Irumban Puli /Bilimbi Achar

Irumban Puli / Averrhoa Bilimbi Achar is a delicious medly of the sourness of the Bilimbi fruit and the spice of the fiery chillies – a good accompaniment to a bowl of hot steaming kanji.

Irumban Puli Achar

Irumban Puli Achar

I know… I have not been posting for some time now. But I am very much here. Like I said in my other post, the weather is changing here and the kids had taken sick. It is sad enough having one kid sick, for me my entire family fell sick one after an another, an entire month of numerous cycles of antibiotics and bottles of Panadol. Food was a minimal requirement as hunger had  disappeared all together. During sick times, a bowl of kanji is the best comfort food we enjoy. We serve it along with some achar and papaddam. There is no fixed type of achar – it can be Irumban Puli achar or even some nice Kannimanga achar . Since we have had a “fever season” here I thought this would be a nice post..!





Irumban Puli Achar

Irumban Puli Achar




  • Irumban Puli / Bilimbi – 250 gm
  • Salt- 1 Tbsp
  • Gingelly Oil – as needed
  • Mustard – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 3 sprigs
  • Garlic – 15
  • Ginger a large piece
  • Red chili powder – 1/2 cup or depending on your heat tolerance
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Hing / Asafoetida – 3/4 tsp level
  • Vinegar – if needed upto 1/2 cup
  • Salt
Irumban Puli Achar

Irumban Puli Achar


  • Wash and cut the irumban puli into the desired shapes – circle wise or length wise. Combine the puli and the salt in a non metallic pan and keep cover for 3 to 6 hours. During this time the puli will have sweated and released it juice.
  • Take a large kadai or pan. Add the sesame oil to the pan and heat slowly. Add the mustard seeds and the fenugreek seeds to the above oil .
  • When the seeds start spluttering, toss in the curry leaves and fry.
  • Add the chopped ginger and the garlic and fry till the raw smell is gone.
  • Add the chili powder and the turmeric powder to the kadai and fry briefly till the pungent raw smell is gone.
  • Add the hing powder and mix well
  • Now add the juice of the irumban puli to the masala mix. If you do not have sufficient juice you can add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a nice boil. It will be a thick gravy.
  • Add more salt if needed.
  • Toss in the irumban puli pieces and mix well for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from flame.
  • Check the seasonings. If you feel that you need the pickle to be more sour, then add vinegar as desired. Even if you do not add vinegar, the pickle will remain fresh and unspoilt for many months. We do not add vinegar because the sourness if enough for us and the pickle remains more healthy to eat, even for kids.
  • Cool and store in clean jars.

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  1. Antonette Lobo says:

    Where can I buy fresh Bilimbi in Canada, can this pickle be made with frozen ones as we can get only the frozen ones in Canada

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