BARABAR KI CHUTNEY (“TAKE FIVE”) PICKLE
This dish has been the rage for some time now in the hinterlands of Bhojpur. It is prepared by halwais (bhojpuri chefs) for weddings and other social occasions. It involves 5 strong pungent ingredients, all in equal measure. And contrary to ones expectations incuding the bhojpuri chef who first prepared it, it (like the Paul Desmond jazz peice “Take Five”), really swings. It is a condiment, a pickle or in an emergency a replacement for a vegetable dish.
30 minutes to prepare it and 3 days of sunshine.
The ingredients for a medium sized jarful.
100 grams each of the five ingredients: Green chilly, Ginger, Garlic, Dry raw mango powder (Khatai or Aamchur) and Mustard Oil.
1 teapoon of ajwain seeds
1 teaspoon of nigella (kallounji or mangrail) seeds
Rock Salt to taste.
A pinch of turmeric and chilly powder (optional)
Method: Skin the ginger and the garlic. Wash the chilly, ginger and garlic and let them dry. Grind this mixture to a coarse paste. The halwais in rural Bhojpur do not have electrical mixies or grinders and so they pound it in oversized mortar and pastel systems. Mix these along with the dry mango powder and mustard oil. Add the other ingredients mentioned above and mix it well,. Keep in a glass jar and put it out in the sun for. three days.
We have mentioned 100 grams of each major ingredient. It is usually served in wedddings and 1 kilogram of each ingredient is used. Because of its exceptionally hot and pungent quality it is eaten once in a while and not on a regualar basis.