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Saturday, April 16, 2016

A - Z Andhra Recipes ~ N for Nimmakaya Karam

With yesterday's post, I passed the mid-mark of my A - Z journey. Now another half way to go. For those, who are joining me late, I am doing 'A - Z' recipes based on Andhra cuisine this month, presenting dishes with regional names in an alphabetical order and it's time for the letter' N' today. I chose to go with one of the commonly used ingredient, 'Nimmakaya' aka lemon for my today's recipe. Like any south Indian home, a nimmakaya is used to make rice, charu or pickle in Andhra kitchens too. Or it can be used as a souring agent in lieu of tamarind in a pappu (thick dal) recipe. 

Even better, lemons can be used in this super quick and easy karam which can jazz up any meal of the day. It is an instant version that uses only the lemon juice and takes up about five minutes to prepare. This is also one of the pickle options that may appear in Andhra brahmin households on a death anniversary day. Each household will have a certain set number of chutneys/pachadi served on that day, anywhere ranging from 2 to 4 and this karam is one of the quick options. I prepare it without a miss on my MIL and FIL's anniversaries, along with another variety of chutney.

My mother doesn't prepare this regularly but my husband's family does. My husband had brought a small bag of juicy lemons from his nephew's backyard in California, a couple of weeks ago and those are the ones pictured here. It was a heartening moment to see home grown fruit, at least to me, who live in a place where sunshine is expected for only 4 to 5 months max per year. It is time then to grow something in backyard and I end up with barren trees and twigs, the rest of the year, providing a perfect gloomy background. Surprisingly, the skin of those lemons was an almost orange tint though they look yellower in pictures. Right now, they are sitting in a jar, marinating on their way to being get pickled. :)
'N' Ingredients:
Nalla Senagalu - Black Chickpeas
Nannari Verlu - Dried, aromatic roots used in making coolant drinks
Nuvvulu - Sesame Seeds
Neyi - Ghee

Narinja - Orange
Neredu - Jamun (Hindi), Black Plum
Nimmakaaya - Lemon
Nalleru - A creeper that is grown as weed
Nethi Beerakaya - Silk Squash

Pickles / Spice Powders:
Nallakaram Podi - Spicy Powder
Nalleru Pachadi
Nimmakaya Pachadi - Lemon Pickle (Recipe here.)
Nuvvu Pachadi - Sesame Seeds Chutney
Nuvvula Podi - Sesame Seed Powder

Some 'N' Dishes: 
Nannari Lassi (Recipe here.)
Nannari Sherbet (Recipe here)
Nethi Beerakaaya Koora - Silk Squash Curry
Nethi Beerakaaya Pachadi - Silk Squash Chutney
Nethi Beerakaaya Pappu - Silk Squash Dal
Niluva Pachallu - Pickles with long shelf life
Nuvvu Pettina Koora - A curry using sesame seed powder
Nimmakaya Charu - Lemon Rasam
Nimmakaya Pappu - Lemon Dal
Nimmakaya Pulihora - Lemon Rice
Nuvvullundalu - Chimmiri, Sesame Seed Laddu

I must admit that I was taken aback the first time I noticed the lemon and lime varities in the U.S. stores. In India, lemons range from green to yellow, indicating their stage of ripeness and people prefer to pick the ripe, juicy ones and their size usually is similar to or smaller than the green colored limes we see in U.S.  These limes are thin skinned as the Indian variety lemons. Where as the lemons we see in U.S are yellow in color and almost are as bigger as small sized oranges in India and have a thicker skin. Now when that is off my chest, let us proceed to the recipe which uses lemons. I prepared this twice in the past month but both times I forgot to note down the quantities. (The quantities I gave below are what I could recall think approximately were used and will update the post once I prepare it again.)

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
A couple of pinches of asafoetida powder
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
4 tsp. red chili powder
1 tsp. salt (slightly more may be needed.)

* Heat oil in a small pan (and no need to bring it to smoking point). Add mustard seeds to the hot oil and when they start to crackle and pop, turn off the stove. Add turmeric and asafoetida and stir once. Let it cool.
* In the mean time, squeeze the juice from the lemons / limes or even can use the bottled juice. Combine the juice, salt and chili powder in a mixing bowl well. Add the tempering from above step  (that is at room temperature) to the juice mixture and stir well. It slightly thickens after sitting for few minutes.
* Serve with hot steamed rice and ghee or to jazz up your breakfast / any meals. 

So far on my 'A - Z' Andhra Cuisine,
A for Alasanda Vada
B for Bellam Garelu
C for Chiyali
D for Dondakaaya Kaarapu Kaaya
E for Endu Kobbari Podi
F for Fine Biscuits 
G for Gongura - Mamidikaya Pappu
H for Halwa Holigalu
I for Idli Karam Podi
J for Janthikalu
K for Kobbari Koora

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63.


Pavani said...

This is a totally new nimmapaya pachadi for me. It sounds so easy to make with just the juice. Will try some time.

Srivalli said...

That's such a new dish for me Suma..don't think I have seen my Mom or MIL making it, must ask them...you have listed so many dishes in N..and good that you got that off your chest..hhahah..

Amara’s cooking said...

This version is new to me Suma, It looks bright and delicious. I'm going try it soon:)

Gayathri Kumar said...

I didn't know about the variety of lemons until I started blogging. This pickle with juice of lemons looks so inviting..

The Pumpkin Farm said...

and with that limited vareity f lemons we need to be careful about picking it at the right time for pickling...ur recipe looks delicioous and nice pictures

Usha said...

We too make this pickle with a slight variation. We also add sesame seeds to it. Lovely pictures and mouthwatering pickle.

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Sounds new to me,must be a mouthwatering pickle,so easy to make.

Srividhya said...

Are these the meyer lemons from Calif? Love those meyer lemons it has got a sweetness to it too. Yummy pickle.

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, the colour of this pickle looks absolutely irresistible, lipsmacking here, too tempting.

cookingwithsapana said...

Omg my mouth is literally drooling .This is so tasty yaar.Superb.Bookmarked.

Harini R said...

My husband loves this and I prepare often. But preparing this with fresh home grown lemons is totally a different experience.

Smruti Ashar said...

An absolutely new recipe for me. Loved it!!

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

I have never heard of this before and that looks so tempting!

Chef Mireille said...

what a pungent chutney