Ool/Jimikand Ka Achar (Elephant Foot Yam Pickle from Bihar)

Ingredients

1 kg Elephant foot yam (suran/ jimikand/ ool)

3 cups water (paani)

1 lemon sized ball of Tamarind with seeds (imli)

100 gms Green chilli (hari mirch)

50 gms Garlic (lehsun)

50 gms Ginger (adrak)

50 gms Mustard seeds (rai dana)

10 Lemons (nimbu)

1 tsp  seeds (ajwain)

1 tsp Nigella seeds (kalonji)

1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)

4 ½ tsp Salt (namak)

1 ¼ cup Mustard oil (sarson ka tel)

Method

  • Wash the green chillies and lemon and leave to air dry.
  • Peel the garlic, slice half and reserve remaining.
  • Peel the ginger, cut half into thin slices and reserve remaining.
  • Place the mustard in a grinder and powder. Add the reserved garlic and ginger and grind to a paste with half the lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Juice the remaining lemons and keep aside.
  • Yam tends to irritate the throat unless treated with tamarind so wash the yam. Peel and chop into 2 inch cubes.
  • Wash well again and put them in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water and the tamarind.
  • Close the cooker and pressure cook the yam on high for 10-15 minutes or until the cooker gives 3 whistles.
  • Take of flame and let of pressure. When cooker has cooled down, open and check that the yam is cooked.
  • It should be soft when pierced with a knife. If hard, then put back to boil till done. When done, strain.
  • Spread the cooked yam out on a clean muslin cloth covered tray, removing any tamarind that might be sticking to the pieces.
  • Leave the cooked yam to dry in the sunlight for few hours turning occasionally to ensure even drying.
  • Meanwhile heat the mustard oil in a pan. When it reaches smoking point, switch off the flame and leave it to cool.
  • Remove the stalk of the green chillies and make a slit in each one lengthwise. Chop any big chillies in half. Keep aside.
  • In a large clean, dry mixing bowl, combine the dried yam chunks, slit green chillies, sliced garlic and ginger and spice paste with the carom seeds, nigella seeds, turmeric powder, salt and the leftover lemon juice and mix
  • thoroughly with a wooden spoon till yam is well coated with spice paste. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice as required.
  • Add half a cup of the cooled mustard oil and mix again. Place pickle in a sunlight area for 4-6 hours. Then transfer into a clean dry jar.
  • Top with remaining Mustard oil, cover mouth of the jar with a clean cloth and keep in the sunlight for four days, shaking jar and mixing the pickle everyday. As the pickle develops flavour, the colour of the green chillies will lighten. Made properly and stored correctly this pickle will last for upto 4-5 months in the refrigerator.
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