Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tongue Tickling Appe Midi Pickle by Anuradha Mudalagiri Kamath

Those who have seen the Malnad regions of Shimoga district or parts of Uttara Kannada and Udupi Districts must have come across a peculiar pungent kind of whole tender mango pickle. Appe Midi is the variety of mango that is a must in most of the houses in Malnad. This pickle is freshly prepared and stocked in the months of may and June before the monsoons start
A meal without Appe Midi pickle is incomplete in Malnad region. The tongue tickling wicked tang of the tender mango and the divine aroma of the masala blended with the latex of salted Appe Midi takes one into a heavenly trance even after completing the meal! Some even eat it directly and many like to have it with steaming hot Congi, curd rice, dosas or idlis.

Tender Appe Midis are hand picked by expert gardeners, they are washed and wiped dry to eliminate dust and impurities, mixed with powdered rock salt and allowed to marinate for a week when the mangoes ooze out the clear latex sap that gets mixed with the salt to make the brine base for the masala. Sun dried red long Byadgi chillies are ground with fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and asafotoeda in calculated quantities to make the masala paste. The marinated mangoes are mixed with the masala and the pickle is ready for consumption in two weeks.
There are many varieties of Appe Midi. In my home town Nagara(Bidanoor), 84Kms from Shivamogga, we used to have ceramic clay jars full of Appe Midi pickle and also used to distribute it among the relatives and friends when I was young. The nearest town Ripponpet has orchards specially cultivated with Appe Midi trees that yield the finest tender mangoes in the high season. The weather and the soil conditions decide the texture and taste of these tender mangoes. Mostly these trees grow on the river banks.

Rekha Ramakrishna, proprietor of RR Pickles in Ripponpet has her own orchard yielding good variety of Appe Midi and she makes the best Appe Midi pickle using pure spices under hygeinic condition and markets them in sealed PET bottles and jars. She has two kinds of whole mango pickles, Appe Midi and Jeerige Midi. These are priced seasonally depending on the cost of productiion and availability of tender mangoes in the season. Some make this pickle adding sesame oil and spices like cloves but Rekha does not add those ingredients and makes them like grandma used to make!

Rekha Ramakrishna of RR Pickles
Now I am settled in Mumbai but I visit my home town at least twice a year. Most of our family members have migrated to bigger cities or foreign countries and no one at home makes them Appe Midi pickles anymore. Whenever I go there, I make it a point to buy a few bottles of Appe Midi pickles for myself and my friends.

Try them to get the real taste of them. Once eaten, forever smitten!


Mrs Rekha Ramakrishna (Phone: 08185 242739 Mob: 09448884761)
Near Shiva Mandir, Shivamogga Road,
Ripponpet 577426(Hosanagar Tq)
Shivamogga District, Karnataka State

Further reading:


1 comment:

Chaya Upadhya said...

Great! i will visit next time when i am in that area. I am planning to plant these variety of mangoes and later will think of making pickles.


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