Bottled Kubhindo pickle
One of the common vegetables used to make masaura in Nepal, very less people today know that kubhindo (ash gourd) could also be used to make pickles. It may sound strange for many but this vegetable has been used as an item to make pickles. Here is one of the ways of making bottled kubhindo pickle:
About 6 cups fresh red or white peeled, trimmed and chopped (in French fries style) kubhindo
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp sun dried and ground brown mustard seeds
10 dried and ground whole red pepper
½ tsp dry-roasted and ground Szechwan peppercorn (timur)
First of all, place the pieces of kubhindo in a wide tray and let it sun-dry for half a day. In absence of the sun, you can let it dry in the open air for a whole day. After drying the kubhindo, put the pieces in a large bowl and combine all the ingredients along with two tablespoon of oil (do not use the other two tablespoon of oil just now). Knead it thoroughly with your hand by rubbing the spices to the kubhindo and leave it for ½ hour, it might ooze some water.
Now, take a large glass bottle (jar) and put the marinated kubhindo pieces one by one into the jar pushing it firmly between the layers. Do not let any air remain in between and make it as compact as possible. Add the remaining two tablespoon oil on the top when the kubhindo pieces are packed thoroughly and put the lid back on the jar. Place the jar in the sun for one to two weeks and let the kubhindo ferment. During this time, the pickle gets the desired taste. And if you want stronger taste, then, leave it on the sun for few days more. When done, store it in cool dry place but do not refrigerate. Always remember to use a dry spoon to take out the pickles from the jar.