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Recipe | Fresh Turmeric & Gum berry Pickle – Two Unusual Spicy Treats from a Colorful Indian State

7 April 2012 27 Comments

Fresh turmeric pickle

A pickle is to any meal what a smile is to a beautiful woman, both enhance the subject perfectly! If you happen to be in the colorful state of Rajasthan in India, your meal is incomplete without extra spoonfuls of ghee (clarified butter) and a dash of spicy pickle served by your generous host. Not to forget the yummy ghee laden sweets to wind up your hearty meal.

Pickled fenugreek seeds, Ker Sangari, Gum Berry, Athana green chilly, fresh whole green peas and the list of such unusual ingredients to make pickles is endless. Each pickle is unique for the spice mix that goes in it, by the way it is prepared or for the ingredients used to make it. Some of the food ingredients used to make these pickles are indigenous to Rajasthan and is difficult to get in other parts of India.

Pickle making is a close guarded family secret and the recipe is meticulously transferred from one generation to another by the elders. The way raw ingredients are treated before adding them to the pickle, a blend of spices and the time of setting determine the quality of a good pickle.

If Gum berries are steamed in some recipes before adding to the pickle, using raw berries is the most important pointer for others. Like wise when making a fresh turmeric pickle many would add grated ginger and cook strictly in mustard oil.

These are the few pickle recipes my mom follows and I have grown eating for years as long as I remember. Now that I reside in a city where Gum berry is hard to find, I make sure to bring my jar of Gum berry pickle during my yearly visit to my mom’s place.

Turmeric rhizomes are in abundance here during winter season and I sow the ripened turmeric roots to get a fresh produce from my backyard every year.

1. Gum Berry or Gunda Berry Pickle 

Fresh Turmeric & Gum berry Pickle

See the sticky fluid oozing from the berry..


  • 500 gms Gum berry/gunda
  • 1 cup red chilly powder
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1/2 cup fenugreek seeds (methidana)
  • 1/2 cup salt (preferable rock salt)
  • 2 tbsp. fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tsp. Turmeric powder

Fresh Turmeric & Gum berry Pickle

Method; Wash Gum berries in water and wipe them clean. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large wok and add all the gum berries. Cover with tight lid and cook for just about 2 minutes stirring in between.

This process makes sure that the gum inside these berries gets set and will not make a sticky pickle.

Take out all the berries in a plate and remove the stalks and the large seeds from inside.

Grind mustard, fenugreek and fennel seeds into a coarse powder. Empty the coarse powder in a bowl and add salt, red chilly powder, turmeric powder and a pinch of asafetida (optional). Mix well.

Add 1-2 tbsp. of oil in the above spice mix. Fill this spice mix in each Gum berry. Place all the filled berries in clean glass jar.

Fresh Turmeric & Gum berry Pickle

Heat the remaining oil till it is slightly warm. Pour it over the jar filled with stuffed Gum berries.

Use half of Gum berries and half of raw mango to make this pickle, the combination is a winner.

Keep the pickle in sun light for about 10 days before serving.

2. Fresh Turmeric Root Pickle

Fresh turmeric pickle


  • 1 cup diced Fresh turmeric roots
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 green chilies
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
Spice Mix
  • 1 tsp. Nigella seeds (Kalonji/onion seeds)
  • 1 tsp. aniseeds (saunf)
  • 1 tsp. Mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch of asafetida powder
Fresh Turmeric & Gum berry Pickle

Fresh produce from my backyard..

These are the fresh produce from the semi dried turmeric roots I sowed last year at my backyard. I use them frequently in all my Indian curries and for making turmeric milk.

Fresh Turmeric & Gum berry Pickle

Method; Wash the roots thoroughly with clean water and wipe them clean with a kitchen towel. Scrape the skin of turmeric roots with a peeler.

Dice the roots into very small pieces of grate it with a grater. Chop green chillies finely.

Heat oil in a wok, crackle mustard seeds and then add fenugreek seeds, aniseeds, and Nigella seeds. Fry the dry spices just for a few seconds and add diced turmeric pieces. Cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat and take off the flame and let it cool a bit.

