1 kg of unripened, green mangoes
1 tbls black salt (kala namak, a musky salt used in India and available in Indian markets)
5 tbls coarse sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ginger powder or 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup mustard oil
In India, most types of pickle are cured in jars in the sun. However, after a bit of research, there is an option for North American kitchens using the lowest heat setting on your oven.
Wash and dry the mangoes, being careful to remove any stickers from them. Peel and remove the pit from the mangoes. Cut each mango into small slices, about the size of your thumb. Spread the mango slices evenly on a baking sheet. Set your oven to the lowest setting (200F on most ovens here). Place the mango in the oven, leaving the door ajar slightly. Let the mango cure in this way for about 45 minutes.
Remove the mango to a large casserole pan. Add the salts and stir thoroughly. Cover the casserole with some cheesecloth or a clean piece of muslin and let sit overnight. Now for the next seven days, each morning (or whatever consistent time you choose), remove the cheesecloth and stir the pickle. Preheat the oven again to the lowest setting and cure the pickles for about 45 minutes with the door slightly ajar. Cover the pan again with cheesecloth and allow to sit overnight.
On the seventh day stir in all of the other pickling spices. Transfer the cured pickles with spices into wide mouth, opaque glass jars. It’s important to use glass because the pickles are not yet fully cured and will need more time in your oven. Cover the jars with cheesecloth or muslin.
Following the curing process again for the next three weeks and you have your pickle! When this process is done, screw the lids onto the jars and store in a cool, dry place. These pickles will last for years (if you can resist eating them that long, that is).
Choose firm, unripened, green mango for this recipe. Ripened mangoes will not pickle correctly. These mangoes are hard to find around here so I sort of stalk my grocery store and pounce when they get a fresh order of mango in, as they are usually delivered in the least ripened state, to allow them to ripen during the long trip north.
Do not use table salt or iodized salt. It will not produce the same result.
You can substitute mustard oil for canola or any other light oil but it won’t have quite the same tang.