By Shru Reddy
Welcome to the land of Telugu and the Chillies. The pickles of Telangana are as famous as the Pride of the Telugus themselves. The range of pickles found here are just amazing, any vegetable or meat can be converted into a pickle. The ingenuity of the people here is such that they make pickle of egg, and believe me its delicious!!
Today it’s just about impossible to disassociate the spicy pickles from the Andhras. No self respecting Andhrite will ever say that he never had the famous "Avakai", one of the best known variety of mango pickles.
Summer is the time when most households are busy with the preparation of pickles for the year. Mouth-watering aromas of raw mangoes, hot oil, chillies and a variety of spices float around the household. The pickles are first allowed to marinate for a couple of days before the final adjustments to the seasoning are done. It’s then that these pickles are stored in special ceramic jars.
The preparation, storage and the taking out of the pickles is almost a ritual. Not every one is allowed to touch the jars holding the pickles, only the lady of the house or some other members are allowed to touch it. In fact the scientists have found an old wives tale that pickles spoil if handled by one and all, true.
The recipes of the pickles differ from one household to the other; the recipe of the avakai (mustard flavored) is given below :
Raw Mangoes (medium)
10 nos (each cut into 1’’ pieces)
Ginger Paste 150 Gms
Garlic Paste 150 Gms
Red Chilli Powder 200 Gms
Salt 200 Gms
Jeera powder 15 Gms
Methi Powder 15 Gms
Mustard Powder 30 Gms
Turmeric 10 Gms
Garlic pods (peeled) 50 Gms
Groundnut oil 500 ml
Cumin & mustard seeds 20 Gms
1. Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and cumin and mustard seeds once the oil is hot.
2. Sauté. Add the Ginger and garlic paste. Keep stirring as this mixture froths a lot. Cook until the oil oozes out of the mixture.
3. Cool the mixture. Then add rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Store in a container tied with a cloth for two days.
5. Open on the third day mix and check for the seasoning. Adjust the seasoning if required.
6. Store in an airtight ceramic jar. Take out pickle as and when required. This keeps for a year.
P.s.- One teaspoon of vinegar can be added while mixing to keep the mango pieces firm.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007