Monday, 16 January 2012




     1)    Fully mature cucumber tree fruit – 8 Nos.

     2)    Coconut – ½
     3)    Hot green chilies – 2 Nos.
     4)    Dry hot red chilies – 2 Nos.
     5)    Mustard seeds – ¾ teaspoon
     6)    Water – 200 ml.
     7)    Coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
     8)    Tender curry leaves – 1 sprig
     9)    Salt – 1½ teaspoons

To Cook:

          Break the coconut. Put the grated coconut, the green chilies (minus stems) together with half of the mustard seeds into a food processor. Pour in 100 ml. of the water and grind to superfine paste.

          Wash the cucumber tree fruit. Cut off the tip with the stem. Chop the fruit to fine pieces. Set a vessel on high heat. Pour in the rest of the water (100 ml.) and tip in the chopped pieces. Sprinkle the salt. Boil for 2 minutes. Tip in the ground paste and stir. As soon as it comes to a boil, taste and add more salt if required. Switch off the heat and cover with a lid.

          Either break the dry chilies each into 2 or 3 pieces or cut them lengthwise into 2 or 3 slivers using a pair of scissors. Pluck the curry leaves from their sprigs and set aside.

          Set a small pan on low heat. Pour in the coconut oil and throw in the rest of the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish crackling, tip in the dry chilies and the curry leaves. Stir once and tip over the contents of the pan into the curry vessel.

          Your tangy, delicious, mouthwatering bimbla pachadi is ready to serve. Serve hot or cold (it tastes still better after resting for 5 to 6 hours) with hot, soft parboiled rice.



     1)    A mature cucumber fruit tree (bimbla rooku in Konkani, bilimbi maram in Malayalam) can yield upwards of a quintal (100 kg.) of fruit every year. Sadly, most of these wonderful, tangy fruit simply carpets the ground when mature and is wasted. The Konkani ladies make use of tens of unique methods to use and also to preserve this fruit. Numerous curries, pickles, side dishes and even squash can be prepared from this largess of nature. The tree requires only lots of sunlight and a little watering in summer to give you its bounty. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers are required. Rich in iron, minerals and vitamins, the fruit is considered far superior to tamarind both in taste as well as in health benefits.

     2)    Do not store tender cucumber tree fruit in stainless steel vessels as its acidic juice can blacken the metal.

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