Monday, May 26, 2014

Avakkai Urugai - My Style

#AvakkaiUrugai : Come Summer... We all think about mango only!!.. Mothers and grand mothers start planning to prepare fresh urugais - pickles with these tangy mangoes. Small small tender mangoes formed on the mango trees tell us the arrival of the Summer. These tender mangoes are used in the preparation of Vadumaangai.- pickling tender mango in salt.
Other famous preparation is known as #Avakkai. In Avakkai #urugai the pieces of mango are immersed in oil mixed with chilly powder, salt and other condiments such as mustard and fenugreek.
We like the soaked mango pieces and not the oil mix. So my mother started doing avakkai in her own style.
This is not the original Avakkai preparation. The main ingredients used for the avakkai is same as the original one. But processing slightly differs from it. This is our family style avakkai urugai.

Avakkai Urugai

The raw mango used here is not very sour tasted ones, commonly called kili mookku mango or Bengaloora. The raw mango should have well formed seed inside.

Kili mookku mango

Now lets see the method of preparation.

Ingredients :
1 kg                                   Raw Mango [ approx. 5 mangoes ]
1/2 cup                              Red Chilly powder
1/2 cup                              Salt
1/2 cup                              Gingelly Oil [ til / sesame oil ]
1/4 cup                              Mustard seeds
1/8 cup                              Fenugreek
2 Tsp                                 Turmeric Powder

Method :
Day 1 :
Wash mango well in water. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Now comes the hardest tasks of this urugai making!!
Cut into halves with hard seed shell intact. Remove the nut inside the seed.

Cut into 1 inch pieces.

Transfer the pieces on to a plate.
Dry in the Sun for 4 to 5 hours.

Then keep the half dried mango pieces closed with a thin muslin cloth.

The main process starts only in the evening.
Keep a kadai on a stove and add oil.
Heat over a medium flame until it reaches fuming temperature.
Turn off the stove and allow the hot oil to cool down.

Now have to grind mustard and fenugreek separately in a mixer grinder.
Do not grind them into a fine powder.
Let them be slightly coarse.
Take chilly powder, salt and other powders in a bowl.
Mix well and keep aside.

Take a clean and dry food grade plastic container with lid.
Add cooled oil and mixed powders into the container.
Mix well using a long spoon.

Add 15 to 20 mango pieces and mix well to coat the pieces with oil mix.
Then add next lot of mango pieces and mix well.

After coating all the pieces with oil mix, close the container with lid and keep aside for three days.

Day 2 :
Shake well to rotate the pieces from top bottom and vice versa.
It can also be mixed with a clean and dry spoon.
Again close and keep aside.

Now it can be observed that the water present in mango oozes out and settles down at the bottom as an oily mix.
Since mango has been dried for a day very little water only oozes out.

Day 3 :
Today also shake well to move pieces from top to bottom layer and vice versa.
The amount of oily mix today would slightly more than yesterday.

Day 4 :
Take a big clean and dry plate.
Transfer the mango mix over to the plate.
As far as possible do not pour the excess oily mix which settled down at the bottom of the container. { this oily mix can be stored in a separate container and used in our day to day cooking }
Dry in the hot Sun for the whole day.
In the evening keep it closed with a clean and dry muslin cloth or with another big plate.
Before closing with another plate make sure that the mango comes down to normal temperature.

Day 5 :
Today also dry in the Sun. If the temperature is more than 40 degree Celsius dry for two days.
If it is below that dry for 3 or 4 days.
The mangoes should have little water content in it.

Avakkai Urugai

Then only it remains soft and easy to bite. Otherwise it would become very hard and tasteless.

Then store in a clean and dry glass bottle. If glass bottle is not available then it can be stored in pet bottle. Close and allow to cure.

Avakkai Urugai

It takes around 20 days to get the real taste of avakkai urugai.
The avakkai urugai can be enjoyed after it has been cured well.
This avakkai urugai will be good for years together.
As days pass the taste would be good.
But the color changes from bright red color to slightly dark.

Other pickle recipes you might like to try

Lemon in salt [ uppu elumichangai ]
lemon in salt
Kothamalli Thokku [ Coriander Leaves Pickle ]
kothamalli thokku
Nellikkai Thokku [ Goose berry ( Amla ) Pickle ]
nellikkai thokku
Thakkali Thokku [ Tomato Pickle ]
thakkali thokku
Maangai Thokku [ Mango Pickle ]
maangai thokku