I hope to give all the recipes of the mango preparations listed in my previous post. We shall start with Kadugumanga and Kannimanga. Kadugumanga is the favorite pickle of all Keralites. It is also healthy as it is an oil free pickle which keeps well for up to 2 years.
While we were strolling inside the colony where we live, I noticed that the mango tree in the next compound had lots of small mangoes. Now this house had been lying vacant for more than a year and nobody ever goes near this house. That is when I remembered the mangoes my son’s assistant had brought for Aavakkaya last year. I called him and asked him to get me some small mangoes from the same tree. He came back and said, “mummyji, they are too tiny.” I asked him to bring them all the same. He just could not understand what I would do with such tiny mangoes. He brought a handful of small mangoes and said apologetically, “they are too small, mummyji.” I jumped at the correct size of mangoes for kadugumanga, which I have not prepared for quite sometime now and asked him to bring more. The next day he brought more of them and I got into kadugumanga preparation. Though it is a strenuous job, years of watching my mother and grandma preparing kadugumanga at home in huge quantities helped. When the mango season arrived there was a festival atmosphere at home, especially for children. Since these would be the season’s earliest mangoes, we would go on eating although they were very acidic and our teeth would become so sensitive we were unable to eat anything else for a few days afterwards. These fresh mangoes also secrete a resin where it is attached to the stalk and this burns the corners of the mouth if the mangoes are not washed properly before eating and many children would sport this scar at the corners of their mouth. Since there was no powdered salt available those days, salt for the pickle was prepared by boiling crystallized salt in large quantities of water and straining the solution to remove the impurities and then evaporating the solution to get salt grains. Chilli powder was prepared at home. The maid pounded them in the stone mortar in a separate building in our yard called Rendankattu or second part of the house which was a little away from the main house and also housed the cattle. We children were not allowed to go there when chilli was pounded as the pungent chilli dust would burn the skin. Still we managed to peep in to see the blood red chilli powder. “Get away children,” the maid would shout at us. The maid would get one cup full of gingelly oil for an oil bath after this task to remove the effects of all the chilli dust she had to suffer.
Kadugumanga and Kannimanga are the earliest preparations one can make at the start of the season. The mangoes should have just come out of the blossoms and started taking shape. They could be as tiny as one can possibly get. Kadugumanga and Kannimanga are listed together because the initial process for both preparations is done together. To make it easy, I am giving below the measurements by volume. Once the ingredients are assembled the process itself is very easy. At home kadugumanga was prepared in large porcelain jars as the quantity of kadugumanaga prepared was some 20kgs or more. While preparing smaller quantities any glass jar would do.
Tiny mangoes: 6 measures
Salt: One measure
Good quality chilli powder: 1 measure
Mustard powder: 1/8 measure
Wash the mangoes thoroughly and spread on a clean cloth to remove all the moisture. Put the mangoes and salt in layers in a jar and keep aside. Keep stirring the mangoes every day. By the second day, water would have started oozing out of the mangoes. Keep stirring daily until the water level reaches above the mangoes. Take this water and mix in the chilli powder and mustard powder in clean bowl and add to the salted mangoes. Keep the jar covered air tight and keep in a cool dark place. Keep stirring every day for another week. The pickle will be ready to use in a week.
Kannimanga Or Uppumanga
As the name suggests this are just tiny mangoes in brine solution without chilli powder or any other spices. The brined mangoes are used to make chutney called arachukalakki and are also used as a side dish for curds rice during the lean months of monsoon. The brined mangoes are especially good for the intestine and believed to heal ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract.
The process for preparing Kannimanga is similar to Kadugumanga and you stop at the stage of adding salt to the mangoes. The mangoes will remain in the salty water.