Pickled Yellow Mango


Today I have a big honour and pleasure to guest post for my friend Charles from Five Euro Food. I strongly encourage you to pay him a visit and browse through his inspiring recipes from such different parts of the world as Sweden, Britain or Tunisia, watch his impressive cooking videos, admire his breathtaking photos from trips in France or simply say hello. I know Charles shares my passion for home preserves and September being the preserving month par excellence, I have decided to share with you and him my latest pickling experiment.

Even though I prepare some jams, most of my pantry jars contain savoury sauces, jellies and pickles. Mango is the main ingredient of several types of hot sauces and chutneys I prepare every year, but I haven’t tried pickling it until now. If, like me, you are a fan of Indian pickled mango, you will understand that this was the first recipe I started to look for. Unfortunately, Indian pickles are prepared with expensive green mangoes, and, most of all,  I found only short-term preserving recipes. I desperately wanted to use the easily available yellow mangoes and to keep the pickles in my pantry for at least a year, so I ventured into something completely new. I kept Indian flavours and combined them with the foolproof European long-term pickling method I use with cucumbers and peppers (click here to see my beloved Pickled Peppers or Hot Chili Peppers).

The experiment was risky, but proved worthwhile. Tasted after a couple of days (I had to make sure I present you an edible recipe!), the pickled mango has exceeded my expectations. I feared the excessive sweetness and softness of the fruit, but they were perfectly balanced by chili peppers, vinegar and powerful spices. The scarce amount of oil I poured on top of every jar tamed down the harshness of the vinegar and mellowed the flavours. I can already see these aromatic mangoes bringing sunshine to my winter meals.

TIP: If you don’t care for long-term pickles, you can skip the processing stage and keep these pickles in the fridge for at least several weeks.

If you don’t like hot flavours, skip the chili.

The riper the mangoes, the softer the pickles will be. Even those made with quite firm fruits were rather soft (nothing to do with crunchy vinegared cucumbers).

Preparation: 1 h + processing 

Ingredients (makes about 8 x 300ml/about 10 fl oz jars):

3 mangoes (not too ripe, still firm)


600 ml/about 2,5 cups vinegar (4,5%)

500 ml/about 2 cups water

150 g/2/3 cup caster sugar

3 flat tablespoons salt

3 teaspoons nigella seeds

2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons white mustard

8 garlic cloves

about 8 thin slivers fresh ginger

2 bird’s-eye-chilis (or any hot chili variety; the amount depends on how hot you want your pickles)

8 tablespoons good quality oil (I prefer olive oil)

Roast nigella, fenugreek, cumin and mustard seeds in a dry frying pan until they start to pop.

Put them aside.

Put on gloves. Cut the chilis into slices, discarding the seeds.

Peel the mangoes and cut them into more or less equal square pieces.

Fill empty, thoroughly washed and dried jars with mango pieces (no more than 2/3 jars’ height and not tightly packed), add garlic cloves (one per jar), toasted spices (a teaspoon per jar), two chili slices and one ginger sliver per jar.

Bring the marinade to the boil and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring well until all the sugar is dissolved.

Fill the jars with hot – not boiling – marinade, leaving 1,5 cm from the rim.

Pour a tablespoon of oil in each jar. Close the jars and let them cool down.

/At this point you can either keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks or process the jars, as described below, and store them in your pantry for at least a year!/

Place the cool jars in a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot – but not boiling- water to the level just below the lid. Bring to the boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 15 minutes (if you use bigger jars, increase the processing time; I usually process 500 ml jars for 20 minutes).
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the pickle and don’t forget to mark the date.

Wait at least a couple of weeks before opening the jars. As most pickles, these should improve with time.

NOTE: For the readers who live in the USA, the USDA-approved canning method is different. You can find it described here: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html.

28 Replies to “Pickled Yellow Mango”

  1. Ehat a beautiful pickle, Sissi, the colour just pops! I wondered if the mango has a crunch over on Charles’ site. I too love sweet and hot combos.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. No, this mango is rather soft, a but like pickled pumpkin.The texture is very surprising, but I really liked it.

  2. “I can already see these aromatic mangoes bringing sunshine to my winter meals” ~ I’m with you Sissi… what a great way to liven up a winter’s meal. It sounds like you’ve achieved just the right balance of sweet and heat in this recipe and the view is simply beautiful. I’d say your experiment paid of in spades! Lovely guest post Sissi.

    1. Thank you very much, Kelly. I am trying to keep away from the jars and hope they will bring sunshine in winter ineed.

  3. Hi Sissi! Has the weather turned in your neck of the woods? Since at Texas we basically only get 2 weeks of Fall, so I am enjoying the “cool weather thoughts” from reading my foodie friends’ postings. I can imagine this yummy mango pickle bring some heat to you and your meals!

