Gunda Pickle – Cordia obliqua or clammy berries pickle (Gunda Keri nu Athanu)

Indian Food is never complete unless it is accompanies by the extras like chatni, raita, papad, lassi etc. It’s believed that these foods help to balance the taste of food on your plate.

I often make fresh pickle by adding basic spice mixture to fresh chillies, carrots, mangoes or gunda (called Bird Lime, Cordia obliqua or clammy berries in English).

This Gunda and Mango (Keri) pickle is quick to make and tastes great with any meal. Gundas are sold at most Indian grocers and are seasonal so only available at certain times of the year. When buying gunda, make sure you pick the fresh green ones which are not bruised. For mangoes too – buy the raw mangoes sold specifically for making pickles. Gunda is a kind of a berry with a very sticky stone in the middle.

You can buy ready made spice mixture in the Indian grocery stores. However, I feel that mixing and grinding your own spice mixture always tastes great as it’s freshly made.

Ingredients

  • 15-20 fresh gunda
  • 1 raw mango
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek (optional as some people find that it makes the pickle taste slightly bitter)
  • ½ cup of cooking oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt (you can add a bit more if you like more salt).
  • 2 teaspoons of salt for cleaning your hands.

Method

1. Transfer the mustard seeds and (fenugreek if you are adding it) to a mixing bowl and add the salt and turmeric to the mixture.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan , until it reaches a smoking point,  and allow to cool. Once lukewarm, pour about 3-4 tablespoons over the mixture of spices. The texture of the pickle mixture should not be too runny.

3. Mix all the spices with a spoon and allow it to cool.

4. Whilst the oil is cooling, prepare the Gunda and mango.

5. Remove all the stalks and wash the gunda and keri.

6. Dry the Gunda and Mango using a kitchen paper.

7. Dice the mango into cubes and keep aside.

8. As mentioned above, Gunda is a kind of a berry with a very sticky stone in the middle.

Traditionally, gundas used to be cut by hitting a pestle on the gunda and splitting it halfway and removing the stone. I tend to cut the gunda in half and remove the stone using a knife dipped in salt. Salt helps to remove the stickiness so after cutting a few gundas, just dip your fingers in salt and rub them together before rinsing them under water. (You can use gloveswhen cutting the gundas if you like) Once all the Gundas are halved – add them to the pickle mixture and mix well.

9. Now add the diced raw mangoes to the pickle mixture and stir well.

10. Transfer this pickle to an airtight bottle and add the remaining oil to the pickle.

11. Leave this bottle in a cool place for a week.  The salt in the pickle mixture may produce some liquid but that’s fine.  The salt will also have helped take away the stickiness of the gundas.

12. After a week, shake the pickle bottle so that the spices are all mixed with the gunda and mango.

13. You can start eating your pickle after a week. To keep it fresh, keep the pickle in the fridge and it should be fine up to a month.

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