Bellam Avakaye

A special pickle very personal to coastal Andhra. It is called bellam avakaye due to the presence of bellam(jaggery) in it, don't brush it off yet, the way it is prepared and amount of spices in it makes it a longing, mouth watering pickle. Kids love this as it is not too hot/karam and it has an addicting taste to it. A little lengthy process than our regular avakaye, but it has an excellent taste of it own! I promise you, you will not be able to buy it in any store. So, get started....
3 raw Mango – Hard and very sour
2 cups Mustard powder – ava pindi
1 cup Red Chili Powder
¾ cup Salt
1½ cup Oil - preferably Sesame\Till oil
2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
3 - 4 cups Jaggery

Traditionally "Collector kaye/mangoes" are used for this pickle, but since we can hardly find any variety, I personally did it with the regular mangoes that are really raw and green.

In a skillet fry the fenugreek seeds on low flame till they are nicely roasted. Keep aside.

Mustard powder can be made by dry grinding raw mustard seeds in a mill or a blender to a soft powder. 1 cup of mustard make more than a cup of mustard powder so, measure the powder before using.

Wash and dry mango. Cut mango length wise (making 4 halves) leaving the hard seed shell intact, remove the soft seed. Remove the fine film in the lining of the shell of the mango by scrapping with a knife and clean with a dry paper towel.

In a glass jar (do not use plastic with pickles) add mustard powder, chili powder, turmeric, salt and fenugreek seeds. Mix all the ingredients together. Then add oil and mix well. Now add the mango pieces and mix thoroughly. Set aside for 4 - 5 days mixing once a day. Use dry ladle to mix.

On the 4 th or 5th day remove the mango slices from the avakaye base and sun dry them separately. Mango slices on a cover and the avakaye base in the container for 4 - 5 days till the mango pieces completely dry. Cut the mango slices into smaller pieces and keep aside.

Depending upon the personal choice of sweetness, roughly about the amount of avakaye base , chop jaggery into small pieces. Transfer into a kadai and add 1/4 cup of water and bring to boil on medium heat stirring continuously. When it starts to boil and cook, test it to confirm if it has reached the correct consistency. Place a drop of the boiling liquid in a bowl of cold water, if you are able to bring it together like a ball, it has reached the stage. Remove and let the fumes settle down. Let it not cool too much, when it is still warm and in semi solid form transfer into the avakaye base and mix well. Add the cut mango pieces and mix well. Let it come to room temperature and transfer into an air tight container.

Bellam avakaye has a good shelf life. Keep away from moisture for long lasting pickle. This is a good side dish with white rice or curd rice.


Anonymous said...

I have been looking everywhere for a bellam avakai recipe using pachcha karam. My grandmother used to make it that way. This is the only recipe I have come across for bellam avakai but you use red chilli powder. Do you have the recipe for making with pachcha karam. If so can you please give that recipe? Thanks!

Uma. said...

Hello, Thank you for visiting my blog. I prepared bellam avakaye using red chili powder, since you mention pachakaram, I am trying to find out from my aunts if they ever used and if so how. Please check back later for updates.