Gunda(गुंदा) / Lasoda / Bhokar(भोकर) pickle

 Gunda pickle is kutchi( कच्छी) /gujarati speciality and a must in home. These are Indian gum berries, well a name I recently found. But I have very clear childhood memories of making gunda pickle with my Dadi. Gunda seller will often come door to door in our locality as they new the sure market for it. Gunda grows in wild and no special care taken of the bush. Removing sticky gunda seeds used to be a task not many of us cousins would like. But I was happy to do this work always as I loved the pickle so very much. In those days we used to remove it with back of brunt match sticks and for this reason Dadi would collect many of those :)
A trick must known here is to keep rubbing your fingers with salt to avoid the gunda seeds stickyness to reduce from your hands. With this trick from Dadi, I as child,  used to think my Dadi has some secret knowledge :D

In so many years,I have not found them here in Bangalore and so when I go home in summer, I am surely on lookout for it. Last few years have been missing it a lot. This year I bought gunda in two places, one in Akola city from a street side vegetable vendor and one on Nashik at the market on Ganga(actually Godavari) ghat. 
So let's get started with the recipe.
1. 1kg Gunda
2. 250 gm raw mango
3. 1 packet of sunflower oil
4. 100 g turmeric powder 
5. 200 g red chili powder 
6. 100 g any brand pickle masala(this is totally optional and I used Kepra brand's)
7. 200 g rai daal(split mustard seeds and they look yellow completely). Alternatively you can use 150 g mustard roughly ground 
8. 200 g salt 
9. 1 tsp hing

Firstly make the masala for pickle so that it can cool till we clean gunda
1. Heat around 250ml oil in a thick bottom pan. Prefer steel pan or kadhai.
2. Add half of hing to it. Once oil is hot, turn off flame and add rai daal. Don't mix yet
3. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and pickle masala
4. Now mix it all well and keep it for cooling. The masala should cool completely otherwise our pickle will get spoiled soon

Now let's clean the gunda & raw mango 
1. Wash them well with water and remove the stem and caps. Dry them well with  cotton cloth. Also wash and dry the raw mangoes 

2. Take each gunda, and with help of heavy object like  pestle(batta), gently hit it side wise. It will get a crack. 

3. With a fork, remove the sticky seed
inside each gunda by cracking it and prepare all gunda like this. Make sure you run your finger tips in salt in between to remove the gum from fingers.

4. Cut raw mango in 1 inch cubes and keep aside

Now we are ready to fill gunda with the masala we made. Keep 1 cup masala aside. 
Take each gunda and with hand or spoon insert the masala well inside the cavity made by removing seeds. Do with each gunda patiently. 

Mix raw mangoes pieces with remaining masala and it with gunda. 

Our pickle is ready to be bottled. Take clean, dry bag sized glass or plastic bottle and add a layer of prepared masala at bottom. Add the mix of gunda and raw mangoes on it. Again at top add the remaining masala  and leave the pickle overnight. Don't cover tight, just leave the lid on top without locking.

Next day, heat remaining oil and also add the remaining half hing to it. Heat oil only till hing changes to slightly brown color. Cool this only fully to room temperature and add to pickle we prepared day earlier. Continue to cover it gently for over a week. Mix well after that and your pickle is ready to be swerved.

Make sure you always have 1 cm layer of oil on top to avoid spoiling. If oil is less, heat more with hing, cool to room temperature and add to pickle. 

Gunda pickle tastes best after gunda turn color slightly and become pale green.