Raw Mango (which can be cut through the seeds) - 1 kg
Salt - 250 gm
Turmeric powder - 2 tbsp
Mangraila (kalonji) - 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Ajwain - 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) - 3 tbsp (lightly roasted and coarse ground)
Fenugreek seeds (methi) - 2 tbsp (lightly roasted and coarse ground)
Yellow Mustard seeds - 5 tbsp (finely ground)
Deggi mirch powder - 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Kashmiri mirch powder - 1and 1/2 tbsp
Mustard oil (kachchi ghani) - 500 ml
Method of Preparation
1. Wash, dry and cut mangoes in the desired size (normally 1" cubes). Discard inner seeds.
2. Take the mango pieces in a large glass bowl, mix turmeric powder, sprinkle salt on top and cover.
3. Keep for 6-7 hrs, till the salt melts and water is released from mango.
4. Mix once and keep for at least 36 hrs, mixing once in a while.
5. Add all the spices and mix thoroughly.
6. Heat a kadai on high flame for 2-3 minutes and switch off the flame.
7. Pour mustard oil in the hot kadai and wait for 1 minute.
8. Add this mustard oil to the above mixture and mix.
9. Transfer the achaar to a glass jar, wait till it attains room temperature, and tighten lid.
10. Keep putting this jar in bright sunlight for a few days, till the achaar is done; i.e. the flavours of different spices combine into one and mango pieces become soft and well marinated in the masala.
11. Serve with fried snacks like Nimki, Mathari, Pakaudi, etc. or even with a meal, as an accompaniment [Bhojan Dhakel (भोजन ढकेल), as it is called in a local dialect in some families of north Bihar
Notes & Tips
1. You can also use black mustard seeds if you do not get yellow ones. You will, however, have to sacrifice the bright colour of the achaar, in that case.
2. If you cannot put achaar in sunlight, due to any reason, make sure to add some extra oil so that the achaar is fully submerged in it. The achaar will take a little longer to get ready, through this process.
3. Keep the jar partially covered while it is in sunlight. Tighten the lid only when the achaar cools down to room temperature, otherwise the moisture will condense inside the jar and spoil the achaar.
4. Always use clean and dry cutlery while serving achaar. This way it will stay longer without getting spoilt.
5. This is my mother's recipe of making "Bihari style Aam ka achaar". In those days, it was a normal practice in Bihar to make achaar at home, as we did not have so many readymade brands. I have eaten "aam ka achaar" in so many other Bihari households, but have never come across such a gorgeous looking and of course tasty achaar, anywhere else.