Bilimbi pickle (Bimbla nonche)

Bimbla nonche

There may be many people like me who like pickles very much. During my childhood, pickle was an essential item of the meal, no meal was complete without it. It was a must with congee(pej) of boiled rice which is usually served between breakfast and lunch at around 11AM in Konkani homes. People use many vegetables to prepare pickles e.g. mangos, lemons, bimbal, bitter gourd, bamboo shoots, cauliflower, green chillies, gooseberries etc. At my home, everybody is pickle lover, so we have at least 2-3 kinds of them all the time. There are some which have very less short shelf life like this one.

Bimbal tree

Bilimbi (bimbal in Konkani) tree is commonly seen in backyards of many houses here. Bimbal is sour in taste. Children like to eat them raw with little salt. They are used in many recipes as souring agents. These are available throughout the year. The tree bears hundreds of fruits. Since bimbal fruits grow abundantly, this pickle is prepared whenever a large quantity is required for any function on a short notice. Once prepared, this pickle should be used within 4 – 5 days. Only the light green firm bimbals are used for this pickle. As they grow, they become soft and yellowish in color and not used.

Ingredients:
1 cup bimbal pieces
2 tea spn salt
4 tea spn chilli powder
1-2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1/2 tea spn asafoetida powder
2 tea spn oil

Method:
Take the light green bimbals. Cut them into 1 cm. thick round pieces. Mix the required quantity of salt with these pieces and keep it aside for about 2-3hrs allowing the bimbals to soak the salt.
Take the oil in a small pan and heat it on a low flame. Add mustard, fenugreek and asafoetida. When mustards starts popping, cool them to room temperature and grind to powder. Add this powder to the bimbal pieces along with chilli powder. It is better to store the pickle in refrigerator as it gets spoiled early outside.

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