What is your favorite food??
Well, it is indeed a very simple question and you have a variety of choices out there – cold ice creams, spicy gravies, delicious biryani , decadent desserts … so on and so forth. This question is worth a moment of thought. Whenever I think of my favorite food, there is this sudden inflow of names that come to mind, wonderful aroma in the air and delicious dishes flying around my head. I guess that is what happens to a foodie..!! But coming back to my favorite food, I would truly humbly say that it is the kanji and kadumanga achar combination with some payar olathiyathu on the side..!
Kadumanga Achar is in all its humility the most underrated achar in Kerala. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare some of this delicious achar and it lasts for about as long as you can keep the bottle out of sight. It is tangy, spicy and savory. Every household has a small tub of this achar in the cupboard. Its simple, its yummy, its instant..! Its my favorite achar on a cold winter night along with a bowl of gruel..
- Green Mangoes – 1 kg
- Kashmiri Chili Powder – 1/2 cup (as per your heat level)
- Turmeric Powder – 3/4 tsp
- Fenugreek Powder – 3/4 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
- Garlic – 1 large pod
- Ginger – 1 medium piece
- Mustard Seeds – 1 1/2 tsp
- Sesame Oil – 50 ml
- Vinegar – 1/2 cup
- Salt as required
- Peel and chop the mangoes into small pieces. Keep aside.
- Finely mince the ginger and garlic. Keep aside.
- Take a large pan. Add the oil to the pan and heat it.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they pop.
- Add the minced ginger and garlic to the mustard and fry till a nice smell comes and it becomes slightly brown.
- Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, mix well till the raw smell is gone.
- Add salt to the pan and mix.
- Add vinegar to the pan and boil slightly about 30 seconds. Stir in fenugreek powder and asafoetida.
- Add the chopped mangoes to the masala mix and stir well.
- Take the pan off flame. Check seasonings and adjust as per taste.
- Cool uncovered on the kitchen top and store in airtight bottles.
Note : This is an instant version of the kadumanaga achar. The traditional method involves chopping the mango into small pieces and mixing them with 1 tsp salt. This is then kept in a dark corner for 2 days before following the rest of the method above.