Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pickling with Indira's recipe - Lemon pickle



I love pickles and have been known to eat an entire cup of small amla pickles in one go while watching TV, when I was a kid. Well, not anymore, I've turned down the heat in my cooking and the food I eat, but I still love good pickles - my mother's tomato pickle was the best, then came mango pickles and amla pickles (both small and big gooseberries) and lemon pickles, in the same order. These days, I've been craving for lemon pickles. And I hate those store bought pickles - full of oil and chilli powder and preservatives and salt! Hate them! So, Obviously, when I found Indira's Lemon pickle, I was delighted and wanted to try it right away, but didnt have fresh limes as she suggested. I had some green limes and yellow lemons in the fridge and didn't have the patience to wait till the next grocery shopping. So, decided to try it with the yellow lemons anyway. Lemons aren't very sour, so I needed the lime juice for that tanginess. I washed the limes and lemons and put them on the kitchen counter for a day. Then, wiped them clean and tried this pickle exactly as she suggested except for the addition of a pinch of asafoetida. I wanted to make a small batch to test my pickle making skills, so I experimented with 4 lemons and used half the amount of ingredients mentioned in her recipe.
I cut the four lemons and put them in a clean glass jar. I extracted the juice from 4-6 limes (enough to get about 3/4rth cup of lemon jucie) and poured over these lemon wedges. I added 3-4 tsps of salt and mixed thoroughly with a clean, dry spatula and covered the bottle and put it in a undisturbed corner. Everyday, morning and evening, I shook the bottle up and down to make sure that all the lemon wedges soaked well in the juice. After 4-5 days, the lemons were looking ready for the masala.
I dry roasted about 1/2 tsp each of cummin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds in the cast iron pan and powdered them when they cooled down to room temperature. I heated up about 6 tsp oil and added about 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds and allowed them to splutter. I removed it from the stove top and added a dash of asafoetida. After the oil came down to room temperature, I added this oil and the powdered pickle masala powder and about 2 tsp of red chilli powder to the bottle of lemon wedges and stirred with the long spatula. I tasted a bit and it was different and tasty. I left the bottle unopened for another 5 days to allow the flavors to be absorbed by the lemon wedges.
And when I taste it now, it is yummmmmmmmm........ The thick skin of the yellow lemons have absorbed the flavors very nicely and is very soft and the taste is just delicious! And very Authentic! My Mom and Grandma would be proud of me! Thank you very much, Indira!

17 comments:

BDSN said...

Wow Kay...
The picture looks gr8!!!!I just feel like virtually taking one and eating it...but i have to try to really eat...I have no experience in making pickles but I do have limes with which i can give a try.They are much sour than lemons..Well I thank you and Indira for posting this wonderful recipe...

Indira said...

That's just wonderful, Kay. I am really happy that you tried and enjoyed this recipe. Bravo to you!!!
byw, That's just one fasting(Diet) breaking photo.:)

Kay said...

Thanks bdsn, try it, It's yumm!

Indira, Thank you! :) A photo compliment coming from a great photographer like you! Wow! The pickle was so tasty that I'm going to recommend to evrybody I know. :)

Lera said...

Kay, it's so juicy & yummmmmmmmmy .can't wait to sink in my teeth.

Garam Masala said...

Kay - I am sure you made your Mom and Gramdma proud with that sinful looking pickle. Congratulations on finding the courage and successfully crossing the pickle border!

sailu said...

Congrats,Kay.That picture is looking great and yummy.I enjoy lime pickle the most with curd rice..:)

Meenal Mehta said...

hey there Kay,

I love lemon pickle ..thanks for sharing the recipe

Sury said...

Delightful! Can you courier some of that right away to New Delhi? lol. Honestly, that looks so mouthwatering. One can tell you did a perfect job of it :)

Ashwini said...

I am drooling over the laptop. Btw lovely picture.

Priya said...

love love love this photo !

Kay said...

Thanks Lera, GM, Sailu, Meenal, Sury and Priya!

It's very juicy and the teeth really sinks in the pickle! Yes, The process of pickling seemed very difficult, but Indira made her recipe look so easy (and yummy!) that I just had to try it!

Whoever trys it, please pass on the credit to Indira! She's the original chef!

Isil S. said...

I have never eaten lemon pickle. This looks really interesting. Thanks for sahring this! Also thanks to Indira!

Manisha said...

Kay, that picture of lemon pickle has me drooling. My sister makes it without a drop of oil and makes two varieties - red and yellow. She's sending me two little jars with my husband and I can't wait. She said she'd give me the recipe but the lemons in the US have a very thick peel and I doubt it would taste the same. Sigh! I must check out what Indira used. Kudos to her!!

Manisha said...

Kay, I just had a duh moment! You used lemons with the thick skin and it worked! Amazing!!! I have to try this!!

Kay said...

Isil, you have a gerat blog. It was nice to read through a blog from a culture, new to me.

Indian pickles are very spicy when comapred to American/European pickles.

Manisha, yep, lemons they were and yummy they taste! :) Hey, would you mind sharing the recipe of a pickle that requires no oil? I've tasted a goan/marathi mango water pickle that doesnt require oil. And sure, it's yummy!

Manisha said...

Kay, my two little jars of limbu achar arrived yesterday. One is with green chillies, ginger, methi seeds that have turned translucent and turmeric powder (therefore it is yellow) and the other is red as it has red chilli powder - no ginger or methi seeds that I can see in the red one. I will ask my sister for the recipe for each of these and let you know! They are YUM!

These are just like the limbache lonche that my Mom used to make. So there is even more nostalgia and sentiment in those two little jars!

The only bottled oil-less pickle that I have tasted that is anywhere close to what my sister makes is Priya's Lime Pickle. I made the mistake of telling my other sister to buy Priya's Lemon Pickle and I haven't heard the end of how Lemon is not only spelt differently from Lime, it *is* different. sigh!

And while you're at it, also try Priya's Karela Pickle. I loved that, too! It has oil though.

Kay said...

Thanks Manisha, I like priya's garlic pickle, but find everything else very oily/hot.

I'd love to see your sister's recipe! :)