Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lemon pickle

I never thought of preparing a big batch of pickle at home, as hubby always buys many kinds of pickles from the Indian grocery stores and moreover I am not a big fan of store bought pickles. I used to prepare a small quantity of lemon pickle and finish off soon. I was kind of afraid to make that big batch of lemon pickles at home because of lesser Sunlight.
Then one fine day, I prepared this lemon pickle last year after talking with a friend (Mrs.Aruna Satya). She said that her mom made it for her without sun-drying and I got that clue and wanted to try immediately. I couldn't follow her recipe, as I wanted to prepare my mother's special oil-less Lemon pickle recipe, which I had enjoyed so much. Mom used to make this lemon pickle using our home grown lemons. We had a big 'Malta lime' tree in the backyard and that tree would yield sacks of bigger lemon and we would enjoy them as lemonade, lemon rice, leaf podi and pickles along with our neighbors. At that time mom would make extremely big batches of these pickles for our aunts and family friends. I tried her recipe while living in Madras and it was so good. Here I added a few drops of vinegar to the same as I need to keep them for a long time. It was a wonderful process and I enjoyed that fresh lemon smell all over the house for days together. I am more delighted to see my hubby checking it everyday, if it has soaked or not, just like a kid:) From then on, hubby stopped buying pickles from the stores and I am happy with the oil-less home made pickle:)

Ingredients: (see the process for measurement)
Lemon -
sea salt (கல் உப்பு) -
red chilly powder -
mustard / kadugu- 1 tbsp (for 5 lemons)
fenugreek / methi/ venthayam - 1/2 tbsp (for 5 lemons)
green chillies - 2 chillies for 1 lemon

Wash the lemons, green chillies and pat dry.  Do this in the evening and let it dry overnight. Then in the morning, cut the lemon into 1.5 inch size triangular pieces or squares and slit the chillies.

Measure the  pieces using a dry tumbler / cup. Add salt to the lemon. (sea salt: lemon - 1:4), (1:6 for fine table salt: lemon). Mix the lemon, salt, chillies by shaking well. Keep the mixture in a porcelain jar (china clay jaadi). keep it under hot sun for from morning to evening, without closing the lid. Take care that no sand or dirt falls on it. we can place a mesh cover or tie a fine muslin cloth over the vessel too. In the evening shake it well and bring inside home and keep it closed after it cools down.
Repeat placing under hot sun for 2 more days.
Now the pickles could have turned a little pale and started soaking.

Take dry red chilly powder in ratio, chilly powder: lemon measure= 1 : 5.

On the 4th day dry roast the mustard till it cracks. Dry roast the fenugreek (venthayam / methi) till it turns red and flavorful. Powder them together.
Add the chilly powder, mustard, methi powder to the soaked pickle and mix well with a clean dry spatula. Keep in sunlight for the whole day . Close the lid portion by tying a muslin cloth (prevents drying of pickle) and place the porcelain lid over it . Then store it in a clean dry shelf. Never touch the pickles by hand, as we may need to keep the pickle safely for an year.

How to make the lemon pickle in colder countries?
As we can't allow the pickle to soak under Sun in colder countries, add 1/2 tsp of vinegar to every cup of chopped lemon and place the container open inside the house. Let them soak for 2 days and on the 3rd day add the powders and keep them open for 2 more days. Stir every evening and on the 4 th day , store it in an air tight container and preserve safely as instructed above.

Serving suggestions:
This pickle will remain good in the room temperature for many years, if handled with care.
Adding green chillies is optional only.
This pickle can be used without tempering also. But if needed, take the required amount of pickle for a week and keep aside. Heat 2 tbsp sesame oil in a dry wok and splutter a tsp of mustard seeds, the add a tbsp of channa dhal, curry leaves and pour over the pickle.
Serve with any rice or roti.


Reshmi Mahesh said...

Love the tangy,spicy pickle...nicely explained...

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Pickle looks so flavorful and delicious. Great preparation.

Hamaree Rasoi

Harini R said...

Hey I loved this preparation. Was wondering what vinegar have you used. Can I use apple cider vinegar?

Harini R said...

Hey I loved this preparation. Was wondering what vinegar have you used. Can I use apple cider vinegar?

aipi said...

Now that's surely tempting-looks great!
US Masala

Mélange said...

Simple,yet awesome recipe Viki.I love lemon & this has come out perfect I think.

Sunanda said...

Wow ! real mouthwatering pickle..

Shama Nagarajan said...

mouthwatering pickle viki...

Padhu Sankar said...

Tangy and yummy pickle

Priya Suresh said...

Slurp, mouthwatering here...simply irresisitble pickle..

Ambreen (Simply Sweet n Savory) said...

My mouth is watering ... this looks so good. I love it! Thanks Viki for sharing the recipe.

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

my mouth is absolutely watering...tempting clicks with authentic version..:P
Tasty Appetite

Vikis Kitchen said...

Thank you friends. I am absolutely happy to release my family's pickle recipe here:) Still I am having some pickles from the last year I am planning for more:)
Harini-Jaya: Apple cider vinegar will be fine. I have tried with that earlier for a small batch and it was good. But in this recipe I have used the ordinary white distilled vinegar (that we normally use for salads, marinade and ginger garlic pastes).

divya said...

Slurp, mouthwatering here...simply irresistible pickle..

Suja Manoj said...

Mouthwatering pickle,spicy and yummy

Panchpakwan said...

Tangy and delicious lemon pickles..

Swathi said...

Lemon pickle is my favorite. Love your version.

Saucy Siciliana said...

I'm going to try this, we have so many lemons here in Sicily. Must be delicious. Is it a kind of chutney, my daughter loves chutneys but they're not available here in Trapani. In Palermo there is a big Indian community and we find lots of Indian products, spices and even Indian fast food places, we had the most delicious rasgoolas the other day.

Vikis Kitchen said...

Thank you friends!
Ciccia: Thank you for the sweet comment dear. This pickle is not a chutney. (Pickles are similar to cucumber pickles or jalapenos we normally get globally. Pickles can remain good at room temperature for many days - years. whereas chutneys should be used quickly). This is used as a spicy side dish with curd rice during hot summers. But it will work as a chutney / hot sauce along with roti /chapati. You can see my menu card for various chutneys in the breakfast section. Hugs from USA:)
Have a nice weekend dear!
(FYI:Rasgullas are the classic and yummiest dessert of India. Its absolutely easy to make at home and we can control the sugar syrup by adding 50:50 zero calorie sugars. )

Unknown said...

Mouthwatering pickle...yummy..I try this one... lime