January is the month when we South Indians see a variety of vegetables which are seasonal. Mangai Inji is a kind of ginger which has the flavour of unripe mango (hence its name). Though it looks like the ginger which is used to spice up food preparations, mango ginger is very very mild in flavour and has a finer texture. It is usually preserved in the form of a pickle which will keep for about a month in a refrigerator.
Most recipe books give the same recipe, but this is my special version. I have included asafoetida powder to give an additional punch and also used gingelly oil. The green chilli is used only for flavouring. Please do not eat the chilli unless you are a very brave person 😀
The mango ginger provides only about 55 calories per 100 g. The oil that is added contributes a small amount of energy. The lime provides 60 mg of vitamin C. Since this is a pickle and is consumed in very small amounts, its nutritive contribution is not really significant.
- ½ kg Mangai Inji (Mango Ginger)
- 4 Green Chillies
- 2 Limes/Lemons
- 3 T Salt (approx)
- 1/3 C Gingelly/Sesame Oil
- 1/8 tsp Asafoetida Powder
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- Wash and wipe the mango ginger.
- Pare the skin. Grate with a coarse grater.
- Measure the grated ginger. Add 1 T salt for each cup of grated ginger. Mix well.
- Slit the green chillies. Add to the salted ginger and mix well.
- Extract the juice of lime/lemon and add to the salted ginger.
- Heat the oil in a kadai or a frying pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, remove from heat and add the asafoetida powder.
- Immediately pour the oil on the salted ginger.
- Mix well. Cool.
- Store in the refrigerator in airtight bottles.
- Asafoetida burns easily with a pungent odour if the oil is hot, which is why I remove the kadai from heat before adding it as the odour leads to severe coughing.
- South Indian households usually do not refrigerate this pickle, and it only lasts for a couple of days. Refrigeration is a must if you want it to last longer.