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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Lemon Pickle

You find it hard to prepare most of the Indian pickles, once you are outside of India. It is not easy to create the same magic that has been happening in Indian kitchens for ages, mainly because of the availability factor. With lemons, it is a different story. Compared to other vegetables / fruits used to prepare pickles, lemons are widely available and are cheap. Preparation of lemon pickle is easy and hasslefree.
The only two things important are picking juicy, bright yellow, thin skinned lemons without blemishes and taking care to use DRY utensils / work surface through out the process to increase the pickle's shelf life (like any other pickle). No trace of water anywhere is the key for not getting the pickle spoiled.

Lemons - 12
Salt - 6 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1-2 tsp

We used seven lemons for the pieces and five lemons for the juice.
Wash and wipe the lemons dry. This step is very important as said above. Take a lemon and chop into four wedges by cutting lengthwise twice. Then chop each wedge into two. So, you would end up with 8 pieces by cutting each lemon. Repeat the same with the other six lemons.

Now about the five lemons meant for juice. It is better if they are at room temperature. Roll each lemon on counter top or any hard surface with your palm for atleast 30 seconds. Cut these lemons crosswise and squeeze all the juice. If possible, remove the seeds.
Take a big, dry bowl and put the cut lemon pieces in it. Add salt and turmeric powder and mix well. Pour the squeezed lemon juice into it and again stir.

Collect this in a ceramic or glass jar/ bottle and tightly close the lid.
Let it remain for 4-6 weeks. Yes, 4-6 weeks. We need to be patient about this. But keep stirring once or twice every alternate day. You must be able to keep on moving the contents in the jar from bottom to top so that all the lemon pieces are marinated uniformly in its own juice.
After about 6 weeks, the lemon pieces would be tender enough to eat. Though they would be softer as time passes.

We call this uppu nimmakaya (salty lemon pickle). This forms the basis for the hot lemon pickle. It also can be eaten as a side dish. We preserve this salty, sour lemon pickle to eat with especially yogurt rice. The combination of a bowl of curd / yogurt rice and this mouthwatering lemon pickle is extremely delicious.

To go with rice and ghee or rotis, we prepare the hot lemon pickle using the above pickle. We usually prepare the hot pickle in a small quantity so that we can have it fresh prepared whenever we need it.

Lemon pickle (above) - 1 cup
Chillie powder - 1.5 tsp or accordingly
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - A few pinches

Take the sour lemon pickle in a bowl and add the chillie powder.
Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When mustard seeds start to splutter, turn off the stove and let it cool down completely.
Add this oil mixture to the lemon and chillie powder and mix well.
Serve with rice or rotis.

Adjust the quantity of salt as needed.
Like any other Indian pickle, this one also need no refrigeration.

Post a comment


Asha said...

I make it too,I love your version.I use Swad pickle mix to make it faster.looks good Suma:)

Asha said...

My comment went somewhere!!
I love the recipe,I make it with Swad Ready pickle masala.Looks great:))

swapna said...

mmmmm!!!!mouth watery1!it will be so good with hot rice and ghee..isn't it?it will be like heaven..

Sia's corner said...

loos really tempting. one thing i have never done till now is make pickles. i always get big carton of pickles from india:)
plain lime pickle is something i usually have when i am not keeping well. love it with plain rice and curds:)

Anonymous said...

Can we store the ,arinated pickle inside the house or does it have to be outside in the sun ?

eeshu said...

wonderful mitrama. You just gave traditional recipe for the most favorite indian pickle. You will not get anywhere ..U got to make it urself. Thanks a bunch

Suma Gandlur said...

You just need to marinate the pickle in a jar. No need to put it in the sun.