Blaasops ‘Green Mango Pickle’

PICKLE
This recipe was given to me by my Mother-in-law. The name blaasop came from my husband’s friend, Bill. As a child he was fascinated by all creatures great and small and went on to be a zoologist. One day he ran into Mother’s kitchen and saw jars full of small green mangoes and asked “Are they blaasops?” meaning a small green frog, Thereafter we have always called them blaasops.
Ingredients
18 small green mangoes, no bigger than a lemon
450g 1 lb garamasala spice
5 Lts 8 pts virgin olive oil
450g 1 lb salt
3 large kilner jars
Method
Pick the mangoes when the size of a squash ball and no bigger than a lemon or it is difficult to get the developing stone out. Any larger mangoes cut out the stone and slice up the mango into wedges.
Wash the mangoes well. Cut off the stalk end. Cut vertical lines from the stalk end almost to the tip about a centimeter, half an inch, apart. Gently ease open and carefully remove the developing stone and membrane. Fill the hollow mango with salt and place in a large bowl. When all the mangoes have been de-stoned sprinkle over more salt and cover the bowl. Leave to steep overnight.
In the morning the bowl will be half full of water. Re-wash the mangoes to remove all the salt. Dry carefully. The mangoes will be softer and may have turned a brownie green in colour.
Sterilize the kilner jars in a hot oven
Warm the olive oil.
Pack each mango centre with garamasala and place in a jar, sprinkle over more garamasala and pour over olive oil. Layer in this way until the jar is full. Any mango slices that have fallen out of their body can be used to pack spaces in the jars. Secure the lid and place in full sunshine on the shed roof! Leave for 6 weeks. They will cook.
My son-in-law, Robert, driving past these mangoes sitting on the shed roof in all weather swore he would never eat them. The first jar lasted us a month until one day he just tried a slice and the second jar did not last a week!
Once a week take the jars down and open them up. If necessary top them up with more olive oil to cover the mangoes and garamasala. Exposed mango and garamasala will go mouldy. If this happens carefully cut away the mouldy garamasala and mango. The underlying mango will still be wholesome and can be covered again with olive oil. Return to the shed roof.
After 6 weeks remove the jars from the shed roof. Top them up with olive oil if necessary. Clean the jars carefully. Label the jars.
Place in a cool dark place until ready to use.
Once open, remove the mango pickle and serve as a side dish with a meal, curry, salad or on sandwiches.
Top the jar up with olive oil each time to cover the remaining mangoes.
Blaasops will keep for a year.

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