It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Today: Nik from A Brown Table puts unripe mangoes to use in a spicy condiment that's easy to make and even easier to enjoy.
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Summer's arrival brings much excitement, and for me, there is no greater delight than the bounty of fresh mangoes. I love to eat ripe mangoes by themselves or in desserts, but I also use unripe mangoes in savory dishes -- most commonly, in traditional Indian relishes or "pickles."
This recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare a spicy mango pickle that makes a great accompaniment to any Indian dish. There’s not much to it aside from shredding the mangoes, chopping a few ingredients, and shaking everything together in a large jar.
Fresh chilies make this pickle spicy, but feel free to adjust the amount you use according to your taste. Serve this dish as a side to any meal, or stuff it into sandwiches layered with roasted vegetables, barbecued meat, or pulled pork.
I’ve noticed that some varieties of unripe mangoes can be slightly sweet, and this natural sugar balances the heat of the chilies. If your unripe mango is not sweet, however, mix 1/2 teaspoon of honey or palm sugar with the rest of the ingredients.
2 large raw green mangoes (the more sour, the better) 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 3 red Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced 3 green Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons mint leaves, freshly chopped 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned 5 cloves 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
You can shred the mangoes with either a mandoline or a food processor. With a mandoline, adjust the blade to the finest shredding setting and make sure to use the safety attachment to protect your hands. With a food processor, cut the mango lengthwise into large pieces and shred them using the blade attachment. You should get 2 1/2 to 3 cups of shredded mango.
In a 1-liter mason jar or mixing bowl, add the fresh lime juice, chili peppers, mint, ginger, cloves, cumin, and salt. Seal the mason jar with a lid and shake to combine. Add the shredded mango to the mason jar, fix the lid, and shake vigorously several times to coat the mango shreds completely.
Allow the pickle to sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. I prefer to eat this pickle the same day I make it; over time, the spices will mellow and the mint leaves will darken.
Nik Sharma is the writer, photographer, and recipe developer behind A Brown Table, an award-winning blog that has garnered best-ofs from Saveur, Better Homes & Gardens, and the International Association of Culinary Professions. His weekly column, A Brown Kitchen, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for Saveur, Taste, Food52, Eater, among others. His first cookbook, Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food was released on October 2018. He was also featured in America, the Great Cookbook. Nik lives in Oakland, California.