Have you tasted Karonda / Kalakai /Christ's thorn ? It is available here during these months and is juicy and tangy ( similar to gooseberry in milder form). The botanical name of this flowering Shrub is Carissa Caranda.
If you live in Northern India, it is popularly known here as Karonda. You can get them in any vegetable shop .In South, it is known popularly as Kalakai.
These are India's own berries that have both medicinal and culinary uses. The berries are high source of Iron.
This is my grandmother's simple relish recipe shared by my mom. Everyone at home loved the tangy,spicy relish. They hardly take time to cook and if you are buying the tender ones, you can cook along with the seeds.
I used it on top of my Open Cheese toast along with Capsicum for school lunch box and it was a big hit with Children . It tastes great with Rice and Roti equally. Add a spoonful of this relish in your Dal and it adds so much of flavour .
Relish Carandas | Kalakai Thokku | Achaari Karonda :
Preparation Time :10 minutes
Cooking Time : 15 minutes
Storage : Stays good upto 15 days . Add extra oil for storing longer.
1. Sesame Oil - 3 tbsp
2. Mustard seeds / Mustard powder - 1 tsp
3. Karonda / Kalakai - 250 gms
4. Red Chilli powder - 21/2 tsp ( adjust depending upon the sourness of the berries)
5. Fenugreek powder/ Methi powder -1/2 tsp
6. Asafoetida - a pinch
7. Salt to taste
8. Turmeric -1/4 tsp
9. Garlic pods -4 to 5 ( I did not use )
1. Wash the Karondas and cut them into half. If the fruits are extremely tender like the ones below, then you need not scoop out the seeds. Else, remove the seed as it might give a bitter taste to the relish.
2. In a pan, heat oil . Add the mustard seeds . When they splutter, add the cut berries.
3. Now add the turmeric powder, chilli powder,fenugreek powder and salt. Mix well. The berries cook very fast. Simmer in low flame for 10 minutes. You can gently mash the berries.
4. Once cooked,transfer them to a clean, dry bottle and refrigerate.
Easy recipe ,is'nt it ! Do try and you are going to love the taste.
Chef Tips :
1. Do taste a berry before cooking so that you can estimate the spice quantity.
2. I have used Sesame Oil, but refined oil or mustard oil will also work. Heat mustard oil till it smokes before adding the berries.
3.If you are going to make a larger quantity, then add more oil for longer shelf life.