Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Lemon Pickle

A trip down memory lane definitely stirs some fond memories. Be it some pranks we played on friends in college or the great times at cultural rehearsals at school. With regards to home front, I remember the summer vacations with my grandmother distinctly. I specifically remember, spicy pickles that were stored in jars for consumption until the next season and the large buckets of rice vathal and javvarisi vathal. Vathal refers to sun-dried rice/sago mix. Will write more about the vathal in subsequent posts. This is about the spicy, tangy lemon pickle.

Lemon - 10-12 numbers
Salt - 1/4 cup
Red chillies - 10 (spicy variety)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida (perungayam) - 1/2 tsp
Gingely Oil (nallennai) - 2 tbsp 

Glass/Porcelain jar: Wash the jar thoroughly with warm soapy water. Pour a cup of boiling water inside and shake the jar well. Pour the water out and let the jar dry out completely, preferably leaving it in the sunlight. Keep a piece of dry and clean cotton or muslin cloth to tie the mouth of the jar.

Cut each lemon in four pieces or eight pieces. Place the pieces in the prepared jar and add the salt. Shake the jar well. Close the jar with the cotton cloth, tightly tied to the opening of the jar. 

Leave the jar out in the sunlight all day, shaking it sporadically to evenly distribute the salt over the lemon pieces and allowing the lemon to marinate in salt well. Repeat this for a week until the lemon soaks well in the salt. The lemons should have softened to touch by then. If not, leave it on for a couple of more days and check again. The sunlight will take care of keeping the lemons from spoiling. 

When the lemons are ready, heat the oil wel and cool it down completely. Dry roast the mustard, asofetida and red chillies seperately. When the masala ingredients have completely cooled down, grind them to a fine powder. Add the powdered masala to the marinated lemon pieces. Pour the oil over the lemon pieces. Shake the jar well, to distribute the oil and masala evenly over the lemon pieces. Lemon pickles are ready to consume, just keep shaking the jar sporadically for the first few days to evenly distribute the spices.

Verdict: Lemon pickle is so delicious with a variety of dishes. Dosa, Paratha, and most notably with curd rice. Moreover, these pickles are guilt free indulgences, since it is homemade without preservatives and vinegar, unlike their store-bought counterparts.

priya's signature image at photobucket


Chandrasekaran Swaminathan said...

Mouth watering. 15 years since my mom passed away am seeing someone talking about home made lime pickles. Nostalgic. Many thanks.

Priya Kumar said...

You are welcome, Chander. I am glad to hear that it brought back some fond memories for you.

Chandrasekaran Swaminathan said...

Yup very much. Waiting for the vathals and Vadams :) :)