Avakka Pickle - A Prodigy Of Telegu People | SuperChef Nandakumar

It’s a combination of mustard and mango (avva-kaya)

Going back to good ole` days, I used to take a pew for long hours and watch my Mother engaged in the art of making Pickles. The ingredients like red chillies sun dried and powdered and for that matter all ingredients where she is meticulous about, and  the quality of Mangoes, Yes, The aroma lingers in the whole area and me sitting by side there, was curious to know the happenings. How she ties the earthen pot and keeps separate. After 5 days, she opens it to stir the mango well. I run down to the store room to be with her and after mixing it well she keeps a cloth just above the pickle in the pot and sealing the pot hermetically with mud. This is opened after 21 days by which time the mango will be soft and the ingredients all bound together.

The climax comes when she will show me the blunt side of the Laddle and I with all joy, eagerness and a big smile, lick the finger after swiping it. She enjoys watching it and when I make the final tongue soundktak………ktow. I too enjoy doing it.


Raw Mangoes Fleshy and  big size 1 kg
Mustard Seeds 200gms
Fennel Seeds 50gms
Chilly Powder 200gms
Rock Salt 200gms
Turmeric Powder 150 gms
Sesame oil 360 ml


Wash, rinse and pat dry mangoes and keep totally moisture free.

  • sun drying 200 grams mustard seeds, methi seeds and red chilly powderfor atleast for 4 hours. This is to get rid of any dampness or moisture in them.
  • Then remove the mangoes. Dry them with a clean kitchen towel or you can dry them naturally and cut the mangoes to dices.
  • Now with a sharp knife cut the mangoes vertically and the horizontally without disturbing the kernel.
  • Remove the thin film like tissue from the kernel and transfer all the mangoes into a big bowl making sure the bowl doesn’t contain any moisture.
  • Transfer the mustard seeds into a Grinder bowl and powder them coarsely. In the same way grind the Fenugreek seeds and powder.
  • Now start making the pickle by adding Chilly Powder, Fenugreek Powder , mustard powder and turmeric power to the mangoes. Add salt and mix once with a wooden spoon.
  • Heat sesame oil in a pan till smoke point and then add oil to the Mango Mix,

Tie the pickle jar after having transferred the pickle mix into the jar. After 5 days open the Jar and Mix well. Keep for  days and when opened the oi will float and the Mangoes will be tender. The excess oil helps you to keep the pickle intact wit out any fungi formations.

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Chef Nandakumar Menon or ‘Chef Nandu as he is known evolved into the Super Chef series. He was at the CASINO HOTEL in Kochi and later at the remarkable COCONUT LAGOON in Kumarakom. Both iconic Hotels and restaurants of repute for the quality and consistency of food offered at their restaurants. Coconut Lagoon where Chef Nandu headed the kitchen moulded him to cater to international clientele from all over the world coming in to experience the magic of the backwaters of Kerala and Kerala itself as a unique destination. From his early Catering Technology days at Adayar, Chennai and training at the famed TAJ MAHAL INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, Mumbai, Chef Nandu was back again at the Welcome Group’s ADAYAR PARK INN, Chennai. Later he headed the setting up of the various F&B outlets of the ABAD PLAZA group, Kochi as its Corporate Chef. And then with the Quilon Beach hotels, Chef Nandu created a redefined art of culinary expertise. His clientele were Doctors, Cashew businessmen and of course celebrities from the tinsel world, the cloyed connoisseurs had a different feel with his nouvelle cuisine. He still loves to cook and share his valuable experience of the world of food with The Daily Brunch and its readers in our series on SUPER CHEFS. Cheers! See more from SuperChef Nandakumar