Add diced green chillies, asafetida powder, salt and lemon juice to the spices.

Fresh Turmeric & Gum berry Pickle

Fill the fresh turmeric pickle in clean glass jar and refrigerate. This pickle stays good for about a month. Use more warm vegetable oil and fill the jar to increase the shelf life of this pickle upto one year.

More about turmeric;


Turn to Turmeric


  1. Many like to remove the large single seed before making the gum berry pickle to avoid the sticky viscous liquid. But I keep the seeds intact. Steaming or quick frying for a few seconds helps in making the berries free from the sticky glue.
  2. Add extra oil in both the pickle recipes if you wish to store it for longer time. The pickle should be fully immersed in a layer of oil to increase the shelf life.
  3. Diced raw mango slices are also added to the Gum berry pickle to give a tangy flavor.
  4. Add Amchoor or dry mango powder to the recipe if you can’t get fresh raw mangoes.
  5. You could use the same process and spice mix to make pickles using other berries and fruits.
  6. Make this fresh turmeric root pickle and enjoy the health benefits of the spice whole year.


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  • Harini said:

    I love gunda-keri pickle! Haven’t found the berries or made it myself yet, but we get in some local shops and it is absolutely delicious! I am not too fond of turmeric pickle, but it does look very colourful and tasty.
    Harini recently posted..Vegan & Gluten-free Cupcakes With a Lime/ Lemon GlazeMy Profile

  • chinmayie @ love food eat said:

    I have never seen gum berries! I love how many varieties of pickles we make in India!
    chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..How to eat Indian Gooseberries/Amla/NellikaiMy Profile

  • the wicked noodle said:

    I just love stopping by here to see all the new treats you have to share!
    the wicked noodle recently posted..the best deviled eggs {pastel-striped for easter}My Profile

  • Priya said:

    Never tried gumberry in my cooking, wonderful to see this berry through ur space, both pickles looks excellent..
    Priya recently posted..Purple Cabbage Lemon RiceMy Profile

  • dassana@veg recipes of india said:

    nice to see you with a post after a long time. i was thinking why you were not posting….

    i have had both the pickles made with the berries as well as the turmeric. your pics are making me take the pickles right from the laptop screen…
    dassana@veg recipes of india recently posted..chocolate marzipan – low fat & vegan recipeMy Profile

  • Shoba Shrinivasan said:


    have never ever heard of gumberry before….and the pics of hte pickle looks so yummy. almost reminds of the vadu manga!


  • Srishti@Prolific Cooking said:

    My mom-in-law was so excited to see this post of yours :). She is from Rajasthan and keeps discussing about Gundha very often. We dont get it here in Delhi easily :(. Loved the post and recipe!

  • Tammy Guise said:

    I love eating pickles. The gum pickle is one that my Indian friend had brought for me years back and I loved it. I would like to have more but now she rarely visits India. I heard that one garlic mixed with Ginger pickle tastes yum. Can you give me the recipe?

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    Hi Tammy, Here is a pickle recipe on my other recipe..it has Garlic in it; http://sanjeetakk.blogspot.in/2010/09/spicy-treat-of-garlic-pickle.html

  • Faith said:

    I learned so much in this post! I’ve never heard of the gum berry before but now I’m dying to try it. And I agree, a good pickle enhances any meal!
    Faith recently posted..An Announcement & Writing a Book, Part 1: Finding Your StoryMy Profile

  • Baker Street said:

    I’d always pick a homemade pickle over one that is store bought. They are just so much more flavorful. Lovely clicks Sanjee! 🙂
    Baker Street recently posted..Muffin Monday: Strawberry Yogurt MuffinsMy Profile

  • Karen said:

    Wow…I wish I could try these pickle recipes. They must add such amazing flavor to dishes. Always fun to read about different dishes here!
    Karen recently posted..Remembering our kitty and Spicy Soy SalmonMy Profile

