Aamba Khatta Achaar (Sweet and Sour Mango Pickles)

  • Serves

    makes 3 cups


Green, unripe mangos are simmered with cardamom and cloves to yield this tangy, spicy Indian condiment. Smita Chandra, who wrote about her mother's homemade pickles in Preserving Culture, slathers it atop flaky paratha flatbreads. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2014 special India issue.


  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 12 tsp. green cardamom pods
  • 12 tsp. whole cloves
  • 12 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 5 chiles de árbol, stemmed
  • 1 stick cinnamon, halved
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 12 tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne
  • 2 green, unripe mangoes, unpeeled, pitted, quartered, and sliced 1" thick
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt


Step 1

Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook mustard seeds, cardamom, cloves, curry leaves, chiles, and cinnamon until seeds pop, 1–2 minutes.

Step 2

Add turmeric, chile powder, and mangoes; cook until mangoes are tender, 8–10 minutes.

Step 3

Add sugar, salt, and 1 1⁄4 cups water; simmer until sugar is dissolved, 2–3 minutes, and let cool.

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