It is very difficult to translate the emotion of a kotbel makha to people who doesnot know or got the chance to savour this delicacy. The emotion involves our childhood, when we have very limited access to external foods and only home cooked food was the option. During winter, this kotbel or elephant apple or sour wood apple was available in the market, and I used to beg to my grand ma to get one for me from the market. Sometimes she obliged but most of the time she refused to bring, reason are manifold. Mostly it was that I will get stomach ache if I eat that. Then I had a affectionate grandpa, who sometimes gave me some paisa ( not rupee) to get one. I used to go to the shop, and ask for the one they have kept for display. I had a reaosn, since, as a child I hardly able to guess whether the fruit is ripe or edible. There could be possibilities that the fruit wend bad inside as well. So I always insisted them to give me the displayed one.
Next step was to mash it with some masala and salt and enjoy it during afternoon with a story book. Sometimes I finished it in one go and for obvious reason, get stomach ache at night, as mentioned by my wise grand ma. Gone are those days.
Few days back, saw the same in a vegetable shop and bought it immediately. Enjoyed it after ages, however, this time I could not finish it in one go, had it for a full week.
Ingredients for Kotbel Makha
- Kotbel or Sour wood apple or Elephant Apple – 1
- Mustard oil – 2 +1 tbsp
- Rock salt – 1/2 tsp
- Salt, Sugar – as required
- Green chili – 2 or more
- Coriander leaves – 2 springs
How to make Kotbel Makha
First of all, choose the correct fruit. It would be on the drier side and when you shake it, you will feel something is moving inside. I still rely on the shop keeper though and told him that I will take it only if it is in good condition.
Break the outer shell and you will see the flesh inside. The smell itself of the ripe kotbel will make you salivate, I bet.
Take it in a bowl and mash it. I have used my masher here.
Add rocksalt, salt, sugar and chopped green chili. Use half of the mustard oil as well. Mash it again till the masalas are well incorporated into the fruit.
Now put it under the sun for atleast 30 minutes. This step is important to mix the masala with the fruit and winter sun also give it its touch to the dish. after 30 minutes, add chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
Adjust the seasoning. If it is too sour, add some more sugar. At the end pour the remaining mustard oil.
Give it a good stir and again soak it in the sun for 30 more minutes.