In most Konkani households, pickles are made religiously every year during the summers. These pickles are then enjoyed throughout the years, all along the years to come. Yup, they stay good for more than a year, for years.
One of the most commonly prepared pickle is raw mango pickle. It is prepared every summer in most Konkani homes, as soon as raw mangoes hit the market. Raw mango pickles are made 2 ways. An instant, fresh raw mango pickle called as ambuli nonche/karmbi nonche in Konkani and a raw mango pickle made such that it lasts for years.
This recipe here is about the instant, fresh raw mango pickle of Konkani cuisine, called as karmbi nonché in Konkani. It is one of the easiest pickle you can make.
Raw mango is cut into bite sized pieces, they're called as karmbi in Konkani. Sufficient amount of salt is added to chopped raw mangoes and they’re kept aside for few hours. In about 5-6 hours these mango pieces absorb in salt well and turn out to be the yummiest, pickled raw mangoes you’ve ever eaten. They're tangy, sour and salty. They smell amazing! These pickled raw mangoes pieces, karmbi in Konkani, make a heavenly meal when are had with brown rice congee, called as pyej in Konkani.
A spicy pickle is ground by grinding together red chillies, mustard seeds, turmeric and asafoetida. This spicy pickle is then mixed with pickled raw mangoes(karmbi). You can devour immediately on this spicy, fresh pickle. However, they taste the best after 2 days. That’s when sourness from raw mangoes would have blend in well with spiciness from red chillies.
This delicious pickle is made without any oil or preservatives. You can store the pickle at room temperature for 2 weeks. And store them upto a year under refrigeration. However, pickled raw mangoes in the pickle lose their crunch after 2-3 weeks.
Nothing beats this homemade, freshly made raw mango pickle, made out of freshly pickled raw mangoes. It’s tastes amazing! It tastes best with anything & everything. Congee (pyej in Konkani), curd rice, idli, dosas like neer dosa (pan polo in Konkani), urad dal dosa (udha polo), brown rice-white rice dosa (bakri polo), with homemade rice noodles (called as shavai in Konkani), this pickle is great accompaniment with pretty much anything. Little of this fresh pickle (karmbi nonche), spring onions (jalle piyav in Konkani) and a bowl of steaming hot congee is just heavenly! :-) This pickle is to die for. It’s smell is all the more amazing. Do give it a try. It ain’t that difficult to make.
Serves: 10-12 people/20 servings
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Type of raw mangoes to be used:
Any variety of mango that is sour can be used to make this raw mango pickle (called as karmbi nonche in Konkani). It’s ok to make this pickle with tender, half mature or fully mature raw mangoes too.
Pickling raw mangoes: (Preparing karmbi)
1. Remove off the stems of raw mangoes. Give them a nice wash. Drain off all the water. Wipe the raw mangoes completely dry using a dry cloth.
2. Spread out another dry cloth on your kitchen counter/floor, spread out dried raw mangoes on them and let them air dry for another 30 minutes.
Drying off the raw mangoes completely is very important. Any water content, moisture present spoils the pickle and reduces its shelf life considerably.
3. Then cube the raw mangoes, deseed them and keep them aside.
4. Transfer rock salt into a wok and heat it until it’s hot. Then saute it for 2-3 minutes on high heat, so that it heats up uniformly. Remove them off heat.
This process helps get rid of any excess moisture content present in rock salt. Thus, increases the shelf life of the pickle.
5. Let the rock salt cool down completely. Once it cools down, add in cubed raw mangoes and rock salt layer by layer into a dry vessel/air tight container.
Every vessel, ladle, container that you use while making this pickle has to completely dry. And you now know why! :-) Just can’t emphasize enough on this.
6. Keep the bottle of raw mangoes with rock salt aside for 5-6 hours.
During this process, the water in raw mangoes is given out as it takes in salt and thus brine is formed. Rock salt dissolves in the water and thus brine is formed. Raw mangoes get pickled in the process.
7. After 5-6 hours, raw mangoes would be nicely pickled. They would be salty, sour and tangy. These cubed, pickled raw mangoes are called as karmbi in Konkani.
Keep few karmbi’s/pickled raw mango pieces aside along with the brine formed in a small, dry bottle and enjoy them with a bowl of steaming hot congee! Absolute bliss!
My mom usually pickles an extra jar of raw mangoes/cubed raw mangoes and keeps them aside for us on hog on along with congee and with curd rice. We even eat and empty a whole jar of pickled raw mangoes/karmbi in one shot! The pickled raw mangoes are just amazing to eat! They are salty, sour and tangy! Smell the jar of pickled raw mangoes, eat pickled raw mangoes pieces as-is and enjoy!
The karmbi/pickled raw mangoes tastes best for the first 3-4 days. That’s when they are crunchy, when they’re freshly pickled. After that they get soft and lose their crunch. If there wasn't any moisture during any of the above stages, then you can store them at room temperature in a jar for weeks and enjoy them. Refrigerate them for longer use.
If there was any water content during any of the above steps, then pickled raw mangoes tend to get spoilt fast and in that case it’s better to finish them off within 2-3 days.
Getting the pickle ready:
8. Keep mustard seeds and red chillies outside under hot sun for atleast an hour. Spread them out evenly on separate plates so that they get a little hot under sunlight. This process helps the dried red chillies and mustard seeds get crisp and helps in powdering them faster.
It is not recommended to heat mustard seeds, red chillies in a wok instead of getting them hot under sunlight. That'll change the taste of the pickle.
9. Also, keep the mixer/blender you’ll use for grinding the pickle, under hot sun so that any moisture content present evaporates. Alternatively make sure it is completely dry.
10. After 5-6 hours of pickling the raw mango pieces (even 1-2 days of pickling is also fine), strain the pickled raw mangoes. Drain all the brine into a cooking vessel and keep the pickled, raw mangoes aside.
11. Bring the brine to boil. After it reduces by a quarter in volume, remove it off heat and let it cool completely.
Boiling the brine until it reduces in volume helps get rid of the excess moisture content present in it.
12. Meanwhile soak crystal asafoetida in 2 tablespoons of hot brine.
13. Powder dried red chillies, mustard seeds separately. Turn them into fine powders and keep them aside to cool down.
14. Once the brine cools down completely, grind red chilli powder, mustard powder along with the brine solution into a smooth paste. Add in turmeric powder and asafoetida melted in water and grind so that they mix well. Add brine only as much as required. We need a semi thick pickle in the end.
15. Add this ground pickle into a air tight, dry container. Keep them aside for 30 minutes so that they cool down a little. A precaution to increase the shelf life of this pickle. If in any of the steps above, if any of the ingredients used above were a little hot, then your pickle's shelf life reduces considerably.
16. Add in the raw mango pieces to the pickle and mix well using a dry ladle.
17. Pickle is ready to be served.
Pickle tastes best when it’s fresh and usually after a day or two of preparation. But empty it as early as possible. It may not stay good for more than 2 weeks when stored at room temperature. Provided you have used dry containers, vessels and have taken a lot of care while preparing it like mentioned above.
If you want to store it for longer period of time, then refrigerate the pickle.
Also, pickled raw mango pieces stay crunchy only for the first 1-2 weeks. After that they tend to get soft, but still continue to taste awesome!
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Tags: Karmbi nonche, raw mango pickle, fresh mango pickle, ambuli nonche, Konkani cuisine, Konkani food, Konkani recipe, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food.