Mango Pickle

North India is famous for its spicy pickles. Common are pickles made from green mango, cauliflower, turnip, and lemon. This mango pickle recipe is provided by my mother, Mrs. N. Kochhar, of New Delhi, India. If stored in a cool, dry place, it should keep well for many months, even years. Once bottled, avoid touching it with fingers, and use only a clean fork or spoon to remove it from the bottle.

The recipe is easy to make. The most difficult part (unless you live in a mango growing region) is obtaining the raw green mangoes. In larger cities you may be able to find raw mangoes in season (early summer) at Indian grocery stores. Do not attempt to make this recipe with ripe mangoes. You may need to visit an Indian or Asian foods store for a couple of the spices used.

The mustard oil must be approved for cooking. Do not use mustard oil that is marked "for external use only". If you cannot find the proper mustard oil then try "Mustard flavored oil" instead.


  • 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) raw green mangoes
  • 150 grams (5 ounces) salt
  • 1.5 (one and a half) tablespoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons ground red pepper (or to taste)
  • 150 grams (5 ounces) fennel seeds
  • 100 grams (3.3 ounces) fenugreek seeds
  • 30 grams (1 ounce) onion seeds
  • 350 grams (12 ounces) Mustard oil (or enough to cover mangoes)
  • (note: may need to substitute oil - see comment above)
  • (optional) 12 hot red chili peppers, cut in large pieces

Wash the mangoes and dry thoroughly. Cut into small pieces (approx 1 inch size). Do not remove the inner seed. (If the mangoes are large the innermost seed will fall out when you cut it - this part can be discarded, but the part of the seed that is stuck to the fruit itself should not be removed.) Green mangoes are a bit tough to cut, so use a large sharp knife, and watch those fingers! My experience is that the seed will usually cut easier in one direction than the other, in particular if you set the mango "on edge" it will cut easier. Some experimentation should establish this quickly. If you have to use excessive force then you are doing it wrong.

Grind Fennel and Fenugreek seeds coarsely in a grinder. Mix all ingredients in a big container.

Cover with a cheese cloth and place in a sunny window for 3 to 5 days. After that period transfer to a clean, dry glass jar, close tightly and store in a cool dry place.

Mango pickle should be eaten in small quantities. It has a hot and sour taste.

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This recipe first published on : July 8, 1999
This page last modified on : Feb. 14, 2010