  • Richa@HobbyandMore said:

    I havent had a fresh turmeric pickle in so long.. and the store bought ones are so limited.. usually mango or some mixed veggies. I dont think i will find the gum berry but sometimes the asian store has fresh turmeric root which I am going to keep an eye out for! lovely clicks!
    Richa@HobbyandMore recently posted..Potato Leek Subzi with fennel and mustard seeds. vegan glutenfreeMy Profile

  • kankana said:

    So tangy and mouthwatering!
    Are these berries the same thing we find in mixed aachar bottles ??
    kankana recently posted..Flavorful Citrusy Compound ButterMy Profile

  • Terra said:

    Wow, flavors I have never experienced, yet look forward to trying someday! The turmeric root looks so pretty. I love anything pickled, so I bet I would love gum berries:-) Thank you for sharing! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra
    Terra recently posted..Time To Celebrate With Cake – Roasted Pear & Pecan Coffee CakeMy Profile

  • mjskit said:

    I am a pickle fanatic! Both of these sound and LOOK fantastic but I especially curious about the turmeric root pickles. I love the flavor of turmeric, plus medicinally, it’s good for some chronic illnesses. I could sit around and eat these little pickles all day! Gotta find me some turmeric root!
    mjskit recently posted..Cucumber CrostiniMy Profile

  • Angie@Angie's Recipes said:

    The gum berries sound really interesting and your back yard fresh turmeric root…amazing!
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Provençal Tomato TartelettesMy Profile

  • Julie M. said:

    Wow do those sound good! I’ve never seen a gum berry before; now you’ve got me curious. Alex, my middle child is a pickle addict. I wonder what he’d think of an Indian inspired version? 🙂
    Julie M. recently posted..Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Creamy Cilantro DressingMy Profile

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb said:

    gum berry? I have never heard or seen this fruit, I swear! I am going to check that out.

    I so wish I could make at least the turmeric pickle, my turmeric died over the past months, not sure what happend to it… for some reason I have not seen fresh turmeric roots in the market and I had just gonne today to buy dried haldi.

    Thanks for sharing your pickle recipe, as u mentioned, pickle recipes are usualy secrets.

  • Cham said:

    I have never seen gum berry, thanks to introducing- now i wonder how it could taste.
    We get fresh turmeric here but never bought it- Good and easy pickle!

  • Katerina said:

    I have never seen a gum berry before and this pickle recipe looks really good just like all family recipes!
    Katerina recently posted..Greek Easter CookiesMy Profile

  • Arch said:

    Those pickles look yum, makes my mouth water, as I read this ! I have fresh turmeric at home, will make this pickle now !! thanks for the recipes…
    Arch recently posted..Raw Mango Rice / Mangai Ogaray – Southern Flavours by Chandra PadmanabhanMy Profile

  • Shri said:

    I am hungry now:-(. Love the colors. Never came across those berries. May be I did.Don’t know what they are called in Telugu to relate to them.
    Shri recently posted..Down my memory lane with GheeMy Profile

  • Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said:

    I’ve never heard of a gum berry – interesting.

    I have heard of fresh turmeric and I used it once. Nobody told me to be careful or my entire kitchen would turn yellow. 🙂

    Love this post.
    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Southern BBQ, Georgia StyleMy Profile

  • Sara said:

    Very different and tasty looking pickles! lovely pics!
    Sara recently posted..{Wordless Wednesdays} A Pictorial of My Trip to Dubai & A Roasted Walnut Tabbouleh RecipeMy Profile

  • Magic of Spice said:

    They both sound amazing! I have never seen the gum berries, or at least I did not recognize them, will have to see if I can find some 🙂
    The flavors in both of these recipes sound incredible!
    Magic of Spice recently posted..What’s on the side? Red Quinoa and Jade Pearl Rice with Sage Brown ButterMy Profile

  • Asmita said:

    I have to have pickle with my dal-chawal. This looks delicious. I love a home- made pickle.
    Asmita recently posted..Raisin Pecan Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

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