Make Yourself Bihari Food Part – 49: Amra ka achar
By Nandini Bhushan*
From Vat Savitri to Chhath Puja, and from humble litti chokha to the traditional dal pitha, Bihar is blessed with all the flavour and spirit of pomp and splendour. Eddie Kennyson rightly said, “when opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it.” In these columns I shall not only be telling something about my native state Bihar through the window of its festival and food, but shall also offer the recipe so that one can try it oneself.
Bihari cuisine, I believe deserves its long overdue credit, as it is one of the most unexplored and under rated food today despite being full of flavours and among the most palatable cuisines. In today’s world of marketing and flamboyance, we seriously need a makeover of the sumptuous Bihari food to find its rightful niche in the gastronomical world. We need to present our recipe to the global audience, and being a food enthusiast myself, it is my humble attempt to present a traditional Bihari food with an interesting variation.
Also try: Make Yourself Bihari Food Part – 48: Guramba
Amra ka achar
Aamra, ambarella or hog plum is a sour fruit and is often used to make achar and chutney especially in the state of Bihar and Bengal. Chutney and achar is an integral part of an Indian thali since it works as an appetiser to stimulate one’s appetite. Aamra is available in the market during the summer season especially during the month of June, July and September and is believed to have healing properties and often used in Ayurveda.
Aamra : 500 gms
Mustard oil : ½ cup
Methi dana : 2 tsp
Mustard powder : 4 tsp
Saunf : 4 tsp
Ajwain : 1 tsp
Mangrail : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp
Asafoetida : ½ tsp
Wash the amra and pat it dry with dry cloth. Cut into cubes.
In a bowl mix the amra with turmeric and salt. Tie the top with a cotton cloth and place it under the sun for a couple of days.
Grind the sarson, methi, saunf, ajwain, mangrail. Mix the ground powder along with red chilli powder and hing to the amra. Pour the mustard oil and give it a good mix.
Transfer the pickle into an airtight sterilized container and keep it under the sun for a couple of days. Once tender, the amra ka achar is ready to serve.