How To Preserve Raw Mangoes; Kerala Style Uppilitta Manga or Mangoes in brine is one the ways of storing raw organic mangoes. Though traditionally, it is "kanni manga" or "tender mangoes" that are are salted or preserved.
A few months back we went for a short holiday to Nelliyampathy Hills, on the way back I bought these tender mangoes (kanni manga) from Palghat and put them in brine as soon as I reached home....and then completely forgot about them, until the day I remembered about it and decided to click some pics for the blog. What awaited me was an empty bottle!!
Well, my kids confessed to the crime along with my hubby......okay! so as usual I forgave them and wanted to make another batch; but then tender mango was no where to be found; so when I got these raw mangoes from a friend's backyard, I thought why not make with it?
For you first timers who want to preserve raw mangoes; let me tell you that there is no such recipe for this....years back when I asked my grandmother, all she said was boil salt and water together.....cool completely....pour over mangoes....let it sit for at least a month...and use it during the monsoons for curries, chutneys etc (will post soon). Here salt is the preservative, the mangoes will become tender as days pass.
Amma told me that sometimes fungus will form on top; so in the olden days, cashew leaves were laid on top of the jar or bharani to keep away the fungus....well, in those days kilos and kilos of tender mangoes were stored this way....for the coming monsoons as there will be scarcity of fresh food. And salted mangoes were used in every possible way during the rainy season.
Talking about "bharani" (ceramic jars) if you have one; use it for this purpose, since I have only one "bharani" which I use to make wine....I opted for this plain glass bottle....but I made sure that I kept it in the dark....no sunlight falling over it....atleast that is why we use bharani ....well, I think so!
There are some variations, like some people add in "kanthari mulaku" or Piri piri chilies.....for an extra added spice and some organic backyard fresh curry leaves too for added flavor.....but I chose to omit all this.
Author: Nisa Homey
Raw Mango: 1 kg
Salt: 1-1 1/2 cups.
Water: 3 to 4 cups or as needed (water should cover the mangoes), so basically it depends on the utensil you are using.
Clean and wash the mangoes, pat dry with a towel.
Since, I am using large mangoes; I sliced the mangoes into half; If you have tender mangoes or "kanni manga" go ahead and use it whole as they are very small.
I topped the sliced mangoes into a big clean and dry glass jar. If you have a ceramaic pot or "bharani" use it, though steel or aluminum is not ideal.
Boil salt and water together, cool it completely and pour it over the mangoes. Cove lightly with a lid and keep it for a week. In between I check on it and give it a shake .....the mangoes will shrink a bit.
If you do not have a ceramic jar, you can use a glass jar like the way I did.
If using tender mangoes, you do not have to slice them. If the mango peel is thick it might take a bit time for the salt to seep in.
Once in a while check if there is any fungus formation on top; if there is wipe off with a clean towel or napkin. Make sure water covers the mangoes.
You can make curries, mango chutney "manga chammanthi" with this; which I will post in the coming days Or you can simply take one salted mango; chop it up add some chilies and mix and serve with rice gruel or "kanji".
Remember to use dry spoons while taking out the mangoes....wet spoons add moisture and thus fungus formation. If you handle the preserve/pickle carefully; it will stay good for a year.
If the mango peel is very thick, remove or peel it off before using it in curries and chutneys. If you feel the salt is too much; you can wash the salted mangoes under tap water before using.
You can also take out salted mangoes and make instant pickle; just heat a little oil, add in mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, add in Kashmiri chilly powder, turmeric powder, a dash of asafoitida/kayam and mix well....once raw flavor diminishes add in a bit of vinegar, switch off the fire and once it cooled down add in chopped mangoes....mix well and serve...so easy!
Its been more than a month, since I made these and they still are in pretty good shape.