    1. Hi Jeno. Thanks a lot! It’s still quite hot and summery here, but one never knows when cold autumn weather arrives.

  4. Hi Sissi,

    I just came back from Charles’s blog and checked out this delicious pickled yellow mango. I’ve had pickled green mango before but not yellow. This must taste heavenly especially mango as one of my favorite fruits. Thank you, Sissi and may you have a wonderful week. 🙂

    ~ ray ~

    1. Thank you so much, Ray. This pickle is a bit more like European-style pickles, but with Indian spices, so nothing to do with traditional Indian green mango pickle. I like it a lot, but I must say the taste and texture are quite unusual. Have a lovely week too!

  5. Sissi, would these be ready say in 4-5 days, or would you give it more time? I was thinking of not processing it and just keep it in the fridge until ready and then have it with a pork roast dinner. These look very tempting.

    1. THank you, Zsuzsa. You can eat them after 4-5 days too. They will be less “infused” with spices, but still good. I haven’t thought about adding it to the post, but they are rather soft. They don’t fall into pieces, but aren’t as firm as say cucumbers. At first I thought it was a bad sign, but I actually enjoyed it (a friend and my husband too). They have an unusual, silky texture.

      1. Thanks Sissi. Actually less spices is good for me. I was wondering about the texture, that is why I thought it might be a good thing to omit the processing.

        1. The texture is a bit soft indeed. Softer than pickled pumpkin (I don’t know if you have ever had it). I always process my long-term preserves, but I know so many people who don’t…

  6. Nice guest post Sissi, the pickled mango looks beautiful and must taste delicious with all the ingredients in it.
    Have a wonderful week 🙂

  7. Hi Sissi! I went to check your guest post first, but his site is down for some reason, so let me comment here first… I wish I can try this pickle. How unique and delicious! I teach you Japanese and you teach me making pickles and preserves please. You can already tell how lazy I am in terms of making these things. If dinner is on the table, it’s a good day. I have so much to catch up – baking, preserving (pickling), and dessert making.. while you do everything all the time! 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. You are so sweet! Preserving is not difficult at all, but I would love Japanese lessons for preserving lessons of course! If you only lived closer 🙁

  8. I’ve never had pickled ripe mangoes. We have pickled mangoes here too but it’s usually with green ones when they’re unripe…. not with those spices you’ve used. Now I’m getting ideas 🙂 This is pretty inspiring indeed. I do like the looks of this too, it’s a much prettier color and I’m sure the flavors are much different from when they are green.

    1. Thank you so much, Ping. Frankly speaking it was an experiment with what is cheap and easily available here… (Green small mango costs three times as much as one yellow mango and is never on special prices, never sold on farmers markets etc.). If I could buy green mangoes at the same price I can get yellow ones, I would do it with green mangoes because I love their acidity and crunchiness. I’m not sure of course if this vinegar pickling method would be adapted to green mangoes, but I know they are used for pickles in many countries so I would choose them first (by the way the super hot Indian green pickled mangoes are the love of my life!). I must say that I was really happy with the result, but it’s much sweeter than with green mangoes I imagine and of course softer. In texture and sweetness it reminded me a bit of pickled pumpkin, quite popular in several European countries. Maybe one day I’ll be able to try green mangoes too…

  9. I would imagine that as a rule, pickling would have to be crunchy, for either pickles, vegetables, or for fruit as well. I will try pickling the green mangoes next year with the same method as you used for the sweet ripe mangoes, but no doubt the acidity of the pickling liquid and spices really got the fruit so infused with extreme flavor and the sweet and sour taste and the velvety texture is giving me an idea that I would really love this as a side dish to jazz up a fancy port tenderloin, or maybe a nice roasted duck!

    1. Thank you, Elisabeth. Actually in many countries soft pickles are quite popular. I know pickled peaches are traditional (I don’t remember where but I have seen many recipes on internet) and in Poland for example all the picklers pickle plums (I will maybe post the recipe if I do it this year). In Russia they ferment tomatoes the same way the cucumbers are made (of course they are rather soft). I’m not a pickling specialist, but I think one could find many similar examples. I thought I would mind the softness here, but not at all. It was just surprising.

  10. Hi Sissi – I didn’t stop by to say thank you here. How rude of me! Thank you so much though for a lovely guest post. These are so incredibly colourful and I’d love to give them a go one day!

    1. Hi, Charles. Thank you for such kind words, but you did thank me on your blog, through email… and I think much too much because it was most of all an honour for me.

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