Maagai or Magaya – A Dried Raw Mango Pickle

Magai, Maagaya, or Magaya - A Raw Mango Pickle from Andhra Pradesh
Magai – Raw Mango Pickle

Summer means time for uragai and vadiyalu. While Avakai or Avakaya is the most famous of the mango pickles from Andhra Pradesh, we have many others that are just as delicious. Today, I am presenting the recipe for Maagaya (Magaya or Magai), a pickle that needs the unripe mango pieces to be marinated in salt and turmeric and then sun-dried till they are completely dried. These pieces are then mixed with the rest of the masalas and pickled to get a tangy and spicy Magai.

Magai or Magaya is one of my favourite pickles; not only can we eat it by itself, we can also use it to make two pachadis; a sweet one called Teepi Magai Pachadi and a savoury one called Magai Perugu Pachadi!

How to Make Magai or Magaya – Andhra Raw Mango Pickle

Ingredients

  1. Raw Mangoes – 3 Kg
  2. Chilli Powder –  1/2 Kg
  3. Mustard Seeds – 25 Gms
  4. Fenugreek Seeds – 200 Gms
  5. Salt – 1/2 Kg
  6. Turmeric – 3 tbsp
  7. Gingelly Oil – 3/4 Kg
  8. Red Chillies – 10
  9. Asafoetida/Hing – 1 tsp
  10. Mustard Seeds – 3 tbsp
  11. Ceramic/Glass Bottle – 1 Large (about 3 Kg capacity)

Method

  1. Rub the clean with a soft dry cloth.
  2. Peel the mangoes and cut into thin long (2″) strips.
  3. In a large, dry glass or ceramic bottle, mix together mango pieces, salt, and turmeric.
  4. Set aside for 2-3 days till the liquid begins to separate.
  5. Squeeze the juice from the mango pieces.
  6. Sun dry the mango pieces and juice separately for about 3 days or till the mango pieces lose the moisture but are not very stiff. The juice will also become concentrated.
  7. In a large, heavy-bottomed, heat the gingelly oil to a medium temperature.
  8. Add about mustard seeds and wait till they sputter.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Add the red chillies and asafoetida.
  11. Let the oil cool completely.
  12. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they start to change color.
  13. Let cool and grind to a fine powder.
  14. Grind the rest of the mustard seeds to a fine powder.
  15. Add the dried mango pieces to the juice and mix well.
  16. Add chilli powder, fenugreek powder, and mustard powder to the mango pieces.
  17. Mix well.
  18. Add the mango-spice mix to the completely cooled oil.
  19. Mix well.
  20. Store in a dry, airtight glass or ceramic bottle for about 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the pickle is ready to eat.

The pickle can be used for up to 2 years after it is made. In my home, you will find pickles of many vintages; freshly made, 1-year old, 2-years old….. Each has its own specific use! 🙂

Tips

  • When making pickles, everything about you must be bone dry; your person, the vessels, and the environs.
  • Mangoes must be raw, dark green, and hard. If you use mangoes that are even a little soft, your pickle will be spoilt.
  • I cannot emphasize enough that everything must be dry.
  • Ensure that the fenugreek seeds are completely cooled before powdering them.
  • Ensure that the oil is completely cold before adding it to the pickle.
  • If you add hot ingredients, the water vapour they release is enough to spoil the pickle.
  • I normally take out as much pickle as I need in a separate bottle for everyday use.
  • Try not to open the bottles in which you store pickle for the long-term when it is raining or the atmosphere has high moisture content.

I love magai with just hot rice and gingelly oil, or then as a side dish to perugu annam (curd rice) or mudda pappu annam (plain lentils with rice).

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