South Indian mango and cardamom achar

September 19, 2015 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)

Recipe by Illanique van Aswegen

This surprisingly easy achar is packed full of flavour – adjust the chilli to your liking…

South Indian mango and cardamom achar

By Illanique van Aswegen Serves: 500ml
Cooking Time: 15 minutes + 2 days to develop


  • 2 green mangoes
  • 120g (¾ cup) onion, finely diced
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil
  • 5ml (1 tsp) brown mustard seeds
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) ground cardamom
  • 6 dried curry leaves
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) chilli powder
  • 1,25ml (¼ tsp) turmeric
  • 1,25ml (¼ tsp) ground ginger
  • 60ml (¼ cup) water
  • 1,25ml (¼ tsp) fine salt
  • fresh micro fenugreek leaves, to serve (optional)



Sterilise a 500ml jar and lid in boiling water and dry in the oven at low heat.


Peel 1 mango and leave the skin on the second mango. Finely chop both mangoes into little chunks and combine with the onion in a large mixing bowl.


Heat the sesame oil in a pan until hot. Carefully add the mustard seeds and fry for 20 seconds. Stir in the cardamom, curry leaves, chilli powder, turmeric and ginger. Fry for another 20 seconds. Stir in the water and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the salt.


Combine the spice mixture with the chopped mangoes and onion. Place in the jar and seal. When cool, refrigerate for 2 days to allow flavours to develop.


When you are ready to serve the achar, scatter micro fenugreek leaves on top to add freshness and extra flavour.

COOK’S TIP: Mango achar is great with vegetable or chicken curries, served with rice and naan breads. Add a dollop of plain yoghurt to your curry and achar – the yoghurt adds a cooling balance to the spiciness of the dish. Achar can also be eaten with cheese and crackers or served with stews and casseroles as a spicy side dish.



Send this to a friend