Bimbla / Bimbli / Bilimbi Nonche / Pickle …. I am sure many of you love a little bit of pickle served with your lunch. And when its homemade its that much yummier. It’s a delight to relish Spicy Bimbla Nonche / Pickle with Dahi-bhaat / Curd-rice or freshly prepared shevai and if served with Pej (congee / gangee oota / rice porridge) along with a few vodies or happla kismuri it’s simply Blllliiiisss …..
Preparing this one for the first time. In Mumbai we do not get Bimbul unless you have friends who have a tree in their vicinity. Bimbul is the konkani name for Averrhoa bilimbi or tree sorrel (in English), commonly known also known as bilimbi, is a sour, tangy, pulpy juicy fruit which is abundantly available in the Coastal Karnataka regions. It is also known as cucumber tree fruit. We GSB Konkani Saraswat’s love this fruit very much and use it abundantly in curries, pickles and in preparation of patrado etc. During my recent trip to Mangalore, I got a large bag full of the same from a relative who has a tree full of bunches of bimbuls hanging on in their garden. Oh. I happily carried and brought the lot to Mumbai along with me and now as you know I am on a Bimbul preparation dish spree. My mind is roaming about like a rocket searching and digging for recipes. Some traditional, some prepared with variations and some my very own. Mom used to prepare this often and we used to relish this with peja / congee / gangi oota, curd rice or Dalitoy (Spiced Tuvar Dal) and rice and shevai too. Nostalgic memories I would say. Here is a spicy pickle, simple yet simply awesome to taste.
Bimbul : 15-20 large sized.
Salt : 3 tblsp
Kashmiri Red Chillies : 8-10
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Hing : 1 tsp if powder, a very small marble sized if gummy one
For making bimbul pickle, always use the fresh, firm fruits. Wash and wipe them clean with a towel. Snip off the edges of each bimbul and cut them horizontaly into 3-4 round pieces of 1 cm thickness.
Put the cut bimbul pieces in a bowl and add in the salt and mix well. Cover and keep aside for 5-6 hours. The fruit leaves water so mix in between once or twice for the fruit to get soaked in properly. Now the bimbul is ready to be added masala and prepared into pickle.
In a thick bottomed kadai, add in the mustard seeds and fry for a few minutes. Remove and put it in mxer grinder jar. Now add to the kadai red chillies cut into pieces and fry dry, say for 2-3 minutes, remove and add this also into the mixer grinder jar. Now if using hing powder heat a little bit of oil and add the powder, fry for few seconds and then remove and add it to the chillies and mustard in mixer grinder. Similarly if using the gum type hing also follow the same procedure of frying it in oil and then adding it to other ingredients. Grind to a semi coarse paste with boiled and cooled water.
Add the ground spice masala to the salted bimbul and mix well. If the consistency is too thick you may add in some water. The bimbul pickle is ready. Pour the pickle into a sterilized glass jar or ceramic jar and cover with a tight lid. Let remain in a cool place for 2-3 hours. Then keep the bottle in fridge and consume it within maximum a weeks time.
Bimbul pickle does not have much shelf life, it is best when consumed within 3-4 days, so do not prepare them in bulk unless you have to distribute it or have a party at home. Also use a clean spoon every time you remove the pickle from the bottle. And remember to store it in the fridge. Enjoy this pickle with any dish of your choice. You can have it during lunch time and a tongue tickler or with dosa / Idly / shevai instead of chutney.