Gum berry or Lasora is known by a whole variety of names, and although I have eaten this delightful little berry, there’s a whole swamp to wade through out there in Internet land to find out what its name is in English. First of all it seemed as though it might be called the Indian Cherry, and the picture looked right, but…So we persevered, yes, it took two of us to identify the real deal, but now we think we’ve found it. It’s a member of the borage family and is also known as Fragrant Manjack.
mango, but it’s good as a pickle on its own.
The ripe fruit is yellow when ripe, and you can use this as a vegetable – fry in oil like okra or ladies fingers.
It’s used in traditional medicine to help relieve indigestion and the bark of the tree and its roots can be boiled, and then drunk and they say this is good for coughs, colds, and sore throats.
In Punjabi, if children love you a lot and stick to you like glue, people say they stick to you like lasora. Also in Punjab there are people called ‘changhar’ who have nowhere to live and they live from what they can forage in the forests where they tend to live. They eat whatever they can find, herbs, snakes, turtles, etc. When they find a suitable place to sleep, they sweep it with a broom made of branches from the Lasora tree, as they believe that it will protect them from evil.
So now you know-all you have to do now I try one!
LASORA AND MANGO PICKLE
500 gr lasora
oil as required
4 tbsps salt
3 tbsps turmeric
3 tbsps fenugreek seeds, coarsely ground
1 tbsp mustard seeds, coarsely ground
½ tsp asafoetida
150 gr green mango cubes
4 tbsps red chilli powder
Slit each berry and rub them with a mixture of salt and turmeric. Leave the red chilli powder, but mix together all the other spices.
Heat about 2 cups of oil in a pan and leave to cool. When it’s lukewarm, pour it over the spices and mix well.
Dry fry the salt over a low heat, for 1 min, then add the red chilli powder and dry fry for 1 more minute. Mix this with the spice mixture, stirring well.
Now add the berries and mango pieces to the mixture and coat them well in the mixture.
Transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, and leave it to settle for 4/5 days.
On the 5th or 6th day, heat enough oil to cover the fruit, and mix into the pickle when it is cool. Cover the jar tightly and leave for a week.
You can leave it for longer, of course and it will keep for a few months- if it’s still around after that long! Make sure the spoon you use to take the pickle out of the jar is dry, or the pickle will spoil.
You can reuse the oil for the next batch of pickle when you finish it.
This has Taste and is a Treat.