Am ka achar

Am ka achar

Green mango pickle

The Complete Asian Cookbook
Alan Benson

My husband, Reuben, was positively inspired when it came to making pickles. All the pickle recipes in this book come from his recipe file — which probably would not exist had I not given it to him inscribed. ‘To the best cook in the world from his assistant and typist’, a cunning ploy to make him record his recipes. But half the time I would follow him around the kitchen, noting his every move and writing busily between complying with his demands for spices, vinegar, salt and just about everything else he needed. Oh well, genius must be pandered to, I suppose. The mangoes for this pickle should be so unripe that it is possible to cut through the stone and kernel without too much effort.


Quantity Ingredient
12 green mangoes
50 red or green chillies
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
625ml malt vinegar
10 large garlic cloves
100g fresh ginger, chopped
50g ground cumin
50g ground coriander
1.25 litres mustard oil, plus extra for bottling
2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
2 tablespoons curry leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons nigella seeds
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon chilli powder, or to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons salt, or to taste


  1. Wash the mangoes well and cut each through the stone into eight sections. Split the chillies in half lengthways almost up to the stem end. Sprinkle the mango and chillies with salt and dry for 3 days in the sun.
  2. Soak the fenugreek seeds in a bowl overnight in just enough of the malt vinegar to cover.
  3. Put the soaked fenugreek seeds, garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander into a food processor with enough vinegar to facilitate blending and process to make a smooth purée.
  4. Heat the mustard oil in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan until hot, then add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, turmeric and chilli powder and mix well. Return to medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Add the salted mango, chillies and remaining vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the oil rises to the surface and the spices become aromatic. Add the salt to taste, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Pour the pickle into sterilised airtight jars and top each jar with a little extra oil. Always use a dry spoon when taking pickle from the jar and it should keep for years.


  • Strips of salted, dried mango are available in some Asian grocery stores. Substitute 500 g salted dried mango for the fresh mangoes in this recipe and omit the salting and drying process.
The Complete Asian Cookbook
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