From Chhundo To Murabba: The Art Of Indian Mango Pickles

Mangoes, the king of fruits, hold a special place in the hearts of many, especially in India, where they are celebrated with gusto during the summer season. Apart from being relished in their juicy, ripe form, mangoes also find their way into various culinary creations, including delectable pickles. 

Indian mango pickles are a treasured part of the country's culinary heritage, with each region boasting its unique variations and family recipes. In this article, we will explore the art of making Indian mango pickles, from the traditional Chhundo to the enticing Murabba, and discover the techniques and flavours that make them a beloved accompaniment to any meal.

The Significance of Mango Pickles in Indian Cuisine

Mango pickles, commonly known as "aam ka achar" in Hindi, have deep-rooted cultural and culinary significance in India. These pickles are not just condiments; they are an integral part of Indian cuisine and are cherished as a delightful accompaniment to various dishes. Whether it's a simple meal of dal and rice or a lavish feast, no Indian thali (platter) is complete without a small serving of mango pickle. The tangy, spicy, and often sweet-sour flavours of mango pickles complement a wide range of dishes, providing a burst of taste that elevates the overall dining experience.

The Variety of Indian Mango Pickles

Indian mango pickles come in a delightful assortment of flavours, textures, and regional variations. Here are a few popular types of mango pickles found across India:

  • Chhundo: Originating from the state of Gujarat, Chhundo is a sweet and tangy pickle made from grated raw mangoes. It is typically infused with spices like fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, and turmeric, offering a burst of flavours that appeal to the taste buds.
  • Aavakaaya: A specialty from the Southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Aavakaaya is a spicy mango pickle made with mustard powder, chili powder, and a blend of aromatic spices. The traditional preparation involves sun-drying the mango pieces to intensify their flavours.
  • Rajasthani Keri: Rajasthani Keri is a delightful pickle made with raw mangoes and a mix of spices such as asafoetida, mustard seeds, and red chili powder. The addition of jaggery gives it a perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness.
  • Punjabi Aam ka Achar: A Punjabi-style mango pickle is a medley of raw mango pieces, aromatic spices, and mustard oil. This pickle is known for its bold flavours and is often enjoyed with traditional Punjabi dishes like parathas and chole.
  • Murabba: Unlike the traditional spicy pickles, Murabba is a sweet mango preserve, popular in North India. The mangoes are cooked in sugar syrup infused with fragrant spices like cardamom, cloves, and saffron, resulting in a rich and luxurious treat.

The Art of Making Mango Pickles

The process of making Indian mango pickles is an art in itself, and each region and household has its own cherished methods. The key to a successful mango pickle lies in the balance of flavours, the selection of the right mangoes, and the mastery of the pickling techniques.

  • Selecting the Mangoes: The choice of mangoes plays a crucial role in the outcome of the pickle. Raw, firm, and slightly tangy mangoes with thin skin are ideal for most pickles. Popular varieties used include Totapuri, Rajapuri, and Kesar mangoes.
  • Preparing the Mangoes: The mangoes are washed thoroughly and dried before slicing or chopping them into desired shapes. Some pickles require the mangoes to be grated or julienned, while others are made with whole or sliced mango pieces.
  • Sun-Drying: Many traditional pickles involve sun-drying the mango pieces to reduce their moisture content and intensify their flavours. This step is crucial for achieving the desired texture and taste.
  • Spices and Seasonings: A wide array of spices and seasonings, such as mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, asafoetida, and various chili powders, are used to impart distinct flavours to the pickles. The right blend of spices gives each pickle its unique character.
  • Oil and Preservatives: Mustard oil is a popular choice for pickling due to its pungent flavour and natural preservative properties. Vinegar and citric acid are also used in some pickles to enhance the tanginess and act as preservatives.
  • Maturing the Pickle: Once the spices, seasonings, and oil are mixed with the mangoes, the pickle is left to mature in a clean, dry jar. The maturation process can take a few days to several weeks, during which the flavours meld and develop.

The Pleasure of Savouring Mango Pickles

Indian mango pickles are not just a condiment; they are a culinary experience that evokes nostalgia and a sense of home. The joy of savouring a spoonful of mango pickle, whether with a simple meal or a festive feast, is unparalleled. The explosion of flavours on the palate, the tingling spiciness, and the lingering sweetness leave an indelible mark on the taste buds.

Mango pickles are also cherished as a way to preserve the flavours of the summer season long after the mangoes have disappeared from the market. The bottles of pickles lovingly prepared by grandmothers and mothers are passed down through generations, becoming a link to cherished family traditions and memories.


Indian mango pickles represent a beautiful tapestry of flavours and cultural heritage. From the fiery Aavakaaya to the sweet and fragrant Murabba, each pickle carries the essence of the region it hails from. The art of making mango pickles is a labour of love, where age-old techniques and family recipes are passed down through generations. So, the next time you relish a spoonful of mango pickle, savour not only the taste but also the love and tradition that goes into creating this beloved accompaniment to Indian cuisine.