Avakaya: A Sensation
Hot rice mixed with ghee, dal & curry, with a couple of pieces of Avakaya is a taste heaven. Prepared during pre-summer season when raw mangoes are in abundance and they are just about to ripen, Avakaya or Avakai is a variety of Indian pickle popular in Southern India, with its origin in Warangal, Telangana. Main ingredients for an Avakaya are Mangoes, Mustard Seeds & a combination of other spices used for pickling. The process of preparation, storage & serving of Avakaya is a ritual in India.
Made with almost 50-100 mangoes at once, Avakaya is not made in small portion and which ultimately becomes a tedious task. Stored in a Bharani or Jaadi, the pickles have a good shelf life of over a year without the need of refrigeration. Avakaya is an old recipe. In a number of texts of both ancient Tamils and Telugus, from as long as 1500 years ago, pickles and cured meats have been described in detail.
Collector mango, Kolamgova, Pariya & Rasalu are the top choices of mango varieties for the Avakaya. Also, the Avakaya is not one recipe, it is a genre. Bellam Avakaya (with jaggery), Dhaniyaala Avakaya (with coriander seeds), Nuvvu Avakaya (with sesame), Menthi Kaaya (With fenugreek), Maagaaya (grated raw mango), Dosaavakaaya (with cucumber), Endi Avakaya (with dried mango pieces), Bellulli Avakaya (with garlic); and the list goes on! More than 30 different types of Avakaya pickles exists based on region and ingredients used.
Avakaya Pickles are available commercially everywhere and are exported to a lot of other countries as well. From kids carrying Avakaya Pickle & Paratha in their tiffins to old people wanting to get the tangy taste of pickled raw mangoes and authentic Indian spices, Avakaya is loved by everyone. In Northern India, Avakaya Pickle is simply known as Aam ka Achaar and consumed with meal, snacks, and breakfast every day. Aalu ka Paratha and Aam ka Achaar, Mathari and Aam ka Achaar, Achaari Namkeen, and countless such combinations. Avakaya or Aam ka Achaar is the most consumed pickle in the world and for all the good reasons.