Bharela gunda (Stuffed gumberry Gujarati pickle)

Call it lasoda or gunda, when stuffed with Gujarati pickle masala (koro sambar) and sour mango, it transforms this slimy berry into a lip-smacking delicious pickle that you can enjoy instantly.

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Gunda, also known as lasoda or lehsuya is a wild fruit available during summer when the markets are buzzing with all things ‘pickle’. Visit the vegetable markets during summer and you will see vendors selling different varieties of raw green mangoes, firm and tart for pickling. In fact, in recent times you will also see them offering to peel, cut, cube or grate the mangoes for you, making the pickling process so much easier.

For me, summer time meant helping my mum store wheat, rice and daal to last us through the year. It also meant helping her sort the grains by removing the stones, drying the mangoes on the terrace for pickling, carrying dry chilies, coriander and cumin seeds to the mill to powder and of course, savouring those tart marinated mangoes when she wasn’t looking!

During the pickling season, along with koro sambar, methia keri, chundo and gol keri, she would also make bharela gunda which we could savour instantly unlike the other three traditional pickles which takes a while before you can enjoy them.

Bharela gunda (Stuffed gumberry Gujarati pickle)
Bharela gunda (Stuffed gumberry Gujarati pickle)

Most pickles are fairly straightforward with few ingredients. But there are certain ‘rules’ of pickles that make or break the pickles meant for storing through the year. However, bharela gunda is an instant pickle and therefore the rules are slightly different. Let us understand few tips and tricks to get this pickle right.

  1. Make this pickle in small quantity that can be consumed within 2-3 weeks. I live in a hot, humid country and even though I keep it in the fridge, it tends to spoil after 3 weeks. I have given quantities for one kilogram of gunda, do halve or double the quantity according to your needs.
  2. Buy gunda that are firm and vibrant green in colour. Pale yellow and gunda with blemishes tend to have pests in them.
  3. Lots of salt and a large protective cover (gloves, a plastic sheet or a newspaper) over your workspace will make it easier to work with gunda that are slimy from inside.
  4. The stuffing that fills the gunda need to be ‘agal padtu’, which means, use a heavy hand with salt and spice while making the stuffing and use extremely tart mangoes to get the best out of this pickle.
  5. Gunda’s inside tend to discolour once the seed is removed, so it is best that you prepare the pickle masala beforehand and fill it with the stuffing immediately.
  6. Even some green gunda without blemishes have pests in it, so it is advisable to check the insides before stuffing it.
  7. Wash the gunda after removing their stalks. I prefer to remove the crowns of the gunda after it is done washing and drying as sometimes during the washing and drying process, the gunda can break or tear making it slimy and difficult to work with.

I hope with these tips and tricks, you will be able to enjoy this instant version of bharela gunda. If you are looking for ideas to enjoy this pickle, have a look at some of these recipes:

  1. Crispy coconut and lemon rice (tahdig)
  2. Fada ni khichdi 
  3. Sweet and sour bhakri 
  4. Jowar vada (sorghum fritters) with moringa leaves
  5. Kutti dal na dhokla (buckwheat grits dhokla)

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Let me know how this recipe turned out for you by writing to me in the comments below. And if you take a picture, please tag me on my instagram handle @acookwithin to share your creation😊 It would make my day!

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