Summer arrives in India in early March and the first of the raw mangoes appear in the marketplaces. The women in the neighbourhood eagerly await the mango-seller walking through the streets with a huge basketful of baby mangoes on his head. As always they hail him, pick through the best of the raw mangoes, weigh their bulk purchase and haggle over the prices. They then go through the process of wiping the mangoes dry, rubbing in measured portions of salt and leaving the huge bucket of mangoes to bask in the sun for a few days. The mangoes are then brought indoors and spiced with red chilli powder and mustard powder, bottled in sterilised bottles and left outdoors again to cook in the warmth of the sun. Everyday the bottles are shaken to allow the spices and salt to mingle evenly with the mangoes. As the days go by, the mangoes absorb the spices to turn into a lip-smacking 'kanni-manga' pickle, finally distributed among relatives.
While the entire process of pickling is a fantastic journey, the wait till one can actually taste the pickle is killing. And on days when the craving for a pickle is just too much to resist, an easy and quick mango pickle can be made. There are no particular measurements used for this pickle since the pickle does not keep well. It is best consumed within two or three days. To make the pickle, chop a regular raw mango into tiny pieces. Mix salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and mustard(rye) powder and toss well. Store in a dry container or sterilised bottle. The flavours should mingle well in 4-5 hours. Teams well with rice.