Summer means time for uragai and vadiyalu. While Avakai | Avakaya is the most famous of mango pickles from Andhra Pradesh, we have many others that are just as delicious. Today, I am presenting the recipe for Maagai (Maagaya | Magai), a pickle that needs the raw 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.
I first posted this recipe in April 2012 and am updating it today with step-by-step pictures. I will update it again later for a printable version.
Each mango pickle in Andhra Pradesh has a different flavour, texture, and technique.
- For Avakai, we use large pieces of mango and use mustard (avalu in Telugu) as the primary flavouring agent. Avakai may or may not be sun-dried.
- For Magai, we use small, sun-dried pieces of mango which have been marinated in salt and turmeric. Fenugreek is the main spice.
- For Mammidikaya Thokku, we use sun-dried, grated mango, which has been marinated in salt and turmeric. In this pickle, we use only small quantities of fenugreek and mustard.
Coming back to Magai, it 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. You can also make a dal with it called Magai Pappu. So you see, this pickle is very versatile.
How to Make Magai | Magaya | Maagai: Andhra Raw Mango Pickle
- Raw Mangoes – 3 Kg
- Chilli Powder – 1/2 Kg
- Mustard Seeds – 25 Gms
- Fenugreek Seeds – 200 Gms
- Salt – 1/2 Kg
- Turmeric – 3 tbsp
- Gingelly Oil – 1.25 litres
- Red Chillies – 10
- Asafoetida/Hing – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 3 tbsp
- Ceramic/Glass Bottle – 1 Large (about 3 Kg capacity; sterilised, bone-dry)
Method to Make Magai | Maagai | Magaya
Getting the Mango Ready
- Buy medium-sized mangoes which are deep green and firm. These tend to be sour and are used for pickling.
- Wipe the mangoes clean with a soft, dry, cotton cloth.
- Peel the mangoes and cut into thin long (2″) strips.
- Add 3 tbsp salt and turmeric.
- Mix well, and transfer to the ceramic or glass bottle.
- Close and set aside for 3 to 4 days. You will find that the liquid starts seeping out of the mangoes.
- On the 3rd for 4th day, separate the mango pieces and juice:
- Take small handfuls of the marinated mango pieces and squeeze the juice from them.
- Transfer the pieces into a separate vessel.
- So you have juice and pieces.
- Spread the mango pieces on a plastic sheet or dry cotton cloth.
- Sun-dry the mango pieces for about 3 days or till the mango pieces lose the moisture but are not very stiff.
- Also, sun-dry the juice for a day or two. I take the lid off the bottle and just let the juice sun-dry in the container so that it becomes a bit concentrated.
Getting the Oil Ready
- In a large, heavy-bottomed kadhai, heat the gingelly oil to a medium temperature.
- Add about mustard seeds and wait till they sputter.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add the red chillies and asafoetida.
- Let the oil cool completely to room temperature. Do not cover as this will lead to condensation.
Getting the Spices Ready
- Over low flame, in a heavy bottomed kadhai, dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they change color. It is important that you do this over a low flame because the fenugreek seeds must get roasted on the side as well. If you use a high-flame, then the seeds will roast only on the outside.
- Let the fenugreek seeds cool completely to room temperature and grind to a fine powder.
- Grind the rest of the mustard seeds to a fine powder.
Mixing the Magai Pickle
- Add the dried mango pieces to the juice and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes. Add small quantities of the juice and mix. You should add just enough of the concentrated juice to ensure that the pieces become soft. There should be no extra liquid sloshing around. Discard any extra juice you may have.
- Add chilli powder, fenugreek powder, mustard powder, and salt to the mango pieces.
- Mix well.
- Add the completely cooled oil, chillies and mustard seeds, and mix well.
- Transfer to the glass or ceramic bottle and let the Magai pickle for about 4 weeks. After 4 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! 🙂
- 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.