The very mention of the word “uppumaanga” makes me nostalgic and my mouth water. Am sure that's the case with you too. “Uppumaanga” is a malayalam word for raw mangoes preserved in brine (salted water). As they are preserved in brine, they last for a very long time. I guess the most common recipe with uppumaanga is uppumaanga chammanthy (a sort of pickle/chutney). However at home we used to have this uppumaanga chaaru (gravy) for lunch.
A little background info about these mangoes…this time when we came back from India we had some weight issues (for the luggage & for us as well ;) ). We did all sorts of packing/unpacking to meet the weight requirements of the airline. After numerous efforts my father in law suggested that we should keep aside the uppumaanga. That time my mother in law said we should take it even if we dont take anything else. She had her reasons…. these mangoes came from a particular maavu (mango tree), which was planted by Jose's grandfather. He passed away quite a while ago, so I haven't had the opportunity of meeting him. That moment seeing mummy's attachment towards those mangoes, I decided to bring them.
Many a times it is said that the fruits of your labor may not be enjoyed by you but by the generations to come, how true! Though I wasn't fortunate to meet Jose's grandfather, I was lucky to enjoy the fruits of his labor. May be this can be an inspiration for all of us.
Now coming to the recipe, this is a typical Kerala dish, with coconut based gravy and its a great side dish for rice. We always need a “chaaru” (gravy) for rice and kachimoru is the standard one. For a change, you can try this and trust me its really hard to resist anything with uppumaanga. You need to have it at least once to know what I am saying :)