The festival season starts with the wonderful Vinayaka Chathurthy. To sort out the offerings for God Ganesha all were simple produces of the season thus making Him a simple person to reach for and both the rich and poor can do the celebrations without much of hustle.
To name a few on the offerings side there were arisi pori, sundal, kambu, Pirappam pazham, karumbu, erukam poo and kalaakai.
I am coming to the kalakaai berries (Carissa congesta ) now. They were tiny sour little things which cannot be eaten on their own. They taste so much sour. But putting them into a spicy pickle makes morsels of curd rice as simple heaven!
When we bought items for the pooja a bag of these berries too came into our kitchen. Amma made these delicious pickle and here goes the recipe!
Kalaakai (Karaunda) pickle
Kalakkai – 1 cup (cut into 2 and pit them)
Gigelly oil – 1 T spoon
Salt – 1 tea spoon
Chilly powder – 1 T spoon
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tea spoon
How to make it ?
Add the kalakkai in 1/2 cup of boiling water and add the salt and simmer for 15 minutes. Check in between if the water dries up. Drain and keep aside. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed vessel and once hot add the mustard seeds and when they start spluttering add the boiled kalakkai and chilly powder. Mix well and check for salt and if required add to taste. Simmer and stir it often until the oil separates. Switch off the stove and let it cool. Store it in a dry aritight container. Keeps well for a month.
Serve them with Curd rice!