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Vadu Mangai, Mavadu (Baby Raw Mango in Red Chilli Sauce)

Vadu_Mangai_Mavadu_Baby_Raw_Mango_Red_Chilli_Sauce_1 Vadu Mangai or Mavadu is a popular pickle of Tamil Nadu. Baby (tiny and tender) raw mango is known as Mavadu in Tamil. Mavadu is soaked in specially made red chilli sauce with very less oil. The preparation is very simple with few ingredients. This is also a summer special pickle, as baby mangoes are available during the commencement of summer season. Vadu mangai goes well with Thayir Sadam (curd rice). More than the mango, the mango soaked red chilli sauce tastes great.

Normally this pickle is made in large quantities, preserved in earthen jars or ceramic jars and used for many months. But now as this pickle is sold in the stores, it is very rarely prepared at home.

We can use either red chilli powder and turmeric powder or we can grind fresh at home to use in this pickle. As I prepared this pickle with 250 gms of mango, I preferred to use fresh spices. Also castor oil is used in this pickle.

Ingredients (Standard Proportion)

  • Baby mangoes – 6 cups
  • Red chilli packed loosely – 1 cup
  • Crystal salt – ¾ cup
  • Turmeric whole – 1 piece
  • Mustard – 1 tea spoon
  • Food grade Castor oil – 2 tea spoon

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  • Wash baby mangoes and dry them with a clean cloth; mix castor oil well in this so that each mango is coated with oil.

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  • Here is the standard measurement I followed to prepare this pickle.
  • If you make very less amount pickle like 250 gm mango (or 1½ cup) do like this:
    • Boil ½ cup water; when warm put the red chilli in this and keep for 20 minutes.
    • Grind salt, turmeric and mustard to a fine powder.

Vadu_Mangai_Mavadu_Baby_Raw_Mango_Red_Chilli_Sauce_6 Vadu_Mangai_Mavadu_Baby_Raw_Mango_Red_Chilli_Sauce_7 Vadu_Mangai_Mavadu_Baby_Raw_Mango_Red_Chilli_Sauce_8

    • Add soaked chili with water and grind to a paste (I call this as red chilli sauce).

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    • Mix it with oiled mangoes; keep the container covered; toss twice a day for the next two days.

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    • From 3rd or 4th day the quantity of red chilli sauce increases as juice is released from the baby mangoes and the outer skin of mango starts wrinkling; this is the right time to start using this mango.

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  • If you make large amount with one kg or more mangoes, follow this SMS (Salt-Mango-Spices) method:
    • Measure the mango and take spices in the given proportion; powder turmeric, mustard and red chilli; in a container or jar in which you are making pickle, add some salt; then add some oil coated mangoes; then add some ground spices; again repeat this process with remaining salt, mangoes and spices.
    • Keep the jar covered; then mix with a clean dry spoon twice a day for the next two days; from 3rd or 4th day the quantity of red chilli sauce increases as juice is released from the baby mangoes and the outer skin of mango starts wrinkling; this is the right time to start using this mango.
  • For both methods toss or mix twice initially and later once in 2 or 3 days; here are mangoes out of red chilli sauce to show the wrinkles.


  • Vadu Mangai/Mavadu tastes nice with Thayir Sadam (Curd rice).



  • Select round, tiny, tender raw mangoes with stems for this pickle.
  • Right amount of salt with proper precaution/handling, keeps the pickle fresh for long time.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Priya March 26, 2010, 1:24 am

    Thayir saadham and maavadu!!!!slurpppppp…am hungry..

  • pavithra March 26, 2010, 3:54 am

    OHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my mouth is watering like anything ..I wish i am near you to share this some. Hope u give :) My very fav one.

  • Latha March 26, 2010, 7:48 am

    I want to grab that plate. sighhhhhhh that all I can say!

  • Sushma Mallya March 26, 2010, 10:09 am

    wow that looks yum, never heard of this but seems really good

  • Geita Kotak May 18, 2010, 12:26 am

    Can you please let me know the availability of the pickle of baby mangoes in Mumbai. ?


  • Kamala May 18, 2010, 1:02 pm

    @ Geita Kotak,
    Baby mango pickle is likely to be available at Matunga/Antop Hill/Kings Circle area.

  • ashwin susi March 13, 2011, 9:57 pm

    sllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllurrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrpppppppppppppp !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! after eating the maavadu with curd rice in chili sauce i feel like i want to be in a pool of chili sauce with maavadu

  • gnanam March 13, 2011, 9:59 pm

    pls inform where available vadu magai market i wanto buy from there for own purpose

  • indhu March 31, 2011, 5:07 pm

    simply super.

  • nandini April 16, 2011, 3:29 pm

    hi wanted to know if the recipe is as good without the castor oil…. can i use nalla ennai instead

  • Kamala April 16, 2011, 6:03 pm

    @ Nandini
    By tradition, only food grade castor oil is used in this dish. If you don’t like castor oil, you may try with ‘nalla ennai’.

  • Vijaya February 27, 2013, 2:11 pm

    This recipe looks very authentic and the colour is very nice. Hope I can make mine live up to this standard.


  • R.Meenakshi March 25, 2013, 9:54 pm

    Found your reciepe interesting, am going to make it tommorrow. Looks very tasty .Will let you know soon.

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