Making the most of these lovely raw green mangoes before the season disappears, I cooked a batch of Mango Thokku. I don’t really know an exact translation for Thokku into English, and the nearest I could come to was Relish. It is a kind of pickle, as it is made with most of the ingredients used in pickling. However the process of making it is different, and unlike a pickle, it does not preserve for long.
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This recipe is, like most of the traditional Tamil Iyer cuisine recipes on my blog, my mother’s. Quick and easy, it is versatile and apart from being a traditional accompaniment to curd rice, it can be used as a spread on chappati, sandwiches, quesadilla, tortilla and the like. Mango Thokku spread Quesadilla with sautéed corn and tomatoes, totally yum!
Making Raw Mango Thokku
I make another version of raw mango thokku, where the mango is grated. In this recipe however, I have peeled and then cut the mango into small pieces (easier than grating, don’t you think?).
Once the mango is soft and cooked, mash the pieces gently with the back of a ladle, making sure to be careful that the oil doesn’t splash out of the pan.
The red chili powder is to my taste and limited to 1.5 tablespoons for 2 cups of mango. However, you could increase the quantity for a spicier effect.
Using good quality fresh spices, turmeric and chili powder, will give you a Mango Thokku with the best flavours.
For this authentic recipe from Tamil cuisine, the oil used is til oil/ sesame oil, called ‘nalla ennai’ in Tamil. This is the standard oil used for pickles and relish in this cuisine. Alternatively use a mild oil like a sunflower oil. It will be tasty but of course the flavour would not be the same as when you use til oil.
Try this simple and delicious raw mango thokku now, when the mango season is in full swing.
For more Raw Mango recipes on this blog, click the links below:
Raw Mango Neem Flowers Pachadi for Tamil New Year’s Day
Mango Thokku - a South Indian Mango Pickle
- 2 cups Mangoes Raw (peeled and sliced)
- 1/2 teaspoon Methi seeds /Fenugreek
- 1/2 cup sesame oil /til oil/ nalla ennai
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1.5 tablespoons red chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- Wash, Peel and Slice the mango into thin, small pieces, to make up about 2 cups.
- Dry roast the mendiyam/ methi/ fenugreek seeds for 20 seconds or till they darken in colour, stirring so that they don't char. Remove from the stove, powder and set aside till required. If using a processor to powder the seeds, wait till they cool.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan / kadai, add the mustard seeds. Keep the stove on low flame. When the mustard has sputtered and burst, add the mango pieces. Add the turmeric. Stir well.
- Sauté till the mango is soft and cooked (about 10 minutes on a low flame), stirring frequently to ensure the mango doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan. Check that the mango has cooked (remove a piece and smash with a spoon. If it crushes easily, it is done).
- Add salt to taste, stir well. Add the chilli powder, stir again. Add the hing (asafoetida) powder and the powdered methi (fenugreek). Stir. Saute on low flame for 5 minutes till the raw taste of the chilli has gone.
- Turn off the stove and transfer the finished Mango thokku to a suitable container. Store, covered, in the fridge. It normally keeps for at least 2 weeks, if a dry spoon is used, without any moisture entering the jar.