Maavadu – Tender Mango Pickle

 Maavadu or Vadu Mangai or Baby/tender Mango pickle is one the authentic and traditional recipes of Tamil Nadu. Maavadu and Thayir Saadam or Curd Rice is very popular combo. You can get these baby mangoes early summer and during summer and there are zillion varieties of these baby mangoes. Its a super simple pickle. Clean the mangoes, add salt and red chilly powder and let it soak for few weeks. That’s it. Its as simple as that.

Maavadu (Tender/baby raw mangoes) – Just the word, takes me back to my childhood days in periyakulam. Periyakulam is known for its mangoes. There is even board saying, “Welcome to periyakulam – mango city” and you can see it while coming from Theni. Not sure if its still there, but the point is its famous for maavadus and mangoes. You get fresh picked maavadus(with big stems) daily during the season. A near by town Chinnamanur which is 35 kms away from PKM (Periyakulam) is also known for its maavadu. But both differ a lot in their taste. And every year I have heard my mom and our neighbours comparing their quality, price and taste etc etc. As I mentioned above there are zillion maavadu varieties.

Let’s forget about the varieties. All I want is just the pickle. Let me first explain the process. First thing, wash the maavadu and remove the stems (Kaambu). You should not remove the stems completely, because the stems help the pickle stay for months and months. Now-a-days you can get the maavadus with the cleaned stems. When we get maavadu and remove their steps, the whole house smells of maavadu. I was born and brought up in a compartment style house (the agraharam ones), you can smell the mangoes in the thinnai, even if its being cleaned in kitchen, which is usually three compartments away close to backyard.

This time, while I was in chennai, I saw maavadu and asked amma to prepare the pickle for me. So here is the recipe.
Ingredients:

  • Maavadu – 1 kg (The stems were cleaned already)
  • Sea Salt (Kal Uppu) – 100gms
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Red Chilly Powder – 50gms
  • Turmeric Powder – 2 tsps
  • Gingelly Oil – 3 tbsps

Steps:

  • Wash the maavadu well and let it soak overnight in water.
  • Next day, drain the water and pat it dry.
  • The next step is applying gingelly oil, so that the maavadu’s doesn’t turn black in color. Add the 3 tbsps of oil and mix them well.

Maavadu2

  • Grind the sea salt and mustard seeds together.
  • Now add turmeric powder, salt – mustard seed mixture, red chilly powder to the maavadus.
  • Mix them well. Make sure all the maavadus are coated nicely with the salt-chilly mixture.

Maavadu1

And thats it. Store the maavadus in a air tight container. Make sure you shake them daily. In 3-5 days, you will start noticing the maavadus start oozing out water.  It takes at least 3-4 weeks for the maavadus to become tender.  More they soak, better they taste. The maavadu water taste equally to maavadus

Notes:

  • Mustard seeds acts as preservative.
  • You can more gingelly oil too.
  • Instead of red chilly powder, you can grind red chillies with salt and mustard seeds.
  • Do not remove the stems completely.

I don’t have the picture of maavadu soaked in the pickle water. Any my tale of woe is I couldn’t bring any back to US. I did pack 1 bottle, but then I heard friends telling that they got checked in customs and had throw the maavadu. I can not do that. So with heavy heart, I had to leave them back :-(

There is a song that comes in Vaandu’s cartoon dragon tales – “I wish I wish I could fly high in the sky.”. I have to sing on similar terms like I wish I wish I could have some maavadus..

Maavadu - Tender Mango Pickle
Maavadu or Vadu Mangai is one the authentic and traditional recipes of Tamil Nadu prepared with salt, red chilly powder, oil and then soaked for few weeks.
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Ingredients
  1. Maavadu - 1 kg (The stems were cleaned already)
  2. Sea Salt (Kal Uppu) - 100gms
  3. Mustard Seeds - 1 tbsp
  4. Red Chilly Powder - 50gms
  5. Turmeric Powder - 2 tsps
  6. Gingelly Oil - 3 tbsps
Instructions
  1. Wash the maavadu well and let it soak overnight in water.
  2. Next day, drain the water and pat it dry.
  3. The next step is applying gingelly oil, so that the maavadu’s doesn’t turn black in color. Add the 3 tbsps of oil and mix them well.
  4. Grind the sea salt and mustard seeds together.
  5. Now add turmeric powder, salt - mustard seed mixture, red chilly powder to the maavadus.
  6. Mix them well. Make sure all the maavadus are coated nicely with the salt-chilly mixture.
  7. And thats it. Store the maavadus in a air tight container. Make sure you shake them daily. In 3-5 days, you will start noticing the maavadus start oozing out water. It takes at least 3-4 weeks for the maavadus to become tender. More they soak, better they taste. The maavadu water taste equally to maavadus
Notes
  1. Mustard seeds acts as preservative.
  2. You can more gingelly oil too.
  3. Instead of red chilly powder, you can grind red chillies with salt and mustard seeds.
  4. Do not remove the stems completely.
Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/

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