This legendary (if I may say so myself) recipe is a hand-me-down from my maternal grandma to my Mum and then to me. Might be the only heirloom I’d be inheriting, so why not share it with a million other people!
As a 101 to Indian cooking, let’s start off with discussing “pachadi” a little. It’s an amalgamation of a stir fry and pickling, to which I can’t seem to find the English cooking term for. Adding vinegar and sugar is the fundamental step to nailing this dish, and it can be replicated with aubergine and gooseberries even. And you can swap the star of the dish, vinegar, with tamarind for a punchier masala flavour.
I come from a family of six, so all my recipes are to feed them for two meals – this last bit is vital for you to tweak your measurements at cooking my dishes. All the best!
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), as needed
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
4 unripe mangoes, peeled and cubed
100g white vinegar
In a pot or saucepan, heat a little bit of EVOO until shimmering. Add cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves and bay leaves; they should be crackling in the oil.
Add all the cubed-up mangoes and water and let the mangoes soften a little as they boil in the water. Add the white vinegar and sugar to the mangoes once you see the mangoes soften.
Using a potato masher, mash the mangoes up. You can mash it finely if you want your mango pachadi to be runny, or leave little chunks of mango pulp if you want to give it a bit more texture (the latter is my family’s preference). Add a little salt at the end to bring the dish together. Remove the 5 spices from the mango pachadi as you don’t want to accidentally bite into it, and serve!