Kuler Achar / Condiment made of Jujube or Indian Plum

Kuler’ achaar is a traditional Bengali sweet pickle. This classic dish is meant to be made with ‘topa-kul’ or fully ripened ones. It’s the best answer to all your problems when your child asks you with hopeful eyes for something to add an extra tang or zing to any meal. The lovely blend of sweet and sourness will complement the meal in a perfect way. This traditional dish and recipe is handed down over the generations. And just like your grandmothers and mothers, even you can now whip up this ever favourite and loved-by-all kuler achaar.

Ingredients:

1. 1 kg kul
2. 500 gram nolen gur (jaggery)
3. 250 gram patali gur (another kind of jaggery)
4. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
5. 1 tablespoon jeera/ cumin seeds
6. 1 tablespoon fennel seed/mouri
7. 7-8 dried chillies
8. Mustard powder (dry roasted mustard seeds and then powdered)
9. Salt
10. 2 tablespoon paanch phoron (Indian 5 spices mix) that consists of cumin, brown mustard, fenugreek, nigella and fennel — all in more or less equal proportions.

Method:

● The very first step is to take the kul, wash it thoroughly, and wipe them with a clean dry cloth.

● Then boil them and keep them stored for one more day. This will make them dry up further.

● The next day, heat a pan.

● Boil both the types of jaggery in  the pan, and then add the kul and salt as per taste.

● Meanwhile saute the paanch foron, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and dried chillies in a dry pan. After that’s done, grind them into a fine powder.

● When the kul was in the boiling stage, pour some of this powder into the pan.

●Once the kul and jaggery mixture is boiled and reaches a semi-liquid stage where the jaggery is fully incorporated, take the pan down.

● Add the rest of the powder to the concoction, and complete the dish by adding in mustard powder.

● Make sure to retain the condiment in a semi-liquid form, store it in glass jars and refrigerate when it is in room temperature, so as to enjoy one of your childhood favourites for weeks ahead.

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