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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Koth Bel Maakha....delicious Wood Apple Pulp!!

That the routine weekend trip to the supermarket would transport me to my growing up years...who knew. As I mechanically stuffed the Gourds, Potatoes, Onions into my basket, a familiar yet not-so familiar aroma drew me to a corner of the fresh vegetables/fruits section. A row of moss-green-pale-yellow speckled, rough & hard textured sphere with the name of Wood-Apple were sitting pretty on the cornermost shelf.
Is it or is it not, was what I asked myself ???
A quick SOS call to Ma describing the appearance and English name of Wood-Apple confirmed that it was indeed the 'Koth Bel' Dida used to mash and spice up for us to savour on hot summer afternoons, sitting on the terrace and squirming yet loving the predominantly sour-yet-sweet taste with the distinct flavour of the Koth Bel Maakha (Maakha-a Bengali term which means to mash & mix)!!!
Oooh...an almost involuntary shiver in remembrance of the unforgettable taste ran through my palate even as I stood right in the middle of the supermarket. Greedily I picked up four Koth-Bels or Wood-Apples (a name totally unknown to me till that day) and proceeded towards the cash counter......

Well, without wasting any more time, I'll proceed directly to the simplest possible recipe of a fantafabulous pickle dish which is chock-a-block with nutrients (something which a quick google search informed me)


Ingredients :
Koth Bel - 2
Sugar - 1 tsp (or as per taste)
Salt - 2 tsp (or as per taste)
Mustard Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Green Chillies - finely chopped (again depending on the chilli tolerance factor ;))

Procedure :
1. The hard rind is to be cracked open.
2. Scoop out the brown pulp within.
3. Mash it into a smooth paste. The soft seeds may not be removed...they add to the taste
4. Add all the ingredients as given above and mix well.
5. A few hour in the sun would be great but we were too greedy and couldnt wait that long....
6. The flavour cant be described....you have to have it to understand....





This is my entry to this week's WEEKEND HERB BLOGGING #173 hosted for the week by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. The history of WEEKEND HERB BLOGGING is available here. The logo for the event is .....

15 comments:

bengalicuisine said...

Hi Sharmistha,
Kadbel Makha reminds me of my mother. Summer afternoons and kadbel makha was an integral part of coming back from school.
Thanks for the recipe.

Love,
Sudeshna

SGD said...

@Sudeshna : Ekdom thik bolechho...I too have similar memories of sitting on the terrace on hot summer afternoons and having Koth Bel maakha...mmmmmm....

Pradip Biswas said...

Sharmistha
My overseas counterparts enjoyed this long back. It was in last Oct. when one of our guides in late afternoon brought this to me from a jungle tree. I made the Makha and they enjoyed it and while going two of them carried the "Koyet bell"

SGD said...

Koyet bell! Is this a tribal term for Koth bel?

Pradip Biswas said...

I asked them. They said it is named so because it is different. Remmber the ad for one branded Tomato sauce jingle. It is so similar.

jdeq said...

One of the great things about WHB is the exposure to herbs and plants that you have never heard of. Thanks for sharing!

SGD said...

@Pradip Biswas: Yes of course...the famous 'It's different' Tomato sauce Ad!!! Interesting...

@jdeq: Thanks for stopping by....how true...it's these events which expose us to exotic & uncommon cuisines from around the world!!

Sharmila said...

We call it Koyet bel too. I have always found it too sour ... needed lots of sugar / gur dunked into it. :-)

SGD said...

@ Sharmila-Tai? Ami jantaam banglae it's Koth Bel...
Hya...lots & lots of sugar. But I love it...

Anonymous said...

Ami duto term ii sunechhi..."kot bel", "koyet bel"...amar mone hoy originally kotha ta "koyet bel" ii chhilo...obhishruti hoye "kot bel" e ese dariyechhe...

Rupa said...

Hi, can anyone tell me that is there any difference between bel and koth-bel? I mean are they the fruit of same tree or they born on different trees?

Martin Gomes said...

No they are not from the same tree. Bel is big and you can make juice. Koth bel is smaller you make makha / chutney.

samyukta said...

Hi Sharmila.. thanks a ton fir the blog... I had no idea that kotbel can have an English name.... Please tell me where can I find them in the US... any departmental store or Indian/ Asian shop?

Keya Jatkar said...

I am 14 weeks pregnant and this is what I have been craving today. Unfortunately no koth bel in Orlando where I live. None of my friends have seen it in the US. Maybe more urban areas like Chicago and New Jersey might have them. What a pity!

Keya Jatkar said...

By the way the English name is Apple Wood Fruit.