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Vadu Mangai / Maavadu/ Tender mango pickle

Niranjana Sankaranarayanan
Vadu mangai is a simple traditional South Indian mango pickle which doesnt call for cutting the mangoes and cooking it. It is very easy to make. It is made with ground mustard paste and red chilli powder. For the kids we can just serve the salted mangoes which is called as kanni mangai.
This pickle evokes the nostalgia of long vacations, cooling curd rice, pickling seasons, and fryums making time. Those were the beautiful days when my amma and paati make these pickles. They are my source of inspiration to make all these recipes. They donot have any lame reasons for not making something for their kids. The most energetic women I have seen so far is my amma and paati.
Love them both for teaching me all these recipes.You might wonder why am I writing all these stuff about them - its because when I started writing this recipe I visualised how they worked during summer seasons and even now they are continuing doing that for years. After all the routine work, they make these extra recipes, spend time with me and my brother.
Check my other pickle recipes
Punjabi Mango pickle
Nellikai oorugai
Mangai thokku
Mangai Kari 
Prep Time 20 mins
Resting time 4 d
Total Time 4 d 20 mins
Course Pickle, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, South Indian


  • Mixie


  • 3 cups Tender mangoes
  • 1/2 cup Crystal salt
  • Very little Water
  • 1 small ladle Mustard
  • 2 small ladles Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Coconut oil/Gingelly oil + Castor oil


  • Wash the mangoes well to remove any mud or debris.
  • Allow them to dry on a clean cotton cloth. Get rid of any water particles on the mangoes so that it stays for a long time.
  • Measure them to make the recipe easy. So when I measured, it had three cups of tender mangoes.
  • Place all the mangoes in a vessel.
  • Dissolve the salt with little quantity of water. Once the salt is dissolved, turn off the stove.
  • Before adding the salt water on the mangoes coat it with oil. So that the mangoes will absorb salt well.
  • Here I have used coconut oil, but we can also use gingelley oil + Castor oil.  This makes the mangoes to absorb the salt and spiciness better.
  • After coating the mangoes with oil, add the salt water. Toss it well so that the mangoes will absorb the salt well. Allow it to sit for four days.
  • After two days, the colour of the mangoes would have changed. Allow it to sit for two more days.
  • After four days we can see the mangoes getting shrinked as you see in the pic below.
  • At this point of time take a small ladle of mustard seeds, add the salt water from mangoes and soak the mangoes for 6 hours.
  • Then grind it to a fine paste and add it to the mangoes.
  • Finally add two ladles of red chilli powder and mix well.
  • The traditional pickle is ready. We can store it and use when required. With days going, it tastes better.
  • Serve it with curd rice and it tastes heavenly.


Keyword kadugu manga, maavadu, Tender mango pickle, Vadu mangai