Averrhoa Bilimbi (बिलिंब in Marathi) is an exotic sour fruit – the Pathare Prabhu clan uses this to make a curry that goes by the name बिलिंबाची शीर. The bilimbi may be replaced by any fruit / veggies (tomato / grapes / pineapple). Here goes the recipe –
Coconut Milk – 2 cups Grated coconut – grind with one cup of water and squeeze and strain out thick extract, grind the residual coconut with one two cups of water, squeeze and strain again to yield thin extract
Besan – 2 heaped tablespoons to be dissolved in the thin coconut extract
1/2 tsp each of hing and haldi
1 tsp each of red chilli powder and Pathare Prabhu Sambhar (may be replaced with a garam masala powder)
10-12 ripe bilimbi chopped roughly
1 small onion – chopped roughly
Salt and Sugar to season
Add the chopped fruit and onion in a vessel, cook in a little water with the hing, haldi, chilli and sambar (no oil) till done.
Once cooked, add the besan dissolved in thin extract and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes till the slurry thickens and there is no raw residual smell of the besan. Season with salt and sugar to your taste.
Add the thick extract and take off the flame.
Serve at room temperature with a spicy pickle and steaming white rice.
PS – the pic has the original recipe from गृहिणी मित्र (first version published circa 1910) – from my 1948 version of the book.
I recently stumbled upon your website while researching my Pathare Prabhu heritage. My mother was a Dhurandhar and one of the treasures she left me is the 1910 print version of our culinary bible – Gruhini Mitra – of which you have the image for the above recipe. I’ve been in the US for the past 25 years and have been using this book over weekends to treat my family and friends with such recipes. I’ve been using a variant of the bilimba – called carambola (star fruit) available in the US. My kids love this ‘shir’ with rice and some fried fish on the side. Heavenly!
I’m happy to have found your website. You have a good way of presenting the recipes and reading about your childhood memories about your aai and aaji bring back fond memories of my visits to my aaji’s house in Andheri (Kamalini Dhurandhar – nee Kothare).