Challekayi Uppinakayi/Pickled Cordia Dichotoma

Have you heard of Challekayi ? ..some regional names ...

Kannada : Challehannu

Hindi : Bahuar

Telugu : Nekkara

Tamil : Viricu

Malayalam : naruveeli

Gujarati : Vado Gundo

Bengali : Bahubara

Assamese : Goborsuta

Other commonly known names : bird lime tree, clammy cherry, fragrant manjack, Indian Cherry, Sebastian Plum. Photo taken from here
This is my mother's favorite pickle. I must say it is a family favorite at my mother's parents place.We have many happy memories with this pickle. Pickling mainly happens in summer months. By end of April the pickles would be ready for consumption. April & May were holiday months for us and OMG..the way we licked away this pickle with almost everything is still fresh in my memory. It makes a fantabulous combination with chitranna, vangibath, uppittu, avalakki, mosaranna....

After eating we sat and counted the stones and there used be a competition "who eats more challekayi?" None could defeat my chikkamma (aunt)! She was (she can no longer take so much pickles and bonda now due to age factor )  a crazy fan of challekayi and menasinakayi bonda (mirchi bhajji).

In Kannnda ,'Challehannu thinsidra?' means asking the other "were you conned (Conn -Verb-to pursuade by deception) ?" Whenever I said I love this pickle my friends often laughed at me ...uh! whatever..we love it.

The recipe comes from my 85 yr old grandmother (my mother's mother) who narrated this when we were intensly discussing things which my mother liked. I noted it down and I was surprised to get a bottle of the pickle from my atte!

Few preparations :

1. Separate Challekayi from its stem, wash with water to remove dirt etc.

2. Spread them on a dry cloth and pat them dry.

3. Add salt. 4 cups of challekayi = 1 cup crystal salt

4. Take salt and challekayi in a big container (plastic/clay/bone china) and tie the mouth of the container with a muslin cloth. Let it stand in hot sun for next few days till all challekayi gets mixed with salt and changes it's color.

To soak and  grind : (measurements are given for '10 seru' challekayi. I am not sure about the conversion of 'seru' to kg but in my experience it is approximatly equal to 1 Kg)

Soak and grind :
Byadgi Menasinakayi/ 'Byadgi' red chillies : 250g

Agase Beeja/Flax Seeds :100g

Bellulli/Garlic : 5 gadde

Menthya/Fenugreek seeds : 100g

Harishinakommu /Turmeric in stems/ Turmeric Powder : 7 numbers/2 tbsp

Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste with water. Add this paste to salted challekayi. Tie back the muslin cloth and let this vessel stand in sun for next 30 days or till the gum inside the challekayi is not felt when you bite it open. Keep stirring the pickle with a long spoon twice everyday. The pickle is ready to serve. If you feel the pickle is too thick add boiled and cooled water and add to pickle and let it stand in sun for few days before it is consumed.


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