchasing raw mangoes. Remember never to buy mangoes in a hurry, as this can ruin all your ingredients and efforts in making pickles. Apart from green, hard, and spotless mangoes, also look for ones with thin skin. If you don’t find them, make sure to peel them before pickling. After bringing the mangoes home, do not keep them in a closed room, as this could lead to fungal growth, which prevents using infected mangoes in the pickling process.

Oil Is Important For Pickling

We all know the importance of oil in pickling; it acts as a binding agent for mangoes and spices and also gives the pickle a rich texture while preserving it to extend its shelf life. Though oil does not add any flavour, it definitely helps the fruits absorb it from the spices. Therefore, never compromise with oil; pour it generously. Always use good-quality mustard oil to make the perfect mango pickle.

Always Use Whole Spices  

We are often tempted to use store-bought ground spices to reduce our work. But pickling is not like any instant food that can be prepared in no time; you have to be patient. Always buy good-quality whole spices and coarsely grind them in a spice grinder before adding them to your pickle. Also, mix the spices well with the mangoes by coating each piece thoroughly with the masala.

Turmeric And Salt

You might be thinking that these two items are common ingredients for making any pickle, but there is a trick that not everyone knows. Apply turmeric powder and salt to mango pieces after chopping them, and then spread them on a clean cotton cloth, letting them dry under the sun for at least two hours. Finally, remove all the secreted juice from them and start pickling. This step not only enhances the taste, but also preserves the nutritional value, and increases the product's shelf life.

Enhance The Pickle's Shelf Life 

In order to increase the shelf life of your pickles, always use a clean, dry jar for storing them, and make sure the mango pieces are submerged in mustard oil while pickling. If the top surface of the jar does not have sufficient oil, your pickles will start spoiling. Keep refilling it every 25–30 days. Another common but important tip is to always use a clean, dry spoon for handling the pickles, as moisture in the pickles can encourage the growth of fungus, leading to spoilage of the entire lot.