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Gunda is a very old traditional pickle from the Gujarati cuisine which is popular amongst all Gujarati families. Gunda is kind of a berry which is available only from March to June and is generally purchased in bulk quantities to pickle them. Gunda or bird lime also known as 'fragrant manjack, is the fruit of a genus of shrubs called cordia, belonging to the borage family. About 300 species have been identified worldwide, mostly in warmer regions. This pickle is an old traditional favorite of Gujarat and is of enormous popularity amongst all Gujaratis.

Gunda is a kind of a berry and since it is available only from March to June, it is bought in bulk quantities to be made into pickle etc. Gundas have to be destalked and cleaned well from the insides because their seeds are surrounded by a sticky substance which needs to be removed before stuffing. For pickling these berries, the gundas are generally stuffed with spiced mixture of pickling spices, grated mangoes and mustard oil. It is vital that all the pickled berries are completely immersed in pickle oil to preserve them for a longer time.

Many of the species of these berries are commonly called as manjack. Many Cordias have fragrant showy flowers and are popular in gardens, although they are not especially hardy. Like most other Boraginaceae, most have hairy. In India, the fruits of these local species are used as a vegetable, raw, cooked, or pickled, and are known by many names, including lasora in Hindi. Gunda is glossy, green, globular fruits (1.5 cm) of the cordial tree. As they mature, they turn pale to dull yellow or white and get translucent.

In them, a solitary seed is found, which is surrounded by a thick layer of slippery, jelly-like pulp. This pickle in the state of Gujarati is commonly called as Gunda nu kairi. This berry has a big seed in it middle, which is removed before preparing the pickles and also its stem is cut off and the gundas are washed and cleaned before using them to prepare recipe.

The taste of this pickle is little sour and can be served with khichdi or dal chawal. Indian pickles are a very important part of the Indian menu and are made from a variety of vegetables and fruits that are chopped into small pieces and cooked in edible oils like sesame oil or brine with many different Indian spices like asafoetida, red chili powder, turmeric, fenugreek and plenty of salt. Some regions also specialize in pickling meats and fish. Vegetables can also be combined in pickles to make mixed vegetable pickle.

Some varieties of fruits and vegetables are small enough to be used whole. The most common Indian variety of pickles is mango pickle and lime pickle. Apart from this there are a range of popular pickles like the tomato, cabbage, ginger, garlic, karonda, Indian gooseberry (Amla) etc. To prepare the Gunda, cut the gunda and scrape the seeds with a salted knife. Mix in a little salt and turmeric powder. Wash the mangoes completely and wipe them completely dry.

Cut into cubes and take off the soft seeds. Mix everything fenugreek, mustard and turmeric powder. Heat 2 cups of oil in a pan and set it aside till it cools down to lukewarm. Pour out the oil over the powder and mix well. Heat up required salt slightly in a dry pot on low heat.

Take it off and in the same pan heat red chilli powder similarly. Mix in both these ingredients to the oil masala. Mix in the agund (berries) and the mango pieces cubes to the masala mixture and mix till all of them are well coated with the masala

Transfer this into a dry ceramic or glass jar. Set it aside for about 4-5 days without mixing. Heat up enough oil to completely cover the pickled gunda and mango cubes. When the oil has cooled down completely mix in to the jar. Keep the jar covered tightly.

The pickle will be ready to serve in about a week. Do try this fantastic variation of Indian pickle and click on the below link for detailed recipe:

This pickle goes well with anything from rice to rotis and is economical. Gunda kairi pickle is generally prepared in huge amounts and stored for long. Gunda is used in making chutney and the immature fruits are pickles. Gunda imparts sour tastes in many Andhra based cuisine and recipes.

Gunda like other tropical fruits should not be refrigerated unless over ripe. Ripe gunda should exhibit a fragrant fruity aroma. They will continue to ripen after harvest and should be stored at room temperature unless it is very ripe. Gunda is good for health and has many health benefits. Gunda is studied to have anti diabetic properties. The plant is used for treatment for delaying effects of aging on skin. It is useful in the cough, chest diseases and also provides relief from severe colic pain.

Tips: While preparing this pickle, firstly apply little oil and salt to your hands before handling the berries. Also place the knife in salted water or apply salt to it and leave for 30 minutes before using them for scraping off the seeds.

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