500 grams of bilimbi longues
sliced into halves lengthwise,
3 tablespoons salt,
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds,
3 tablespoons mustard seeds,
2 garlic cloves crushed,
4 dried red chillies finely chopped,
2-3 tablespoons turmeric powder,
3 tablespoons white vinegar,
4 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Spread sliced bilimbis on a flat non metallic container and uniformly sprinkle with salt. Ensure that all bilimbis have been sprinkled. Place in the sun and allow the bilimbis to dehydrate (half or full day day depending on the temperature). Remove the bilimbis, gently hand strain the water and salt from the bilimbis. Place in another non metallic container.
In a deep and thick bottom pan on low heat, slightly roast the fenugreek seeds for 2 -3 minutes. Remove from pan and slightly crush. Crush the mustard seeds, garlic and red chillies together to form a paste, adding a little water.
In another container mix the vinegar, turmeric powder, fenugreek, mustard seeds, red chillies and garlic paste. Stir well together into a paste. Add a little bit of water if necessary.
In a deep and thick bottom saucepan, heat up 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil (low to medium). Put into the hot oil all the spicy ingredients from step 3. Stir well and allow the ingredients to blend and cook, until you can smell the aroma of the spices. Add the strained bilimbi pieces into the mixture, stir well together. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool.
Place in small clean jars and cover with vegetable oil. Allow to mature for at least 2 weeks. Then enjoy with bouillons, black or red lentils, curries and rice.
Madeleine's recipe :Bilimbi Pickle
Discover more of Madeleine’s Mauritian cuisine in‘Best of Mauritian Cuisine’ by Madeleine and Clancy Philippe