Pickling has been a rich, ancient tradition across India for thousands of years, and every region has its own special set of recipes for pickles. The sheer expanse of regional variations in recipes, flavours and pickling styles is simply mind-boggling.
Today, we are going to explore an exotic pickle from Assam that is made using an Indian jujube known as Bogori. It is also called Bora Berry.
So let’s get started with our Bogori Achaar. Here are the ingredients that you will require.
Indian Jujube (Bogori): 1 Kilogram
Jaggery (Gur): 300 grams
Mustard Oil: 500 millilitres
Paanch Phoron: 4 tablespoons
Red Chilli Powder: 1 tablespoon
Dry Red Chillies: 4
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Paanch Phoron (Paanch means five; Phoron means spices) is a traditional mixture of five spices: fenugreek (Methi) seeds, nigella (Kalonji) seeds, cumin (Jeera) seeds, black mustard seeds (Rai) and fennel (Saunf) seeds. These are mixed together in equal quantities. Paanch Phoron is widely used across Bengal, Assam and Bihar. Today, it is available as a readymade mixture in packs – but for the best pickling results, we would advise you to mix fresh spices to make your own Paanch Phoron.
Wash the berries and put them out in the sun to dry. Start the pickling process only when you are sure that the Bogori is completely dry. Any residual moisture could end up ruining your pickle.
Heat five tablespoons of Mustard Oil in a frying pan on a Medium flame. Add the Paanch Phoron along with the dry red chillies and sauté. Soon the spices (seeds) will begin to splutter. Turn the flame off and pour the contents of the frying pan into a large pan and heat it on a Medium flame. Now add the jaggery, red chilli powder and salt along with the remaining Mustard Oil. Stir to mix well.
Next, add the Bogori and quickly mix it with the oil and spices – and then turn the flame off. It is important not to “cook” the Bogori, otherwise the berries become hard.
Let the contents of the pan cool down to room temperature.
Take a glass or porcelain pickling jar and sterilize it. Ensure that it is completely dry. There should be no residual moisture inside the jar.
Pour the Bogori, mustard oil and spices into the jar. Add more Mustard Oil, if required. The berries should be completely immersed in Mustard Oil with the oil level around one centimetre above the berries.
Next, cover the mouth of the jar with a clean, dry muslin cloth and hold it in place by tying a string around the neck of the jar. Place the jar out in the hot summer sun. A terrace or rooftop is the best place because it gets continuous sunshine throughout the day. However, you can also put the jar in a balcony or on a window sill – but you will need to move it around as the sun shifts.
Remember to bring the jar indoors at night to prevent moisture from setting in. While keeping it indoors, ensure that the jar is placed in a dry environment.
After around three or four days in the sun, your Bogori Achaar will be ready to heighten the flavours at your dining table.
You can find more recipes at: https://www.purioilmills.com/pickles