Mango-ginger from Matunga market
Originally uploaded by lools.
Being a South Indian, I love my pickles. I can always count on Bedekar's Vadu Maanga, Mother's Recipe Garlic, Gujrati Mango Chunda or my homemade mango pickle to awaken my appetite and intrigue my tastebuds. Pickles offer a burst of flavour and are used in Indian cuisine to add flavour or accent a dish.
I can eat Indian pickles with almost anything including rice, yogurt, sandwich bread and even crackers. Kalustyans in Manhattan has an impressive array of different Indian pickles including Punjabi, Gujrati and South Indian varieties. Unfortunately they all float in generous quantities of oil which is obviously not very healthy.
One of the healthiest pickles is Manga-Inji also known as Aam-Handi. It is made from the mango-ginger root, which true to its name, offers hints of raw mango tartness with the familiar tang of the ginger root. I ventured to Matunga market yesterday to pick up some of the fresh mango-ginger root directly from the vegetable vendor that stocks the best quality in the city. It was so much fun being in an authentic vegetable market and haggling with him over the price and settling on what I thought was a steal. He did not mind being photgraphed at all but was a bit shy by nature and so refused to look directly at the camera!
The pickle is extremely simple to make. Peel the mango-ginger root and grate coarsely. Add chopped green chillies and lime juice along with lots of salt. Mix well. That's it - an amazingly delicious and healthy pickle that's a terrific accent to any Indian dish, best enjoyed with yogurt-rice, of course!