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Avakkai Oorgai | Spicy Mango Pickle

There are a gazillion ways of making pickle. This mango pickle, or Avakkai Oorgai (read: aa-vuh-kkaayee oor-gaai) as we Tamilians call it, is our family recipe. This is how ladies of my family have been making for generations.
Indians, by nature love spicy food. Our pickles tend to have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of red chili powder along with oil. An Indian meal is incomplete without pickle. Curd Rice, along with a little bit of pickles is the perfect ending to a perfect meal. :) You can have this with any kind of rice or Indian breads! It only adds to the flavor of whatever you’re eating.
This version of the Mango Pickle lasts for at least 1 year! And you’ll be surprised to see how simple and hassle free it is. Your job is to mix the spices with the Mango pieces. As the mango soaks up all the oil and spices, it becomes tender. Selecting the mangoes for Aavakkai is as important as the preparation itself. Look for firm, raw and sour mangoes.
Disclaimer: Eat at your own risk! This is a spicy pickle. If your palate is not used to spice, then kindly refrain from being a daredevil. Years of eating spicy food and even I can’t bear the spice a lot. I need to kinda mask it with a lot of oil or yogurt. :D Of course, you could also add some sugar or jaggery while making the pickle. But that doesn’t appeal to me too much! :)

Avakkai Oorgai Recipe | South Indian style Spicy Mango Pickle Recipe
(Print this Recipe)

Prep Time: 1 day + 5 minutes
Soak Time: 3-4 days (the longer the better)

You’ll need -
3 raw, firm mangoes (1 cup mango pieces)
1 cup red chilli powder
1 cup black mustard powder
1 cup sea salt
1 cup sesame oil
1 tsp sodium benzoate (optional)

Method -
Cut the mangoes into 1 inch pieces and dry it out for a day. (under the sun or fan) This helps the pickle last longer. Sun-dry all the ingredients if possible.


Take a huge mixing vessel and add oil.

To the oil, add red chili powder, sea salt and mustard seeds powder and the preservative (if using).

Mix well.

Add the dried mango pieces

Mix everything well. Incorporate the oil into all the mango pieces.

Store everything (mangoes as well as the left over oil and spices) in air tight container

You can start having it after 3 or 4 days.

Notes -
3 medium sized mangoes is around 1/2 kg.
You can make more or less. Keep the ratio in mind. For 1 cup of mango pieces, use equal cup of oil, red chili powder, mustard powder, sea salt powder.
Sesame oil gives the best taste. And this is what we use every time. But any other vegetable oil should be alright too. (but in that case, you cannot expect the authentic taste) Similarly, sea salt powder gives the pickle a better taste, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use any other salt.
In olden days, they never used any preservatives. Just the amount of oil was enough to keep the pickle from spoiling. And so, it isn’t necessary. However, it is a good idea to keep the pickle under the sun for a while every month. (but then, it depends on the amount of pickle you are making)
If at any point, the mango pieces are really tender and start to look mushy, keep it under the sun for a day or two.

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About the author: Food Blogger, Recipe developer, Meal Planner .. and Chief Eating Officer! ;-)

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • aesha October 19, 2013, 1:03 am

    mm…mmm…will definitely try

  • afsamishael@gmail.com September 7, 2012, 9:34 pm

    hi..
    The colour of the pickle itself says”beware, i am spicy”.
    what exactly is black mustard powder? do we just have to powder the black mustards, is that ok?
    One cup of red chilli powder, is it ok if i reduce the amount? and where u using kashmiri chilli powder? Thats a lot of questions i know..
    Thank you in advance.

    • RK September 8, 2012, 11:50 pm

      Hi!! When you grind mustard seeds, you get the powder! There r 2 kinds of mustard seeds as per what I checked on the internet. So the black mustard seeds have to be powdered for this recipe!
      You can reduce the chilli powder to suit your tastes. But this pickle is known for its spice :D
      And Kashmiri chilli gives color, not the spice. I used normal red chili powder!

      Hope this helps :)

  • Kalyan September 2, 2012, 5:52 pm

    looks so healthy & delicious…mouthwatering!

  • Archana September 2, 2012, 2:17 pm

    This is great recipe. No making masala ready etc. is the oil not heated at all? For i was asked to heat the oil to smoking point then cool it then add.

    I am hosting Bake Fest all through Sept ’12. Do send me your entries
    I am also hosting Fast Food Not Fat Food 1st Sept to 15th Oct ’12. Do send me your entries

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