Aappe Aamle Lonche is actually the Konkani name of a unique Raw Baby Mangoes Pickle. This is an absolutely delicious and flavoursome pickle from the NKGSB Cuisine of Karwar, which derives it’s main flavour and aroma from a special strong hing (asafoetida) used in the masala.
Throughout India, one can find an umpteen number of pickles prepared by various communities. Generally it’s the locally found ingredients which are used in the preparation of the pickles. Raw mangoes, gooseberries, carrots, garlic, ginger, raw turmeric, prawns, goat meat, etc. are just some of the food items used to make pickles. There is a vegetable, Lingri, which is found in Himachal and is used by that community to make a special pickle. So, basically pickles form the base of the daily meals in almost all communities in India with their own unique ingredients and flavours.
The pickle I am presenting here is made using whole baby mangoes. Actually, this is a traditional pickle which was made by my grandmother in Karwar, using a special variety of baby mangoes called as ‘Aappe Medi Aamli’ in the local language. But as this variety of baby mangoes are difficult to find elsewhere, I have used whichever baby mango variety I could find in the market where I live. The Aappe Medi Aamli have a unique flavor and retain their crispness even after fermenting for many months. This is lacking in the other variety of baby mangoes found elsewhere. But still, the masala (spice mix) prepared for this pickle creates the same magic and flavour!
For recipes of some more accompaniments, do take a look at the following recipes too…….
5. Paalak Raita
Here’s the recipe for the Aappe Aamle Lonche…..
- 1 kg Baby Raw Mangoes
- 1 1/4 kg Sea Salt
- 2 tbs Turmeric Powder
- 125 gm Bedgi Red Chilli Powder ……. To be adjusted as per preference
For The Pickle Masala :
- 100 gm Mustard Seeds
- 20 gm Fenugreek Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Oil for roasting the fenugreek seeds
- 40 gm Irani Hing crystals (Asafoetida)
- 40 gm Hira Hing crystals (Asafoetida)
For Tempering :
- 400 ml Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- To make the Aappe Aamle Lonche, first we have to wash the baby mangoes in sufficient water and dry them thoroughly on a piece of dry clean cloth.
- Take a clean dry glass jar or glass bowl large enough to hold the raw mangoes and the salt.
- Spread a layer of the sea salt at the bottom of the jar. Now, spread some raw mangoes over it.
- Repeat this process till all the raw mangoes and the sea salt is used up. See to it that the top layer is formed with the raw mangoes.
- Place a heavy stone (grinding stone is preferred) over the raw mangoes. Keep rotating the position of the stone daily so that equal pressure falls on all raw mangoes.
- Keep the raw mangoes in this position till they release water and all the rock salt is dissolved. This might take 7-8 days or sometimes even a bit more.
- At this point, separate the raw mangoes from the released water and transfer them to a sieve. When all the water is drained out from the mangoes, add it to the released salt water from the jar. Transfer all the salt water in a saucepan.
- Heat this water till it reaches a boiling point and then lower the heat. Simmer on low heat till it is reduced to approximately 1/3 rd of the original quantity or till a thin layer of salt can be seen on top of the reduced water.
- Cool this water completely and set aside until further use.
- In the meantime, prepare the pickle masala. For that, start with dry roasting the mustard seeds in a kadhai. Roast it in small batches on low flame so that the mustard seeds to not burn in the process. As soon as they start spluttering, it means the seeds are roasted.
- Immediately transfer them to a bowl to cool down.
- Next add the oil to the kadhai, and add the fenugreek seeds to it. Roast on low heat till they change a little colour. Transfer these to a bowl to cool down.
- Grind the Irani as well as the Hira hing crystals in a mixer grinder to get a fine powder.
- Grind the roasted and cooled mustard seeds and the fenugreek seeds together in a mixer grinder as well, to get a fine powder.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the powdered mustard, fenugreek, asafoetida, turmeric powder and the red chilli powder.
- Add this spice mixture to the reduced and cooled down salt water. Give it a good stir.
- Add the raw baby mangoes to this spice mixture and mix well.
- Transfer this entire pickle to a clean and absolutely dry, glass jar.
- Give it a slight press with the back of a ladle.
- After 4-5 days, heat the oil for tempering in a kadhai. When it heats up, switch off the flame and let it cool down for about 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the mustard seeds to it and let them splutter. Adding the mustard a little later prevents the seeds from burning.
- Let this oil cool down completely. When cooled add it to the ready pickle and close the jar lid.
- See to it that there is a layer of about 1 1/2 inch of this oil on top of the pickle. This helps in preserving the pickle for a very long period.
- If you notice after a few days, that the oil layer has been absorbed in the pickle and there is not much left on top of the pickle, then repeat the tempering process using a little more oil sans the mustard seeds.
- Ferment this pickle for about a month to allow the sourness of the raw mangoes to seep into the pickle masala and to get a perfect blend of the flavour of the raw mangoes and the added spices.
- The pickle is then ready to be consumed.
- Serve this delicious Aappe Aamle Lonche with hot steamed rice with a good topping of homemade ghee or with Varan and hot steamed rice or Dahi Kadhi and Paneer Vegetable Pulao or as an accompaniment to any meal!