Veda is from Wisconsin and always protests the cheese in St. Louis. The cheese on the pizzas, the cheese curds at our campus grocery store…they will never live up to her Wisconsin cheese quality. Despite her love for cheese, her comfort food is something that is a bit more reflective of her Indian heritage.
“It’s a mango pickle called avakaya pachadi.
When I was little and went to India, my aunt would give it to me. It was salty, tart, sour, spicy. You mix it with curry and spices and eat it with rice. I love it. Even the smell reminds me of good times. It’s always at weddings, so whenever I’d go, I would eat so much of it. Especially in south India, Andhra, where my parents are from, it’s really big.
When I was three, I celebrated my birthday in India, and I would only eat that. I was too young to remember doing this, but it’s funny hearing from everyone else.
The mangos aren’t ripe; they are made with green mangos, which are really sour so good for pickling. You can have rice and plain yogurt and add this to make your food taste better. Or if you eat with really plain curry, like daal, and rice.
We only get it sent from India, and my mom always keeps our old Ragu jars and stores them in there. Oh, haha, I remember one time, we got some mangoes shipped over from India, and they were so good. So, I took some onto a plate and hid it in the pantry so no one else could eat it. But I couldn’t find it! I hid it too well, haha. I think my mom found it two years later. It was so gross, but that’s how much I love it. I don’t even want to share with my family.”
Pictures are from: http://www.sailusfood.com/2015/05/08/mango-pickle-recipe-avakai/