Avvaka has always been something that I've thought of as best left to the expert hands of mothers and grandmothers. That is, until I tried making it myself. Armed with my aunt R's fool proof recipe, I discovered just how easy it is to come up with a pickle that tastes better than any that you can buy at a store.
There is a special variety of mango called avakka manga which is used just to make this pickle. However, you can use any sour,firm, fully matured unripe mango. It has to be cut in a special way.....usually the person who sells these mangoes will cut them for you if you ask....they usually cut it in such a way that the shell surrounding the seed is retained.
Here's the recipe:
Cut mango - 5 cups
Red chilli powder - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - a few heaped teaspoonfuls
Salt - 1 cup
Gingely oil - 1 cup
Mustard powder - 1/4 cup (powder mustard in the small jar of your mixie and use it)
What to do:
Spread the cut mango on a clean white towel. Wash the mangoes before you get them cut, not after. Wipe dry. Rub the part around the shell well and remove the thin layer resembling plastic that you'll be able to see. Not all mango pieces will have this, but most of them do, and it is important to remove this.
Mix all the ingredients together. Stir well. Cover properly and set aside. Stir once a day for the next few days until the oil rises to the top. This usually takes about three to four days. Store in a glass container or a bharani (see first pic). If you are using a bharani, set aside a small quantity of the pickle in a bottle for daily use and then tie the mouth of the bharani with a clean white muslin cloth and close it.
Following this recipe exactly will give you a super hot and spicy pickle which is best enjoyed with curd rice. If you cannot tolerate high spice levels, modify the amount of red chilli powder used.This is my entry to Srivalli's Mango Mela.