Karonda is a tart-berry, seasonal fruit, which is mainly used for making pickles, chutneys, and different kinds of preserves. It is green and sour when unripe and turns pink / red when ripe.I live in Bangkok, where Karondas are generally very rare to find. But when you do, one just simply cannot resist making pickle. This is one of the things one craves for while visiting India.
- Karonda – 1kg destemmed, washed thoroughly, pat dry with a cloth, and kept aside to dry completely before cutting it length wise for deseeding. The seed is usually bitter, and I find this step is very important. By the time karonda is separated from leaves , stem and deseeded, the weight will usually reduce to half.
- Garlic – Handful of cloves, skinned and roughly chopped. it adds a flavour to the pickle. This is totally optional.
- Fresh Red/Green Chilli mixed- Handful or according to how spicy one wants , washed, pat dried, and chopped. its gives perfect tartiness to the sour berry.
- Red Chilli Powder – 2 Table spns ( adjust the spice to taste since we are also adding green chillies)
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- Fennel Seeds – roughly crushed 2 Table spns
- Fenugreek Seeds – 1 table spn
- Nigel Seeds – 1 table spn
- Carrom Seeds – 1 table spn
- Yellow Mustard Seeds – 1 table spns crushed and pulsed in mixer
- Coriander Powder – 2 table spns
- Coriander Seeds – 1 table spn
- Half-tsp of Asafoetida
- Mustard Oil – 3/4th cup
- Mustard Dal – 2 tsp
- Lemon Juice -Half-cup
- Salt to taste
All ingredients are in approximate measures. Add more of or reduce according to your taste and preference.
- Heat a half cup of mustard oil in a pan on a medium flame setting. Mustard Oil has a low smoking point, hence once the oil is slightly warm, add the asafoetida and garlic, and stir for two minutes before adding green chillies.
- Add Fenugreek Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Nigel Seeds, Carrom Seeds, Yellow Mustard Seeds. (If you have the panch poran mix, that can be used too)
- Add mustard dal, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and coriander seeds (slightly crushed between your palms). Keep stirring gently.
- Add the chopped Karondas and yellow mustard dal, give it a stir, add the lemon juice, and cook for five minutes. You can cover the lid and allow to cook on low flame ,check once in between to stir.
- Add lemon juice and slightly cook till karondas is soft ,so it can be eaten instantly, without waiting for it to season in the sun.
- Turn off the gas, open the lid, and let it cool until the pan comes to room temperature.
- Add the remaining 1/4 th cup mustard oil without heating it to the pickle for a nice, tangy flavour.
- Your pickle is ready. Store in a glass container. It stays well for 4- 6 weeks in the fridge, but tends to get lacy after that. Enjoy as a side dish or to spice up your meals .