There are countless versions of mango pickle (aam ka achaar) in India with each region having its own host of recipes. This one is from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and is often eaten with stuffed parathas (Indian bread) and yogurt.
One of the seeds listed in this recipe is kalonji or nigella seeds. This little black spice brings a unique flavor to a dish as well as many health benefits (see below after the directions to this recipe).
There is some advanced prep needed for this recipe—you will need a sterilized 1-quart glass pickling jar on hand and be prepared to wait about 3 weeks until the pickled mangoes are ready to eat. But you will see that it is worth it!
- 2 1/4 pounds/1 kg raw green mangoes (cut into 4 to 8 pieces each)
- 1 cup sea salt
- 3 tablespoons aniseed (or fennel seeds)
- 4 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon kalonji seeds (nigella seeds)
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
- 5 tablespoon red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 3 cups/710 ml mustard oil
- Sterilize and thoroughly dry a 1-quart glass pickling jar. Put the mangoes in the jar and cover with salt. Mix well and cover the jar tightly.
- Leave the jar out in the sun for 1 week so that the mangoes soften.
- In a small bowl, mix the aniseed or fennel seeds, mustard seeds, kalonji, fenugreek seeds, chili powder, and turmeric together. Add this spice mix to the mangoes.
- In a small skillet, heat the mustard oil until it smokes and then turn off the heat. Allow the oil to cool fully.
- Pour this oil over the mangoes so that all the pieces are submerged. Mix well.
- Put the tightly covered jar back in the sun for 2 weeks. Stir every day to mix well.
- Eat with stuffed parathas and yogurt or with chapatis (Indian flatbread) and any vegetable dish.
Health Benefits of Kalonji or Nigella Seeds
Loaded with vitamins, fiber, calcium, and protein, to just name a few, kalonji is good for your heart as well as managing diabetes. Also, when mixed with lime juice, it actually becomes a treatment for acne!