Before you begin, take the spices and salt in small bowls and keep them in sunlight for 1 to 2 hours. This step is optional but does help in getting rid of any moisture from the spices and salt.
Later, take the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds in a dry grinder jar or a spice-grinder and grind to a coarse mixture.
Rinse and wipe the raw mangoes and let them dry naturally. You can even wipe them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Making Mango Pickle
Chop the mangoes into 1.5 inches pieces. and add them in a bowl. Discard the stones but do peel off the flesh from the stones, if any. No need to remove the outer skin of the mangoes if they are soft and tender.
Take the chopped mangoes in a large non-reactive mixing bowl.
Now begin by adding the ground fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds first.
Then, add fennel seeds, nigella seeds or onion seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.
With a steel or wooden spoon, mix very well so that the spices uniformly coat the mango pieces. Check the taste of the pickle masala mixture or 1 to 2 mango pieces. The taste should be slightly salty. If not, then add some more salt.
Next pour ½ cup mustard oil.
Mix very well.
Spoon the prepared pickle mixture in a clean ceramic jar or glass jar. Use a clean spoon.
Cover with a lid and keep in sunlight for 3 to 4 days. Note that the sunlight should be very good with the strong rays falling on the pickle jar. It should not be cloudy or dark.
Everyday after sun-drying in the evening, open the lid and give a gentle mix to the pickle with a clean spoon. Take the mango pieces settled at the bottom upwards in the jar and give a thorough mix. Basically, mixing and tossing needs to be done everyday.
In the evening, get the jar inside and keep in a cool dry place. Next morning, keep in the sunlight again.
After keeping in sunlight for 3 to 4 days, add the remaining 2.5 cups mustard oil. Again with a clean spoon, mix very well. The oil should seep inside and reach the bottom of the jar. All the mango pieces should be surrounded with some oil.
Note that you do not need to heat the mustard oil. You can add more mustard oil if required. Do keep in mind that the mustard oil should float above the pickle by 2 to 3 inches. Always remember to keep the oil floating above the pickle.
Seal with a lid, keep in a cool dry place for 4 days till everything gets mellowed and pickled.
Initially, you may find a slight bitter taste in the pickle, but after 6 to 7 days, the bitterness will go away. This Mango Pickle stays good for more than a year at room temperature without refrigeration.
Enjoy this Punjabi Mango Pickle with any Indian meal.
Make sure the spices are within their shelf period and have not gone rancid.
Use good quality mustard oil and preferably cold pressed or wood pressed.
Instead of mustard oil, you can use sesame oil (made from raw sesame seeds) and sunflower oil. But keep in mind that the taste and flavor of the mango pickle made with either of these oils will be different.
Note that the approximate nutrition info is for the entire jar of Mango Pickle.