Rishte ka achar or grated mango pickle is made from unripe green mangoes or kairi that are shredded and tossed in spices. A tempering of curry leaves and whole red chilies in mustard oil is poured on top.Jump to Recipe
What is achar?
The word achar (or achaar) means pickle in Hindi and Urdu. Achar is a popular condiment in Indian and Pakistani cuisine and eaten on a regular basis as a side with curries, vegetables, rice (especially daal chawal), and even eaten on its own with paratha. Achar can be made with a variety of ingredients from fruits such as mangoes and lemon, vegetables such as garlic, carrots and green chilies, to even meat and seafood. The flavor of achar varies depending on the pickling technique, and the spices used. Some achar varieties are pickled raw, some are cooked; some are pickled in vinegar, some are pickled in mustard oil; some use just one ingredient, and some use a variety of vegetables such as a mixed vegetable achar.
What is rishte ka achar / grated mango pickle?
The recipe I am sharing today is my mother’s recipe for rishte ka achar or grated mango pickle. It is also known as aam ki kasundi, and kairi ka kuchla hua achar. It is a pickle made from unripe green mangoes (known as kairi / keri) that are grated, and then tossed in spices. A tempering of spices, curry leaves and whole red chilies in mustard oil is poured on top. The tempering technique adds a unique flavor and aroma to this achar. From the research I have done, this achar originates from the province of Hyderabad in India, and was is also popular in Uttar Pradesh. The term rishte / rishta in Urdu means proposal and I always wondered why this pickle was associated with this meaning. The actual meaning of the name of this achar comes from the texture of the kairi / green mangoes. Green mango is grated or shredded, and this creates a thread like texture which is known as ‘raisha’ in Hindi and Urdu, hence rishte ka achar.
Rishte ka Achar – the ingredients:
- Kairi / Unripe green mangoes: This achar / pickle is made from unripe green mangoes, that are also known as kairi, keri or kacha aam. They are easily available at Indian, Pakistani and Asian grocery stores in season. The kairi / unripe green mangoes are shredded (known as kaddukash karna in Urdu) but can also be sliced. Once the kairi is shredded, it’s important to squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible.
- Dry spices: Once the shredded green mangoes / kairi is prepared, it is tossed in a dry spice mix of turmeric powder, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and coriander seeds.
- Mustard oil: The traditional oil used to make achars is mustard oil (sarsoon ka tel). Mustard oil can be pungent, so to reduce its pungency it needs to be heated to smoking point, and then left to cool. Once it’s cooled down, it can be used in cooking.
- Tempering: The process of tempering requires frying off spices and herbs in oil, enhancing their flavor and aroma. For this achar, the spices are fried off in mustard oil, and then poured over the grated kairi.
- Curry leaves: Curry leaves or karri patta are an essential ingredient in South Asian cooking and can be found in Indian or Pakistani grocery stores, or even at major supermarkets.
How to serve achar?
In the Indian sub-continent, achar (pickles) are served as a condiment or side to add spice, and flavor to the main meal. They can be served with daal (lentils), sabzi (vegetables) or salan (meat curries) and with roti or paratha. One of my favorite ways to eat this rishte ka achar is with daal chawal (rice & lentils), or with plain paratha, or stuffed aloo paratha.
Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below!
Rishte ka Achar | Grated Mango Pickle | Aam Kasundi
- ½ kg unripe green mangoes / kairi
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon nigella seeds / kalonji
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds crushed
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds / rai
- 6 – 8 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds / methidana
- 8 red chilies
- 1 ½ - 2 cups mustard oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
Prepare mustard oil:
Before mustard oil can be used in cooking, it needs to be burned off. Place mustard oil in a karahi / wok or medium saucepan and heat the mustard oil till it starts smoking. Let it cook for about a minute, and then turn the heat off. Set aside to cool, and then proceed to use in the recipe.
Prepare the green mangoes / kairi:
Peel the unripe green mango / kairi and then shred or grate using a box grater. If it isn’t possible to grate the green mango / kairi, you can also thinly slice it. If the green mangoes / kairi are on the ripe side, they can be difficult to grate, and in that case slicing thinly is a good option. Place the shredded green mango / kairi in a colander and add salt. Let the green mango / kairi sit for about an hour. This step will release the water from the green mango / kairi. Use your hands or place the green mango / kairi in a muslin cloth and squeeze tightly. Try to remove as much moisture as possible.
Make the rishte ka achar / grated mango pickle:
Place the green mango / kairi in a heatproof glass dish. Add turmeric powder, cumin seeds, mustard seeds / kalonji, and coriander seeds. Mix well and set aside.
Heat the mustard oil in a frying pan or wok / karahi, and add the garlic cloves followed by the black mustard seeds / rai, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, and whole red chilies. Fry for about 1 – 2 minutes till the garlic cloves are light golden brown, and the curry leaves start to splutter.
Carefully pour the hot oil over the green mango / kairi mixture. Let it sit for 2 minutes, and then mix through.
Once the achar has cooled down, add vinegar and salt to taste.
Store the rishte ka achar / grated mango pickle in a glass airtight container in the fridge. As long as it's completely covered with oil, it can keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Make sure to use a clean and dry spoon to take out the achar.
Note: It’s important to take a heatproof glass dish to make this achar, and also make sure that the glass dish is small and deep so that the mustard oil covers the green mango / kairi completely. If the green mango / kairi isn’t covered by the oil, it can develop mold.